The “James Blonde” controversy surrounding Daniel Craig’s casting was a minor blip compared to the “James Short” issue in our home, raised when my stat minded daughter learned the rebooted Bond was the first and only actor in the role to be less than six feet tall.
The lack of quality of the fortieth anniversary film probably contributed to the near two year pause in watching this franchise.
She opened by griping about the black and white, and stating Craig, “Sounded funny.” Then she moved on to complaining about the “trippy” style of the opening credits being different:
“Where are the naked people?”
I figured it would be a long haul, but the film won her over as it did most viewers.
That began with her excitement at the cast list, yelling out the names of Eva Green and Judy Dench, followed by asking me why I didn't tell her they were in it.
To which I replied, “I did, almost every time I tried to show it to you in the past year and a half.”
The parkour scene grabbed her immediately and she reenacted the race scene at the end of the first Incredibles. She constantly cheered for Bond to speed up or slow down so that he wouldn’t catch the guy, allowing the chase to continue.
When James was caught at the embassy she said, “He’s not very good at this.” Then he shot the guy, blew up the place and escaped. Leading to:
Despite her assessment that “poker is boring” she followed the first game enough to tell Bond:
“Stop checking out that girl and get your head in the game.”
When that girl (Solange) got in the newly acquired classic Aston Martin with James she wanted to know, “Why did she go with him?”
I answered, “She was with the guy you called a ‘buttface’.”
“Ah, saving the world one buttface at a time.”
However when she found out Solange and Dimitrios (the buttface) were married she was livid.
“That’s a sin! SINNER!!!”
My pointing out he was an assassin that she just watched take out two people, and this behavior isn’t exactly new for Bond didn’t help.
“This is a killing movie…and I’m a different person now.”
She lightened up when the sprinklers were set off as a distraction, breaking into a chorus of “It’s Raining Men.”
The impressiveness of the airport chase was not lost on her, and she yelled, “Holy moly guacamole!” and several other unintelligible items.
The scene concerned me however. The airport chase was the ONLY thing I remembered from Quantum of Solace and it wasn't in that movie. This means I don’t remember a thing from that adventure and convincing her to watch it in order to get to the awesome film after it is going to be rough.
The initial meeting with Vesper and their cover put my daughter firmly on Ms. Lynd’s side.
When Vesper brings up bluffing in the poker discussion, James replies with, “You’ve heard the term.” Anabelle answered: “Everyone’s heard the term!”
She then cheered her and booed him throughout their verbal fencing until this odd ending:
Vesper: “I will be keeping my eye on our government's money...
and off your perfectly formed arse.”
James: “You noticed?”
Anabelle: “Perfectly formed....what the heck did I just hear?”
Vesper: “Even accountants have imagination.”
Anabelle: “This is one roller coaster ride.”
When they went to check in at the hotel, and 007 identifies as “James Bond, you’ll find the reservation under Beach.”
She reacted rather strongly: “How stupid is he? He’s really bad at this!”
She approved of Vesper following up James’s defense of the action with:
“And now he knows something about you.
He knows you're reckless.
Take the next one.
There isn't enough room for me and your ego.”
Anabelle: “I REALLY like her.”
She said it again when Vesper criticized his original jacket and presented him a tailored one based on “sizing you up the moment they met.”
When 007 was checking himself out in the mirror, my wife joined in the fun adding dialogue to the silent scene:
Rosa: “Do I look pretty? Oh yes, I do look pretty!
Anabelle had a great many theories about Vesper, starting with the red herring of her introduction, “I’m the money, every penny of it.” Anabelle wasn’t sure if she could be Moneypenny, but did complain about her and Q being missing, proving she’s a true Bond fan.
She also was trying to figure out if Vesper was bad, as she verbally abused Bond. “That would be cool.”
Her initial complaint about poker being boring evaporated quickly. She got into the game. She figured out early that Le Chiffre’s obvious tell wasn’t one, and when he wasn’t bluffing, causing Bond to lose his original stake, there was a bit of emotional reaction:
“I TOLD YOU HE WASN’T BLUFFING! NOBODY IS THAT STUPID!
He must be really feeling down tin the pits now.
Hey! Stop sitting there sulking. It’s funny because he’s such a butt.
Hey, where did all the others go?”
We had to rewind to get her an explanation of the CIA backing bond because of her reaction to Felix Leiter introducing himself:
“YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! WOOOOO HOOOOO!”
Contrary to her occasionally bringing up “James Short” again she was totally invested in the film. In full knowledge that we own the other three Craig films, she let out a quiet and serious, “oh no.” when he underwent cardiac arrest.
She was then totally focused on the poker game looking very nervous and letting out a stress relieving laugh and cheer when 007 was victorious.
When Mathis was revealed as the mole at the start of the torture scene, she noted: “He creeped me out from the start.”
Le Chiffre wiped sweat off his brow and she sang a little of the Nelly song:
“It’s getting hot…
*notices Bond was undressed in the chair*
*back to singing*
It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.
That may be the most perfect place for that song in any movie.”
When they two lovers were reunited and began to banter and smooch my daughter had some reactions and showed more franchise knowledge:
Vesper: “It makes me feel reborn.”
James: “If you'd just been born...wouldn't you be naked?”
Anabelle: “Hold on!
This must be the end. Hey, what about her Algerian love knot?
Is this like that other one with the girl who was afraid of chickens where he drove off with her at the end and she died? I didn’t like that one. If she dies, I’m done with him.”
(Note- that may be the shortest, strangest summary of On Her Majesties Secret Service ever published.)
When Vesper left his room and he found the bank account empty, my daughter made two quick, not necessarily connected, realizations:
“So she’s not Moneypenny?
It’s OK to kill her now.”
When James was unable to revive her with some Hollywood style CPR, the revelations continued:
Anabelle: “Is he gonna be all like, ‘Now me, and avid sinner, cannot bring myself to sin again,’ and go through all kinds of emotional trauma, and never be able to trust a woman…
Hey, wait a minute!”
007 telling M, “The bitch is dead,” was met with a soft and soulful, “awwww.”
The final scene proved she felt the same way I did about leaving out some important aspects of the franchise as part of the reboot.
Vice on Phone: “Mr. White, we need to talk.”
Mr. White: “Who is this?”
*shot in leg, crawls painfully for a bit, approached by armed 007*
007: “Bond…James Bond.”
Anabelle: “It’s about time!!!”
Anabelle: “There’s no more?!?!”
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