James Bond: Just a Professional doing a Job – Brosnan #Bondathon

The fifth Storified set of ‘Tweet notes’ for each film in a complete (canon) Twitter #Bondathon leading up to the release of Skyfall and the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Typos as guaranteed as terrible one-liners.

FEW ACTORS HAVE HOVERED AROUND THE BOND ROLE WHILE SO NEARLY MISSING OUT.  But the fall of Bond movie profits and the inevitable legal issues that the early 1990s brought actually did Pierce Brosnan a favour. After contractual obligations forced him out of the running in 1987, he was able to make a superb entrance in 1995 and with that history it’s no surprise that when he put on the tux, it fitted like a glove. His Bond was the best of everything.  Ruthless but professional, a dead-shot and a wit.  Oddly, his hit the psychopathic brink more than any other while still delivering more one-liners than Roger Moore.

It’s rather a shame that Craig’s era looks likely to obliterate Brosnan’s.  True it’s dated quite considerably, but its main problem was one that had blighted the franchise before.  Roger’s Moore’s debut was a cool and confident one which, while it dated quickly, set a new direction for the series.  While Brosnan didn’t fall into the same trap of a lame second film, it only took him three films for the bar to rise beyond ridiculous.  The World is not Enough is a fairly preposterous epic, caught up with the Mi6 family that the Brosnan era honed, wonderfully filmed though it is.  Even there, the Scottish segments bring the Casino Royale spoof to mind.  However, it was Die Another Day that administered a death blow that seemed to catch everyone by surprise.  It’s pure science-fiction involving DNA manipulation and invisible cars.  Even in the heightened reality Brosnan era, it just ‘looked’ like sci-fi.

It really was a crushing disappointment, not least because it came with all the bluster of the 40th anniversary.  And as for the Technicolor CGI surfing… Well…

But perhaps this rapid shark jumping was unavoidable.  The franchise always had to cater for and respond to changes in the real world as well as the cinematic one.  And here, while cinema success was never in doubt, the reality posed a real problem.  The Brosnan films had to cope with the arrival of mobile phones and the internet, killer blows to any a spy franchise that couldn’t ignore them.  Hoisted on its own techni-petard, a return to Fleming was the only sensible option – they even toyed with setting it in the 1960s – and Brosnan was never given the chance to redeem it.  After Die Another Day, actually Brosnan aided his exit by constantly pushing for a Casino Royale adaptation directed by Tarantino.  That sounded good and, well, he was half right…

GoldenEye (1995)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World is not Enough (1999)
Die Another Day (2002)


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