Having just crashed through a large window and leaped off a second story balcony, Craig sprints head long to his DB10, to the sounds of the NFL Film’s sound track, don’t believe me? Listen.
Now compare that to this clip, just close your eyes and listen to the music.
Craig squeals out of the parking lot and out into the night followed closely by Mr. Hinx. Now, I am in no way inferring Dave Bautista is in bad shape, but I really don’t think sprinting is his mete. I’m having a hard time believing this large battle tank of a man was able to get up from his chair make his way out of the conference room, on to the street, and in to his car, in the amount of time it supposedly took Craig to fling himself in to his. In reality Craig would have been long gone by the time Hinx lumbered his way to his Jag leaving him asking…
But of course for all the talk, “reality” has never been the Craig era’s forte.
Let’s take a moment and address the much ballyhooed DB10. I’m sorry but that car is just plain fugly, it looks like the worst parts of a Corvette, Jag F-type, and a shark had a baby, put that baby in a burlap sack, then beat it with an ugly stick, permanently disfiguring it. But that’s just me.
It’s quite obvious Mendes isn’t an action director. The whole “chase” consists of low angle shots of the two cars breaking the rear end loose while bending corners, in what feels like low speed practice for an auto advert. I was half expecting a voice over to extol the “Fine luxury appointments”, “High end performance”, and rattle off the horsepower specs.
“Aston Martin, when only the finest get away will do.”
“Jaguar, it’s good to be bad.”
So Craig and Hinx tear their way around the vacant streets of Rome (this and the empty tube train from Skyfall seem to establish a pattern for Mendes), Craigers glances at his poorly made gadget switches. I really can’t believe that’s the best they could do! Those things are so cheap they would have been laughed off the screen in 1964 had they dared to put them in Connery’s DB5, let alone in this digital age! They could have set a tablet on the seat next to him with an animation bodged together in 10 minutes and it would have come across less cheap! Craig flicks the toggle poorly labeled “Backfire”, prompting two barrels to protrude from the license plate and a set of cross hairs to appear in the rearview. But alas! Q hadn’t got around to loading it yet! Wah, wah! We know this because an equally cheap digital display that has also been pop riveted to the dash board tells us so! (Now wasn't 009 coming to pick it up the next day? Hmm.) Craig says “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Funny old boy I was just thinking the exact same thing!
Craig and Hinx slowly slide around a few more corners before Craig toggles “Atmosphere” the label so long it hangs over the edges. The display says “Music for 009” and New York, New York starts playing, oh fun! See Craig movies can be light hearted! Craig launches off a curb and decapitates an economy sedan, without nary a scratch to his body work. Inexplicably Craig suddenly pulls away from old Hinxy to which he gives a self-satisfied smirk, when a little Fiat pulls in front of him on the narrow road! Wah, wah! Craig slams on the breaks allowing Hinx to catch him up, Craig honks his horn and swerves in an attempt to pass but the portly old man in the Fiat is oblivious, as he’s listening to opera at full volume! Craig having had enough of this, runs up the rear of the Fiat pushing it faster and faster, going from 30 miles per hour (Which is funny because the whole chase feels like it was filmed at 30!) to a high of 77mph (Which still felt like 30) before depositing the old man’s Fiat safely in to a parking space at the end of the road! Where once he comes to a complete stop, the air bag fires off! Wah, wah! A cute little scene, but whereas Sir Roger and Cubby would have pulled that off with aplomb, it fells all so forced and obligatory here, as if the production crew were making it under duress, “Give this chase some old school fun, add a fat old man in a Fiat, or you’ll never see your family again!” Craig’s no help ether, Sir Roger, would have delivered it all with a classy raised eyebrow and a debonair sense of irony, but Craig is just so stone faced, almost annoyed with it all, as he is in all his scenes. Look you can’t make a film that’s purports to be fun and a little ironic like those of old, and then act in it as if you’re shooting a Swedish crime drama!
Craig suddenly remembers Moneypenny (MP) exists and rings her up on his cell phone, I suppose to tell her how rich the Corinthian leather in the Aston is, and this is where the car commercial vibe gets turned up to 11. Craig calmly tells MP how 3 different terrorist attacks are all linked while tootling along one hand on the steering wheel as if he’s out for a country drive. “By the way Moneypenny, the Aston Martin DB10 has an engine that delivers 500 horsepower, and has the option for a manual or automatic transmission.”
Craig and MP share some “witty” banter when Craig hears MP’s nighttime companion speaking in the background, MP tells him he should get a life. I’m sorry, but I don’t see Craig’s Bond as the overly dedicated, nose to the grindstone, consummate professional he’s accused of being by Babzy and Co. In 4 films he’s quit twice, been disavowed twice, disobeyed orders a half a dozen times, and got his boss killed, hardly the stellar resume of a dedicated employee.
MP tells Craig the “Pale King” is Mr. White! That one guy from his first two movies! How she was able to glean all that information with her lap top is amazing! She also knows where he’s hiding and how long he’s been hiding there! Let’s not forget this is a man in hiding, not just from MI6 but his own organization! Here’s a guy who escaped MI6 custody, who is the key to a whole terrorist organization, an organization who have people everywhere, including the highest echelons of MI6, you've known where he’s been the last 4 months and you haven’t gone to get him?
Craig asks MP to run Hanzy’s name through the super computer, all while sliding around the streets of Rome with a goon on his back. Craig turns a corner and power slides in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica, so I have to wonder what’s in store for the next film, will he do a burn out next to the Western Wall in Jerusalem? Spin some doughnuts around the Kaaba in Mecca?
Suddenly the phone call with MP is cast aside, a few more yawn inducing, slow speed slides around a few more corners and Craig finds himself driving alongside the river Tiber, Hinx in tow. Did I mention Hinx was driving a Jaguar just like Zao in Die Another Day, funny how many references this film makes to that much maligned picture. Speaking of Die Another Day, it’s ironic how in that film we go from a gadget car that became a punch line for being too aspirational, to one that’s a joke for the exact opposite reason. Craig runs up and down the river embankment unable to put any distance between him and Hinx despite the fact he did so with such ease before the Fiat incident. What changed in the interim? I know! He’s become more conscious of traffic safety!
Craig reaches for the cheap toggles again this time flicking “Exhaust” causing flame to shoot out the back, and on to Hinx’s Jag. So now Hinx is awash in fire, blinded by the blaze, Craig reaches for the final switch labeled “Air”, the steering wheel retracts, a seat belt buckles itself around the craggy one, the sunroof opens, and Craig pops the eject button on the shift lever, shooting him skyward. The empty DB10 careens off an incomprehensibly placed stack of blocks which somehow formed a glass smooth ramp aimed out into the middle of the water where the ill-fated auto lands. Hinx pulls up, car still smoldering but somehow undamaged, and witnesses the car sink, assuming Craig’s still inside. Cut to the now teeming streets where a pair of shoes come sailing down from the heavens, and attached to those shoes is a pasty, stony faced, flaxen haired dwarf. Craig slaps the clasp of his parachute, disengaging it as it wafts to the ground next to a street sweeper and his bin, oh how classy, he practices recycling!