In Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh directs Kenneth Branagh as Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot. The film informs us of his reputation by opening with Poirot solving a crime in front of an abundant crowd, as if he is the main attraction at a circus. In case this was not enough—and because the script felt the need to address its own ludicrous facial hair creation—Daisy Ridley’s Mary Debenham recites her first line in the film thusly:
“I know your mustache…from the papers!”
When the plot of the film begins in earnest—in which a mobster criminal (Johnny Depp) hiding on the train is Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Movie Review
Skyfall opens on an extended foot and car chase, which is choreographed beautifully. It also ends with the apparent death of James Bond (Daniel Craig), shot and left for dead in the sea as Adele’s thunderous theme kicks in. Of course, Bond survives, but MI6 doesn’t know this. M (Judi Dench) must write his obituary. Her job is also threatened for her reckless actions with her agents in the field.
Following this, MI6’s computers are hacked and their headquarters are destroyed. Bond returns to help remedy the situation, but he’s Continue reading Skyfall (2012) Movie Review
The cold open to Quantum of Solace depicts shadowy shots of cars riding through the Italian countryside. Then, the scene kicks into gear and we get a brutal, tight-traffic car chase. Stunt choreography is intricate and editing is tight. It is the way a Bond film should start.
Secret agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) escapes his pursuers and rides into the city of Siena. Out of eyesight, he parks his heavily damaged Aston Martin and pops the trunk to reveal Continue reading Quantum of Solace (2008) Movie Review
The cold open to Casino Royale shows, in sleek black and white, James Bond (Daniel Craig, in his debut as the character) waiting in the shadows of an office for a corrupt MI6 agent. Bond explains to the man that he killed his contact. The scene is essentially a gritty fist fight cross-cut with a noir-style confrontation. It is also essentially MI6’s test to Bond, a mission that gives Bond his 00 status (because killing two people while working for MI6 makes you a 00-agent, arbitrarily). Albeit brief, it is a wonderful opening.
We then see a meeting of evil minds. Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), leader of global crime organization Quantum, is setting up private banker (for terrorists) Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) with a terrorist outfit. Later, Continue reading Casino Royale (2006) Movie Review
In the cold open to Die Another Day, James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) goes undercover in North Korea as an illegal arms dealer trading conflict diamonds for military-grade weaponry. His identity is discovered almost immediately, and an extended hovercraft chase ensues. You read that right. Hovercraft chase.
As is standard with these Brosnan films, the chase is littered with fiery explosions and ends with a flat one-liner. Following the chase, Bond is captured by Continue reading Die Another Day (2002) Movie Review
In The World is Not Enough, MI6 super spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to hunt down terrorist Renard (Robert Carlyle), the man behind the assassination of a billionaire oil tycoon who is also attempting to instigate a nuclear meltdown. Additionally, Renard has a bullet lodged in his skull that renders him with diminishing senses and the inability to feel pain.
Now that we have contextualized the absudity, let’s begin.
This is Brosnan’s third outing as James Bond. It is hard to say that he has “settled in” to the role at this point in his tenure. His acting as the spy certainly Continue reading The World is Not Enough (1999) Movie Review
On the Russian border, super spy James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) infiltrates a terrorist arms deal in order to steal a plane carrying nuclear torpedoes before a British launched missile hits the site. One “techno terrorist” involved in the deal, Henry Gupta (Ricky Jay), is working with media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathon Pryce), whose plan is to start World War III in order to profit off of the headlines it would provide.
The villainous plot is bonkers, don’t get me wrong. And Jonathon Pryce’s performance is exceedingly over-the-top. But it’s Continue reading Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Movie Review