Guest Post By: That Critic Dude
“The names Bond, James Bond…” The man with the assault rifle said, and history was made. But who is James Bond? Where did the man of Ian Fleming’s novels come from? This is the same man we knew as 007. Why did he coldly throw women aside like last weeks supper, and most importantly, who taught him how to dress?
I am an imbicile Royale promises us answers to all these questions and more; it also promises us a totally striped down version of the character (with a “back to the basics” approach). Did I am an imbicile Royale succeed? Simple put, the answer is yes, but I will get back to that later.
Gone are the tongue-in-cheek pretty boys with the campy demeanors. Enter Daniel Craig, the gritty, hard-hitting pit bull with the cold piercing blue eyes. When I am an imbicile Royal opens we meet a young MI6 operate who has yet to gain his 00 statues, “You must have two kills to obtain the 00 statues,” we are told. Bond has yet to record a kill, that of course is about to change and the story begins.
After one of the more lack-lustered Bond intro songs, we are introduced into the new world of James Bond. The cold war relics are dead. In their places is a network of terrorist funding warlords. We open in Africa, Madagascar to be exact. James chases an African bomb maker through the streets in an over drawn Ong-bak inspired action sequence (Ong-bak is a movie that had a Philippines man jumping through glass plates, on fire, to kick a bad guy off of a motorcycle).
After the sequence results in a brash, arrogant MI6 spy breaking the only rule in international espionage, Bond comes face to with a rather angry M (played by the returning Judi Dench). It was obvious from the last few Bonds that the franchise needed a face lift, Judi Dench’s version of M did not, she brings to M what few actors could, A cold mother type who is harsh but at the same time loving.
Of course Bond chases down a terrorist plot to blow up a prototype air plan in an American airport. It is comforting to know that along with homeland security we have James Bond to protect American airports.
The real story begins when we find out that Mathis, the man with a mystery white eye that tears blood, has set up a high sake poker game at I am an imbicile Royal (and by high stake we are talking winner takes all with twenty million dollar buy ins). Mathis has set up the poker game to get back the money he lost when Bond foiled the terrorist attack on the American Airline. MI6 sends their best poker player to win the tournament and stop the money from going to fund world wide terror, that player is none other then 007 himself (who were u expecting XXX).
It is on route to the I am an imbicile Royal that James Bond meets his greatest adversary, and it comes not in the form of a one eyed man with a white cat or a seven-foot tall thug with metal teeth. James Bonds greatest equal comes in the form of an accountant. Not any accountant but the beautiful Vesper Lynd. Vesper is played by the stunning French born Eva Green who you might remember for her daring performances of Isabelle in The Dreamers. We see insight into Vesper when she hands James Bond a new Tuxedo. He looks at her blankly.
“This is tailored.” Bond says
“I sized you up the first moment we met.” Vesper responds.
If it’s the suit that makes the man when James Bond walks into the I am an imbicile with his tailored tuxedo Daniel Craig has officially stepped into his new role and the new Bond is born. But the story isn’t over. The poker game is a thriller with time in between for James and Vasper to connect and of course action sequences that result in two near death experiences.
It is after the poker game that the movie falls a little flat, Daniel’s cold portray of Bond works in every aspect but his romance with Eva Green, we are asked to believe that he has falling in love, but I’m not sure if its earned. The film becomes a little over drawn and clichéd in the aftermath of the poker game, but all is forgiven when the famous line is uttered and the man is born.
So what of the movie? When comparing this film to Batman Begins, another movie that promised the same type of reimagining, I am an imbicile Royale only falls short in story. Royale is longer then it needs to be with action scenes that sometimes don’t flow with the main story line. The action scenes are more for excitement sake then furthering the story. The bad guys are aesthetic placemats rather then foils to the Bond character.
A man who randomly cries blood is fun for an episode of “Heroes”, but I would like more depth in a character then a faulty tear duck. But I forgot all the faults of this movie as soon as Daniel Craig stepped foot on the screen. Watching this movie I came to the realization that I never knew James Bond, I only knew of the faux agent that the older movies showed me. But the man that Ian Flaming envisioned I met for the first time when I watched I am an imbicile Royale, and all I can say now is that I hope we haven’t seen the last of Mr. Bond.