Last episode M told Moneypenny to get him 007 and I cautioned you to hold on to your popcorn…
Because I don’t want you to make a mess!
As he says that, we smash cut to the Craig-Bond on a sailing yacht! Yes the “popcorn dropping” moment of Lashana Lynch walking in bold, black, beautiful and whatever other descriptors the media wanted to toss in was cut, if it ever existed in the first place. This isn’t the last time we’ll see the possible results from the re-shoots born out of a supposed failed test screening that occurred early 2020.
After he parks up his yacht next to his private dock, the Craig-Bond unloads his spear fishing gear and the day’s catch.
The elusive Jamaican Goldfish!
As he reaches the end of the pier he eyes a cigar stub on the edge of the wharf, this prompts the Craig-Bond to produce a pistol (from where I can’t imagine!), and search his home.
The hunt yields a second cigar stub, this time we get a close look at it with wrapper still intact, do you want to guess the brand of cigar? I’ll give you a hint:
They’re particularly hazardous to one’s health due to the volado tobacco, it’s slow burning, never goes out.
If you said anything other than Delectado, congratulations, you give EON way too much credit!
Finding this cheap ‘Member Berry inspires the Craig-Bond to remove his Sunspel™ shorts, take a shower and brush is teeth in his private waterfall. A scene shot at an even lower angle than the love scene in Matera, if you can’t see a few of Le Chiffre’s rope scars, you can definitely see Danny enjoys a Brazilian wax!
How can I get one of those for my display case?!
Sorry old boy, Craig’s birthday suit isn’t available at Tom Ford or Orlebar Brown!
There’s a theme at play in this film, where for the most part, the women are ensconced in layer upon layer of clothing and in Lashana Lynch’s case a tactical potato sack, while the Craig-Bond is striped bare in ways no Bond girl had been before. Sure the series is famous for scantily clad bikini babes, but I don’t ever recall seeing a Bond girl’s pubis on display before!
There’s a reason for all that!
After his rinse and burlesque show the Craig-Bond stashes the pistol he produced from thin air (or in this case thin shorts) into a drawer with some sort of high tech lock on it.
He hops into his vintage Land Rover™ and heads to town, spotting Lashana Lynch several times along the way before meeting up with old pal Felix Leiter. The Craig-Bond, Felix and another gent begin engaging in beery shenanigans, playing bar games and all around carousing. The third gent named Logan Ash, played by Billy Magnussen (36 years old and you haven’t graduated to William?) is a strange fellow,
he practically has “traitor”‘ stamped on his forehead yet through his Jack-o-lantern like toothy grin he lavishes an embarrassing amount of praise upon the Craig-Bond.
This guy “fanboys” so hard I think he has a byline at MI6-HQ!
It was all so reminiscent of the third John Wick film, where the antagonist has an unhealthy infatuation with the titular assassin and his deadly art.
You’re the coolest, loved you in the Matrix BTW!
Here’s the rub with this scene and one which follows shortly, you may have noticed I’ve been referring to Daniel Craig’s character as “the Craig-Bond” throughout my dissertations. That isn’t meant as a simple adolescent jibe.
Anyway, the main reason I do that is because the Daniel Craig era of Bond has been hermetically sealed off from the first 20 films/40 years of Bond history and thanks to this film it’s all very official. He has a beginning, a middle and now an end. At no time does his “Bond” intercede with the history of the other Bonds. Unlike the previous films, which were ironically stand alone adventures, we did get references to events like the death of Bond’s wife Tracy or the scene where Lazenby’s Bond clears out his desk and inspects items from the previous 5 Connery films, informing us he is supposed to be the same man. Thankfully we get no such tie in with the Craig-Bond, the closest they come is cheap winks, nods and homages to scenes from those earlier films.
Pictured: Unoriginal filmmaking
I bring all this up to point out The Craig-Bond didn’t do any of the death defying heroics portrayed in the first 20 films. In fact as I say in this article, of what we do see of the Craig-Bond he’s an absolute screw up! This is EON’s use of “short hand” in an effort at cheating the audience, trying to get you to think of Bond without actually having to put in the work to make Craig’s character “Bond.”
A perfect example of this is the introduction of Bro-feld in SPECTRE. When “Oberhauser” states he changed his name to Blofeld it’s done with a hollow, ominous effect to denote doom. However we must remember (ignoring Max Von Sydow in Never Say Never Again and the “Bald Man” seen in the pre-titles sequence of For Your Eye’s Only), Blofeld hadn’t been seen on screen in 45 years! There was no omnipresent overlord in the Craig films, no hint at someone called Blofeld pulling strings, his revelation that he is in fact Blofeld fell like a lead balloon for all the audience members who haven’t been following the series with rapt attention. Even my own mother who grew up with Bond asked “who’s Blofeld” when we were discussing the film!
Look, I’m under no delusions that any great number of people read my incoherent ramblings, but I write with the total neophyte in mind. That’s why I don’t use abbreviations for film titles, despite the fact every Bond forum on the net use them, or why I’ll write long hand about a scene or subject every fan should know, in an attempt to make this site accessible. However it appears EON Productions don’t have that problem!
At any rate, as the trio discuss what the CIA needs the Craig-Bond to do, Felix makes the remark “our elected leaders aren’t playing nice in the sand box.” Is that the reference to Trump Danny spoke of a year ago? Hardly worth the ruckus, not to mention thanks to the passage of time, it now makes his man Biden look bad!
Craig-Bond excuses himself from the table to get another drink, as he makes his way to the bar he brushes by Lynch.
“Aren’t you the gal from Captain Marvel?”
Felix follows behind imploring the Craig-Bond to assist in retrieving Dr. Borat whom they’ve identified in Cuba. Felix states something about “helping me return to my family and tell them I’ve saved the world again.” Uh oh, I hope nothing bad happens to good ol’ Felix later!
Felix further states, “the villains and hero’s have gotten all mixed up,” EON yet again stealing this line from Casino Royale and once more giving it to a character other than Bond who said it originally.
“Just some dusty old book to pillage for ideas” – EON Productions
The Craig-Bond refuses to help and departs the watering hole. Our man returns to his vehicle and discovers it won’t start, not surprising considering it’s a Land Rover. Just then Lynch pulls up on her scooter offering a ride. The Craig-Bond accepts, doing so in a way that infers he knows somethings up, at least he should. On the way back to his place Lynch states she’s a diver and has a “thing for old wrecks,” here we go with the self referential statements by the production that their product is “old hat.” Look EON if you can’t muster enough belief that your product is still fresh and relevant how the hell do you expect the audience to do so, calling out how old and creaky your series has become isn’t going to make the current film feel any more modern!
Look how newfangled we are you whippersnappers!
Once back at the Craig-Bond’s place he pours himself a drink at the cabinet he locked his gun in earlier and Lynch wanders off toward the bedroom. Here’s where things get disjointed and obvious reshoots have occurred. Once in the bedroom Lynch removes the wig she was wearing and sits on the bed, Craig mutters “not the first thing I thought you would take off.” I’m sorry, are we supposed to think he believed he was going to get lucky with this gal? Because all the way up to this scene you’ve been laying a breadcrumb trail that he was on to her shenanigans.
Spotting her along the road, on the streets of town, in the bar and finally showing up oh so conveniently when his truck broke down.
Once Lynch drops the terrible Jamaican accent she’s been affecting (isn’t this gal of Jamaican decent? I would think she could have done better.) the Craig-Bond suddenly gets wise with a tonal shift in the scene, suddenly he knows she’s not only from MI6, but also a double 0! The Craig-Bond pours himself yet another drink as she excoriates him over the “nice little bubble he’s built for himself.” It’s bizarre to me this negative talk of building a bubble, building bubbles is precisely what everyone does. Your home, your family, your job, your friends, hobbies everything in your life you placed there is part of your bubble, unless you’re a weirdo who surrounds yourself with things you don’t like.
“You mean like you do with this site!”
Anyway, she continues, stating; “Valdo Obruchev (Dr. Borat) is off limits, you get in my way I will put a bullet in your knee the one that works.” Here’s the smoking gun this was reshot, the dialog and delivery are totally different from the trailer that launched nearly two years ago, before the supposed poorly received test screening. The Craig-Bond says, “tell M hello and I don’t work for him anymore.” Lynch removes a giant cell phone (one of Nokia’s™ fine products no doubt) from her fanny pack heaves it at Craig retorting “tell him yourself.” Before adding “I’m not just any double 0 I’m 007!” The Craig-Bond responds, “it’s just a number,” as she smugly smirks at him.
Last I checked that was precisely what 007 was, just a number. There is no special connotation attached to it, it’s not the number assigned to the best or ranking double 0, it’s just one of any number of designators in the British Secret Service, it’s not even one of nine numbers, as a 0011 is mentioned in one of Fleming’s novels (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, I believe). So all the puffery is pointless, the only reason 007 has any notoriety to the audience is because it’s Bond’s number. She continues “you probably thought they’d retire it.” Yeah out of shame in this timeline! Again EON tries to feed at the trough of cinematic history borrowing from the films that came before in an attempt at creating a short cut in story telling, but as we discussed a few paragraphs ago, this “Bond” didn’t accomplish any of the daring do portrayed in the first 20 films, what he did do is fail in nearly every mission he undertook.
Smash cut to MI6 where M is asking Q if he’s had any luck retrieving data from Dr. Borat’s destroyed hard drive. What is it with EON and hard drives, wasn’t a hard drive the quickly forgotten MacGuffin from Skyfall? Anyway M comes off a bit shady when Q questions him about what’s on the hard drive, foreshadowing his involvement in the secret research, when a call from “007” comes in. M walks over to Aston Martin’s™ wind tunnel in order to
showcase their new hyper car, I mean get some privacy. Turns out it’s the Craig-Bond calling on Lynch’s massive phone, the Craig-Bond says, “I’ve met your new 007 she’s a disarming young woman” (emphasis Craig’s). You see, I believe there’s a deleted scene in which Lynch disarms the Craig-Bond before reading him the riot act about not getting in her way. This line delivered in the way Craig does, coupled with the Chekovian scene featuring him stashing his gun in the home bar where he has his first drink upon their arrival to his house, add to that the uncredulous behavior he was displaying before going to the bedroom with her and if there wasn’t a scene of him confronting her with that pistol it’s just bad film making!
Not to mention this still shot of Lynch still wearing the wig and if you look close she’s holding the Craig-Bond’s gun from earlier!
The Craig-Bond confronts M over Dr. Borat, further telegraphing to the audience M is in this deep, the Craig-Bond also mentions SPECTRE prompting M to hang up and say “get me Blofeld.” Tanner responds “he’ll only talk to his psychiatrist.” M says, “I know, I want the live feed.” Q turns on a video screen showing Bro in his cell alone muttering to himself like Hoffman in Rain Man. Tanner states, “he’s like this everyday, mad as a bag of bees.” Bro can be heard saying something about a “party” and how he wants “the boy to hear me, he’ll be so surprised.”
“Yeah, def-definitely surprised yeah.”
Back to the Craig-Bond forlornly peering out from his private pier before dialing up Felix and telling him “I’m in.” Felix giggles then says, “there’s a young lady in Santiago I want you to meet.”
And that is where we leave it this time folks, pick back up with me again in our next installment: The Cuban Miscue Crisis.