Thursday, 31 March 2011

I have a slight inferiority complex

Goldfinger (1964)
Chosen by Blogalongabond

Bond's Intro: We start with a stupid duck (that the film can't wait to get rid of in a silly bit of sped up footage) that is totally pointless as a disguise but Bond kicks into badass mode very quickly. This is the most efficient and brutal we have seen him yet. Knocking out a guard, blowing some shit up deliberately (and timing the explosion to synch with lighting his cigarette - hell yeah), finally we see him actually doing his job well. For the most part anyway, he almost fucks up by sleeping with a bellydancer of course. So same old Bond.

Theme Song and Credits: Classic Bassey naturally. Ups the sex considerably, the woman are still not naked but touches of blatant, rather odd misogyny abound. A golf ball is potted down our title woman's cleavage (a simple sexual visual metaphor). A shot of her face has the mouth replaced with the Aston Martin's revolving number plates, denoting Bond's view of women as interchangable and not to be trusted.

Okay I may be reading too much into that but showing images from the movie you are about to watch (and from the earlier films) is a strange choice

The Ladies: Paradoxically both iconic (the painted Jill Masterson is as indeliable an image as any) and very dull. Pussy Galore is never as interesting as her name, appearing half way into the movie and despite turning the villains plot never really feels like she does anything. Tilly is slightly more interesting but is despatched quickly (her revenge plot picked up later and given a bit more flesh in For Your Eyes Only)

The Baddies: The daft named Auric Goldfinger ('sounds like a french nail varnish') is pretty cool. Callous and funny ('No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die') but fairly dumb (or maybe as Bond has it, just insane) his plot doesn't really make much sense. Even less so the amount of time and effort spent explaining it to a bunch of people he is literally killing straight after the show and tell. Has the classic Bond villain trait of cheating at a game ('Strict rules of Golf').
Odd Job also is grade A. Distinctive look with a cool hook. Perfect henchmen material.

License to Kill: Classic kill five minutes in with the 'Shocking' moment. But hard to say if he kills many more people in the film. Goldfinger, obviously, but that's kind of an accident (still I imagine had he not been sucked out of the plane Bond would have done him in). Maybe the guy ejected out of the car breaks his neck, and we have another of those amazingly explosive automobile's that swerves massively on some oil, hits a bump and blows up.
Still we have mirror kills with Bond also electrocuting someone at the end that has a pleasing symmetry to me.
Bond hates foreigners: Some standard Chinese goons fill the background but we don't get much thoughts on them from Bond.

Bond hates women: 'Dink say goodbye to Felix. Man talk'. slap on arse. Yeah, this one is pretty bad. Dismissive of Galore as well referring to her as a little girl and forcing himself on her. Earlier we get him using the bellydancer as a human shield, but she did set him up so I'm kinda cool with that. 

Bond's Crazy knowledge: Knows about skin suffocation with paint (even though that is wrong). Not so good on Gold 'I know it when i see it' he tells M. but makes up for it with his knowledge of alcohol - 'i'd say it was a 30 year old Fine, indifferently blended sir. With an overdose of Bon Bois.' and maths - '60 men would take 12 days to load it onto 200 hundred trucks'.

Bond's a big fat snob: 'some things just aren't done. such as drinking
dom perignon '53 above a temperature of 38 degrees farenheit that's as
bad as listening to the beatles without earmuffs' Such a nerd.

00's killed: None, but Bond does leave a trail of dead woman in his wake.

Mini Overview: Rather indifferently directed for the most part (we have an interminably long tracking shot into the hotel in miami) though it does pick up for the thrilling attack on Fort Knox and the fight with Odd Job.
This is really the start of the quintessential Bond film. A full on Q scene, a proper Bond pre-credits sequence having nothing to do with the rest of the film (I love a lot of these as fun little mini action films) but I find it a weak effort in many ways. The plot just stumbles forwards with little reason, the stakes feel quite low despite the late threat of an atomic bomb, no character has an effect on anything and it's full of stupid little things like Odd Job not taking the Gold out of the car before crushing it apparently or Bond being defeated by a mirror (such a dumb moment I like to pretend it is a commentary on Bond's narcissism).
Still the pleasures are also many, the laser table a brilliant bit and a very smooth, confidant Connery holding up the film's lesser parts.

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