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Topic: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

I have come to feel like the Brosnan Era, while on the surface updating Bond for the 1990s, is kind of akin to an older music artist changing his look for a new era and tour while playing all of his old favorites. Brosnan is too slick, too perfect, too bland as Bond - He's basically "The Ideal Bond"; the films have a very "by the numbers" sort of feel to them - like they're a compilation of Bond's greatest hits, or perhaps better put, like a compilation of what every Baby Boomer/Gen Xer expects Bond to be. The Brosnan era offers little new, it plays it rather safe all things considered. His films don't really offer anything truly memorable or truly apart from previous offerings. His films just feel like the best bits of Connery's, Moore's, and Dalton's cobbled together, with Brosnan having Lazenby's pretty boy face.

Perhaps I'm not articulating it the best I can, but does anyone agree with my overall sentiment?

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

I would agree on your assessment and definitely regard everything you said as a big plus for the franchise.

What we got since 2006 is definitely not up to the standards we had from 1962 to 2002.

Brosnan is the best of Connery, Dalton, Lazenby and Moore. But he has owned the role completely, from the get-go to his last scene in DAD. So he has brought something "new" to the franchise. He was the perfect Bond for the nineties and early 00s.

Craig just tries to evoke Connery on every corner and fails most of the times. I wish we would get someone like Brosnan again for the next era.

Dalton Rulez™

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

^ I'm in agreement with Jason based on what it did for the franchise. I also think that the blandness of 90s pop-culture and brit-pop revival played into the whole "Bond is back" element that worked in Brosnan's films. "Bond being back" and giving the audience what they wanted would've been assisted by the 6 year break and failed Dalton experiment too.

Many of my friends (late 20s) regard Brosnan's films as the best and largely don't care or are unaware of the Bonds that came before it. I believe that for a certain age group, Brosnan's film's themselves are rated highly because of their own nostalgia.

1. TWINE  2. FYEO  3. MR  4. TLD  5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS  7. DN  8. OP  9. AVTAK  10. TMWTGG  11. QoS 12. GE  13. CR  14. TB  15. FRWL  16. LTK  17. GF  18. SF  19. LaLD  20. YOLT  21. TND  22. DAD  23. DAF.

"Family motto."

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

I feel the Brosnan era embraced the Bond franchise and truly attempted to get the series back to what audiences loved in the early films. Although certain elements ("shaken, not stirred") may have been worked in to the films just for the sake of them being present, and at times did seem a bit forced, the series really did seem back on track in the mid-nineties. The feeling was that Brosnan and GoldenEye had firmly secured Bond's future after the long hiatus.
In addition we were treated to a new Brosnan film every two years just as Cubby had always promised, and each film was highly successful. A lot of the success was due, IMO to nostalgia as many of the audiences were still old enough to have seen Sean as well as Roger in the cinemas. I thought it was a great time in the series' history and I wish we could get that feeling again.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

heartbroken_mr_drax wrote:

^ I'm in agreement with Jason based on what it did for the franchise. I also think that the blandness of 90s pop-culture and brit-pop revival played into the whole "Bond is back" element that worked in Brosnan's films. "Bond being back" and giving the audience what they wanted would've been assisted by the 6 year break and failed Dalton experiment too.

Many of my friends (late 20s) regard Brosnan's films as the best and largely don't care or are unaware of the Bonds that came before it. I believe that for a certain age group, Brosnan's film's themselves are rated highly because of their own nostalgia.

I'm not a Dalton fan really but isn't the characterization of his era as a "failed experiment" a bit of revisionism? While they weren't the insanely huge box office smashes that Connery's films were, they weren't flops at the box office either. I mean, the last film that did within the Top 10 in America was Octopussy, six years and two sequels before.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Doctor Who wrote:

I have come to feel like the Brosnan Era, while on the surface updating Bond for the 1990s, is kind of akin to an older music artist changing his look for a new era and tour while playing all of his old favorites. Brosnan is too slick, too perfect, too bland as Bond - He's basically "The Ideal Bond"; the films have a very "by the numbers" sort of feel to them - like they're a compilation of Bond's greatest hits, or perhaps better put, like a compilation of what every Baby Boomer/Gen Xer expects Bond to be. The Brosnan era offers little new, it plays it rather safe all things considered. His films don't really offer anything truly memorable or truly apart from previous offerings. His films just feel like the best bits of Connery's, Moore's, and Dalton's cobbled together, with Brosnan having Lazenby's pretty boy face.

Perhaps I'm not articulating it the best I can, but does anyone agree with my overall sentiment?

This is pretty much how I felt during that period, though I'd say I wouldn't go so far as to say "the best bits" or "The Ideal Bond."  I'd use the phrases "the obvious bits" and "the cliche Bond."  Films of the 1990s are in general rather safe and predictable.

To me, there's a paint-by-numbers approach in Brosnan's films that might have worked with better actors and directors.  The template is there.  But as I've written before, Brosnan tried to imbue his Bond with too much baggage, even as he looks like a fashion model pretending to be Bond, and it didn't work as well as if he'd just been the lighter, Moore-like Bond he was born to play.  The films could've been fun while capitalizing on his strengths.  Instead, they're rather thin while at the same time not buoyed by particularly memorable performances.  Tonally, with the exception of Tomorrow Never Dies, they feel off.  That film, though, suffers from a weak villain.

Craig made the character interesting again.  His physical presence and unpredictability -- especially in Casino Royale -- put the focus back on Bond, the character, rather than Bond, the stereotype.  I've written a fair amount criticizing Brosnan and the era, but I actually was pulling for him as Bond.  I was interested when he was announced in the 1980s to be taking over the role, especially after I'd said to my parents while watching Remington Steele that he should play Bond.  But they goofed it up.  If  you want to see how he should have played Bond, watch The Thomas Crown Affair remake.  Imagine that characterization with a little more humor.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Gassy Man wrote:
Doctor Who wrote:

I have come to feel like the Brosnan Era, while on the surface updating Bond for the 1990s, is kind of akin to an older music artist changing his look for a new era and tour while playing all of his old favorites. Brosnan is too slick, too perfect, too bland as Bond - He's basically "The Ideal Bond"; the films have a very "by the numbers" sort of feel to them - like they're a compilation of Bond's greatest hits, or perhaps better put, like a compilation of what every Baby Boomer/Gen Xer expects Bond to be. The Brosnan era offers little new, it plays it rather safe all things considered. His films don't really offer anything truly memorable or truly apart from previous offerings. His films just feel like the best bits of Connery's, Moore's, and Dalton's cobbled together, with Brosnan having Lazenby's pretty boy face.

Perhaps I'm not articulating it the best I can, but does anyone agree with my overall sentiment?

This is pretty much how I felt during that period, though I'd say I wouldn't go so far as to say "the best bits" or "The Ideal Bond."  I'd use the phrases "the obvious bits" and "the cliche Bond."  Films of the 1990s are in general rather safe and predictable.

To me, there's a paint-by-numbers approach in Brosnan's films that might have worked with better actors and directors.  The template is there.  But as I've written before, Brosnan tried to imbue his Bond with too much baggage, even as he looks like a fashion model pretending to be Bond, and it didn't work as well as if he'd just been the lighter, Moore-like Bond he was born to play.  The films could've been fun while capitalizing on his strengths.  Instead, they're rather thin while at the same time not buoyed by particularly memorable performances.  Tonally, with the exception of Tomorrow Never Dies, they feel off.  That film, though, suffers from a weak villain.

Craig made the character interesting again.  His physical presence and unpredictability -- especially in Casino Royale -- put the focus back on Bond, the character, rather than Bond, the stereotype.  I've written a fair amount criticizing Brosnan and the era, but I actually was pulling for him as Bond.  I was interested when he was announced in the 1980s to be taking over the role, especially after I'd said to my parents while watching Remington Steele that he should play Bond.  But they goofed it up.  If  you want to see how he should have played Bond, watch The Thomas Crown Affair remake.  Imagine that characterization with a little more humor.

Better worded than me, kudos.

I also agree 100% on Brosnan. He just seems to play Bond as you expect Bond to be. He comes off an empty vessel/avatar rather than a fleshed out character. There's no "Brosnan Bond", he's just playing "Bond" the archetype. All the right beats are hit, certaintly, but nothing stands out as him making the role his own. He comes off rather wooden, actually. Connery is catlike, a little, cold, calculated, persistent, and chafes at authority. He comes off much more fiery than any of his successors. Moore is aristocratic, campy, "wink and a nod" at the audience every step of the way, and underneath that campy, charming British exterior is pure sociopath who is actually really jaded underneath it all. Lazenby honestly feels like a younger Bond - a Bond less hardened by experience, charming, boyish, and inquisitive. He would've worked perfectly in a prequel as a younger version of Connery's character. Dalton is brooding, hates his job, but does it better than anyone else. Craig is basically Connery's version with more character development. Brosnan is just a blank slate.

I always found TND a bore, to be honest. I don't really like any of Brosnan's films. They all fall flat in some way. The third act of GE is a snooze, a let down from the promise of the first half, and the overall plot feels like a retread of YOLT or DAF (I mean, the villain's plot). TND has an interesting plot, but as you said, a boring villain and it doesn't really live up to the potential of the plot. TWINE always felt to me like a dark detective film with Bond and a stupid actress in it, very bland. DAD is basically the worst of Moore, with Brosnan still playing it as bland as can be.

Brosnan I feel should never have been chosen. He's like Harrison Ford. Every role I have seen Brosnan in he just feels like Pierce Brosnan playing so and so. He's more of a movie star than an actor.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

I guess I am of a largely ambivalent opinion that Brosnan and his films suited the time and what the audiences wanted. Sure it wasn't ground breaking, but many blockbuster films of the 90s weren't - it was an era of CGI, obvious and accepted pop-culture and rehashes of the past. To me this makes the Brosnan Bonds exactly what was asked for and what was required.

My earlier comment about the "Dalton failed experiment" is probably unfair to just label on Dalton, and is actually the change beginning with FYEO until LTK. As you pointed out Dr Who the problem got worse through the 80s of the growing decline in the United States' box office rankings. This changed with Brosnan and all of his films were successful - GE/DAD in particular. I don't disagree that GE, TND and DAD have their problems, and I can understand why people don't like TWINE - but it's my favourite Bond - mostly because of Brosnan's excellent performance.

Last edited by heartbroken_mr_drax (12th Aug 2017 23:52)

1. TWINE  2. FYEO  3. MR  4. TLD  5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS  7. DN  8. OP  9. AVTAK  10. TMWTGG  11. QoS 12. GE  13. CR  14. TB  15. FRWL  16. LTK  17. GF  18. SF  19. LaLD  20. YOLT  21. TND  22. DAD  23. DAF.

"Family motto."

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Doctor Who wrote:

TWINE always felt to me like a dark detective film with Bond and a stupid actress in it, very bland. DAD is basically the worst of Moore, with Brosnan still playing it as bland as can be.

Brosnan I feel should never have been chosen.

I couldn't disagree more. I didn't find Sophie Marceau stupid or the film bland; Brosnan is one of the best things about DAD (I grant that there are many faults, but he isn't one of them); and of course he should have been chosen.

11 songs done for next CD- one being discarded- now the mixing & mastering begins.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

I can't see how Craig made Bond "interesting again" when all he did was trying to be Connery.

If anything then the writers made the character into a drama soap opera style one which is not what I want as Bond.

For a new era I can only hope they'll go back to what worked so well from 1962 to 2002. Reliability was one, if not, the biggest asset of Bond to the fans. Now it's unreliability galore.

Brosnan has given us four highly entertaining action spy films. His performance is impeccable from start to finish and very even, especially compared to Craig who seems to play four different Bonds in four films. At least he got one proper Bond film now with SPECTRE. And CR for what it is, is a very good film, but Brosnan is already up there with Sir Rog in terms of classic Bond entertainment. Craig never will be. He'll always be the odd one, the experiment that failed overall. Not in terms of BO of course, but commercial success is not what counts in the end when one re-visits old films.

Dalton Rulez™

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Doctor Who wrote:

Better worded than me, kudos.

I also agree 100% on Brosnan. He just seems to play Bond as you expect Bond to be. He comes off an empty vessel/avatar rather than a fleshed out character. There's no "Brosnan Bond", he's just playing "Bond" the archetype. All the right beats are hit, certaintly, but nothing stands out as him making the role his own. He comes off rather wooden, actually. Connery is catlike, a little, cold, calculated, persistent, and chafes at authority. He comes off much more fiery than any of his successors. Moore is aristocratic, campy, "wink and a nod" at the audience every step of the way, and underneath that campy, charming British exterior is pure sociopath who is actually really jaded underneath it all. Lazenby honestly feels like a younger Bond - a Bond less hardened by experience, charming, boyish, and inquisitive. He would've worked perfectly in a prequel as a younger version of Connery's character. Dalton is brooding, hates his job, but does it better than anyone else. Craig is basically Connery's version with more character development. Brosnan is just a blank slate.

I always found TND a bore, to be honest. I don't really like any of Brosnan's films. They all fall flat in some way. The third act of GE is a snooze, a let down from the promise of the first half, and the overall plot feels like a retread of YOLT or DAF (I mean, the villain's plot). TND has an interesting plot, but as you said, a boring villain and it doesn't really live up to the potential of the plot. TWINE always felt to me like a dark detective film with Bond and a stupid actress in it, very bland. DAD is basically the worst of Moore, with Brosnan still playing it as bland as can be.

Brosnan I feel should never have been chosen. He's like Harrison Ford. Every role I have seen Brosnan in he just feels like Pierce Brosnan playing so and so. He's more of a movie star than an actor.

Excellent post, and I agree that all of Brosnan's Bonds were overall disappointing, especially the third acts.  Craig's last few haven't been significantly better in this regard, but at least the acting is better. 

I've written for years that Goldeneye is overrated, with the production values of a made-for-cable movie.   Tomorrow Never Dies steps it up a bit.  There's a vibe that is more like a Bond film than any of Brosnan's others.  It's a good looking movie -- cars, clothes, cinematography, and locations.  The soundtrack is good.  There are some inspired action sequences, like the parking lot bit.  But like all of the Brosnan Bonds, the villain is weak and the climax seems pretty by the numbers.  Each of his films brings up interesting ideas -- a renegade 00; a villain who can't feel pain -- and then does almost nothing with it.  This would be like a Sherlock Holmes movie saying that Moriarty is the greatest criminal genius in England and then having Holmes do battle with his henchman conventionally throughout the film and reducing the climax to a boxing match. 

Your characterization of Brosnan playing a Bond archetype speaks volumes to what's bothered me all the years by his portrayal.  I just realized that what I've actually been asking for is for him to own the role in some personal way.  The whole thing about him bringing smooth humor to the role would  have done that.  But by working against his strengths and trying to make Bond something else was just muddle and mostly unconvincing.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

I think that the first half of DAD has some of Brosnan's best work in the role...and then of course the wheels fly off in the second half  ajb007/crap  Overall, Brosnan was important to the franchise, in that he kept it going - to varying degrees of success, depending on the picture - and I'm of the opinion that he had some fine moments as Bond.

Personally, I've never felt that Craig was trying to be Connery  ajb007/confused  His interpretation, IMHO, is very much his own.

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"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

BondJasonBond006 wrote:

I can't see how Craig made Bond "interesting again" when all he did was trying to be Connery.

If anything then the writers made the character into a drama soap opera style one which is not what I want as Bond.

For a new era I can only hope they'll go back to what worked so well from 1962 to 2002. Reliability was one, if not, the biggest asset of Bond to the fans. Now it's unreliability galore.

Brosnan has given us four highly entertaining action spy films. His performance is impeccable from start to finish and very even, especially compared to Craig who seems to play four different Bonds in four films. At least he got one proper Bond film now with SPECTRE. And CR for what it is, is a very good film, but Brosnan is already up there with Sir Rog in terms of classic Bond entertainment. Craig never will be. He'll always be the odd one, the experiment that failed overall. Not in terms of BO of course, but commercial success is not what counts in the end when one re-visits old films.

Craig evoked a lot of Connery's mojo, for sure, but without the range and depth.  There's more going on with Connery's face in five minutes of screen time than an entire Craig film.  But he gave Bond an energy and physicality again that we hadn't seen since Connery's departure.  He's utterly believable in the role.  In his debut, he gave Bond unpredictability again that suddenly made watching the character a new experience, unlike Brosnan who mostly capitalized on his looks to pretend to be Bond in predictable ways.  The latter may be taller or whatever, but I'd need no convincing that Craig could walk into a bar, be outnumbered, and either fight his way out or intimidate the others into backing down.  With Brosnan, if he couldn't charm them, I'd expect he'd be looking for the side door out.

After Casino Royale, I'd agree the writing has not been remarkable.  Quantum of Solace was a fragmented disappointment and Skyfall was just pretty stupid all around.  I actually liked Spectre, more than most people.  But I'd say that Craig's performances in each still outdid anything in the Brosnan era.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Loeffelholz wrote:

I think that the first half of DAD has some of Brosnan's best work in the role...and then of course the wheels fly off in the second half  ajb007/crap  Overall, Brosnan was important to the franchise, in that he kept it going - to varying degrees of success, depending on the picture - and I'm of the opinion that he had some fine moments as Bond.

Personally, I've never felt that Craig was trying to be Connery  ajb007/confused  His interpretation, IMHO, is very much his own.

You know, Brosnan is pretty solid in that first half.  He seems more relaxed, even with the various escapades.  Craig's physicality and walk are what most remind me of Connery.  His acting approach is quite different -- far more limited in the emotions he expresses.  He goes for depth, not breadth, in expressing.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Gassy Man wrote:

Craig evoked a lot of Connery's mojo, for sure, but without the range and depth.  There's more going on with Connery's face in five minutes of screen time than an entire Craig film.  But he gave Bond an energy and physicality again that we hadn't seen since Connery's departure.  He's utterly believable in the role.  In his debut, he gave Bond unpredictability again that suddenly made watching the character a new experience, unlike Brosnan who mostly capitalized on his looks to pretend to be Bond in predictable ways.  The latter may be taller or whatever, but I'd need no convincing that Craig could walk into a bar, be outnumbered, and either fight his way out or intimidate the others into backing down.  With Brosnan, if he couldn't charm them, I'd expect he'd be looking for the side door out.

Pretty much this. I don't care much for Craig's films, but he, along with Connery and the others to varying degrees, are the only ones who are believable as killers. Brosnan has the debonair, classy playboy aspect of Bond down pat; That for me is why people so wanted him to play Bond. He's got the look. I'd argue he looks the most akin to what Fleming envisioned as Bond out of all the actors. But, he couldn't sell me as being a tough guy. His presence lacked any sort of menace to it.

Connery, and Craig, were/are tanks. I can easily buy either of them in a fight scene. Connery's facial expressions make real the coldness he exhibits when killing. Craig is basically Connery on steroids in that respect. Even Moore had the bulk, and the brutal coldness about him, to be believable as a coldhearted killer. I can buy Brosnan as a tortured private detective, or a tortured playboy. I can't buy him as an assassin. This is a problem Lazenby, I feel, also suffered from. Brosnan may be taller, but he's compact. He's not a brute. If Connery and Craig are Panzer Tanks, Brosnan is a Porsche.

To use a (perhaps bad) analogy, a good Bond actor needs to be equal parts Bruce Wayne and equal parts Batman. I can buy Brosnan as Bruce Wayne. I can't buy him as Batman.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

The Bruce Wayne/Batman comparison is quite clever actually. But Bond doesn't need to be Batman. There is no dual personality.

Craig is physical. That's all. There he exceeds even Connery and Lazenby. But that's not enough. As said above Craig's facial expression and acting range is covered in five minutes of Connery in any of the first four films.

Brosnan was very believable as killer and being dangerous, also he had, if way too few, gritty fights. Just watch the lengthy battle with Alec on the satellite dish and tell me Brosnan is in any way less of a menace and able to kick ass than Craig.

Craig just looked better being exhausted, bloodied and running and sweating because he is that type. But again, that is not Bond, not for me. That's just any common action figure.

I may sound hard on Craig. I actually do like him as Bond, just not as much as the others. But when we do comparisons then I'm hard on Craig because he just lacks too much of what cinematic (and even literary) Bond must be.

It could have all been much better if they hadn't tried to make Craig into Connery2, it is too obvious in many instances and never works. Worst is Skyfall of course, the DB5 scenes are simply a parody and laughable.

At least they got the DB5 scene right in SPECTRE, as Lazenby copy Craig works much better.

I get though why Brosnan doesn't do it for some. With six actors there's something for everyone luckily, and some have a problem with one actor, that can be Dalton, Lazenby, Brosnan or Craig.
Never heard of it with Moore of Connery though. That as well says something about the quality of Sir Rog and Sean.

The Nostalgia Tour with Brosnan is much more fun and re-watchable than the one with Craig (in the future when it can be called nostalgia).

I wish Craig's four were anywhere as even and re-watchable as Brosnan's.

Dalton Rulez™

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Enjoying the Brosnan love. I hope we get a similar portrayal for Bond#7.
ajb007/martini

1. GE 2. CR 3. LTK 4. TLD 5. TB 6. FRWL 7. DN 8. GF 9. OHMSS 10. QOS 11. TND 12. FYEO 13. TSWLM 14. OP 15. TWINE 16. DAD 17. DAF 18. SF 19. MR 20. YOLT 21. AVTAK 22. LALD 23. TMWTGG 24. SP

1. Connery 2. Moore 3. Dalton 4. Brosnan 5. Craig 6. Lazenby

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Doctor Who wrote:
Gassy Man wrote:

Craig evoked a lot of Connery's mojo, for sure, but without the range and depth.  There's more going on with Connery's face in five minutes of screen time than an entire Craig film.  But he gave Bond an energy and physicality again that we hadn't seen since Connery's departure.  He's utterly believable in the role.  In his debut, he gave Bond unpredictability again that suddenly made watching the character a new experience, unlike Brosnan who mostly capitalized on his looks to pretend to be Bond in predictable ways.  The latter may be taller or whatever, but I'd need no convincing that Craig could walk into a bar, be outnumbered, and either fight his way out or intimidate the others into backing down.  With Brosnan, if he couldn't charm them, I'd expect he'd be looking for the side door out.

Pretty much this. I don't care much for Craig's films, but he, along with Connery and the others to varying degrees, are the only ones who are believable as killers. Brosnan has the debonair, classy playboy aspect of Bond down pat; That for me is why people so wanted him to play Bond. He's got the look. I'd argue he looks the most akin to what Fleming envisioned as Bond out of all the actors. But, he couldn't sell me as being a tough guy. His presence lacked any sort of menace to it.

Connery, and Craig, were/are tanks. I can easily buy either of them in a fight scene. Connery's facial expressions make real the coldness he exhibits when killing. Craig is basically Connery on steroids in that respect. Even Moore had the bulk, and the brutal coldness about him, to be believable as a coldhearted killer. I can buy Brosnan as a tortured private detective, or a tortured playboy. I can't buy him as an assassin. This is a problem Lazenby, I feel, also suffered from. Brosnan may be taller, but he's compact. He's not a brute. If Connery and Craig are Panzer Tanks, Brosnan is a Porsche.

To use a (perhaps bad) analogy, a good Bond actor needs to be equal parts Bruce Wayne and equal parts Batman. I can buy Brosnan as Bruce Wayne. I can't buy him as Batman.

Agreed, but I can't buy Craig as Bruce Wayne.  I see him as Red Grant more than anything.

I don't have any friends

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

I agree for the most part when Brosnan's Bond is described as the "best hits" Bond, as in channeled facets of the other Bonds without creating one of his own. But to me Brosnan will always be the "suave" Bond, no one else did that better then him.

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

yes the Brosnan films quite conspicuously revisit the most classic elements of Connery's films and midperiod Moore
the opening of Goldeneye literally jumps straight into it, with an aerial stunt even more preposterous than Moonraker, followed by the proper introduction to the new actor involving a Mediterranean casino and roadracing a sexy redhead around some switchbacks. We've seen both those scenes before, numerous times. Then it all gets a bit Thunderball.
The World is Not Enough is the only one of the four that does not repeat large elements of earlier films. I remember at the time not only being surprised by the plot twists, but being surprised that I was surprised by something in one of Brosnan's Bond films.

I think these films were the first ones made entirely by the Broccoli kids, without any of the old team (no Barry, no Adam, no Maibaum, none of the old directors). Wikipedia says Cubby was still alive for Goldeneye, anybody know how involved he was?
because what I see is: during the 80s, Cubby and his team were still interested in evolving the series, making it more realistic and a bit darker. Once his kids take over, they try very hard to remake the most popular of their dad's earlier films. Then a decade later they throw it all out and change course completely with Craig.


That said there are interesting plot ideas buried deeply beneath the finished product. ...World... may be the one where the interesting ideas actually made it through all the rewrites.

But think about the story of Paris Carver: M assigns the job to Bond because she knows he had a previous relationship with the villains wife. As soon as Bond re-enters her life Paris is doomed, whether she betrays her husband or not. The villain is cold and pragmatic and will kill his own wife just as a precaution, so Bond agreeing to take the mission dooms her from the start. Paris literally has no choice and knows what will happen to her as soon as she recognises Bond at the party. That's a very interesting story, on paper, very different than any of the sex-without-consequences from the classic films. Yet thanks to Hatchers acting, the rewrites, the direction, the editing, only the barest indication of that plot thread actually makes it to the screen. whoops, Bondgirl#1 is dead, now lets get on with the big BMW chase you really paid to see.


I think all four films had good, new ideas at the beginning and three of them lost track of anything original thanks to repeated committee rewrites, with the goal of making the finished product look more like popular expectations of a classic Bond film.

Because each has a different director, its hard to generalise, but I think Brosnan plays it a bit different in each film. In DAD he seems as if he is smugly strutting through the ritual set-pieces of a Bond formula. Like when he first spots Jinx, he already knows this is the part of the story where the lead Bond girl will appear.
But I don't think he generally plays it like Moore did. I actually think his take follows the darkening of the character Dalton brought. He smiles very little, he broods, he's embittered and argues with M several times, and we can see the tragic consequences of some of the choices he has to make and he's not 100% at peace with them.

Last edited by caractacus potts (13th Aug 2017 17:57)

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Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

caractacus nails it from the get go.
Good ideas, poor execution.
That's the problem with the Brosnan-era.
Problem is, I don't have any problems with Eye or Tomorrow (except of course for the snooze-fest of a final act and Hatcher's acting).
The real trouble begins with TWINE. A film bursting with many original ideas that tragically seem...bland upon refection.
It has (almost) everything going for it, an interesting plot, a solid villain (or should I say villainess) but it is let down by the cast and direction. The re-writes must've also had a large play in it too, ones wife (can't exactly pinpoint whose) basically got the script and did some pretty major re-writes.
Brosnan in the role never felt to me that he got the hang of it by TWINE as some claim. Even if I'm not the biggest fan of his portrayal, one can't deny that he didn't own the role from the opening shot of GoldenEye. The gun-barrel walk, entering the casino etc. He oozed confidence, as Bond should be.
In TWINE, he is given plenty of material to work with as an actor and it's definitely up there, on screen. Apart from the pre title sequence with the Swiss banker that seemed like a very good actor and the interaction with Penny/M, he carries the film.

"...I have the oddest feeling we will be meeting again sometime..."
-Roger Moore's James Bond. RIP.
I have a YouTube channel on all things Bond (amongst other things, coming soon™).
The name's Beyond, Bond and Beyond

22

Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Brosnan deserves credit for being a successful Bond on the 90's. He had a couple of good films but two largely disappointing ones. My main gripe with Brosnan is that I don't feel he brougt anything new to the table. He was a mix of Moore & Connery. That makes him a very good Bond but not a standout one. He fitted into the role well and physically I rate him a better fighter than Moore & Connery. But Dalton & Craig are far more interesting in the role than him. Even Lazenby brought a human side to the character previously unseen at that point. I don't think you can name anything new that Pierce demonstrated. He was just a good mix of previous Bonds (Moore & Connery) in particular but never had the intensity or brooding quality that Dalton & Craig have. I think Pierce reflects on his Bond as not that great. He probably realises that Craig in his films has taken Bond to a whole new level.

23

Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Dirty Punker wrote:

caractacus nails it from the get go.
Good ideas, poor execution.
That's the problem with the Brosnan-era.
Problem is, I don't have any problems with Eye or Tomorrow (except of course for the snooze-fest of a final act and Hatcher's acting).
The real trouble begins with TWINE. A film bursting with many original ideas that tragically seem...bland upon refection.
It has (almost) everything going for it, an interesting plot, a solid villain (or should I say villainess) but it is let down by the cast and direction. The re-writes must've also had a large play in it too, ones wife (can't exactly pinpoint whose) basically got the script and did some pretty major re-writes.
Brosnan in the role never felt to me that he got the hang of it by TWINE as some claim. Even if I'm not the biggest fan of his portrayal, one can't deny that he didn't own the role from the opening shot of GoldenEye. The gun-barrel walk, entering the casino etc. He oozed confidence, as Bond should be.
In TWINE, he is given plenty of material to work with as an actor and it's definitely up there, on screen. Apart from the pre title sequence with the Swiss banker that seemed like a very good actor and the interaction with Penny/M, he carries the film.

I absolutely agree with you on TWINE. It has such great ideas, some of which Skyfall borrowed, but the end result is mostly bland which is unfortunate. Had it been in more capable hands it might've capitalized more on its potential.

24

Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Andy007 wrote:

Brosnan deserves credit for being a successful Bond on the 90's. He had a couple of good films but two largely disappointing ones. My main gripe with Brosnan is that I don't feel he brougt anything new to the table. He was a mix of Moore & Connery. That makes him a very good Bond but not a standout one. He fitted into the role well and physically I rate him a better fighter than Moore & Connery. But Dalton & Craig are far more interesting in the role than him. Even Lazenby brought a human side to the character previously unseen at that point. I don't think you can name anything new that Pierce demonstrated. He was just a good mix of previous Bonds (Moore & Connery) in particular but never had the intensity or brooding quality that Dalton & Craig have. I think Pierce reflects on his Bond as not that great. He probably realises that Craig in his films has taken Bond to a whole new level.

I am inclined to agree that Dalton was a better Bond than Brosnan, although the comparison is not easy or fair to make given that Dalton only had two movies, only the first of which had a great script. But if Craig's Bond "brought something new to the table" then I'm not sure it's something good at all. What he brought is a backstory. While the literary Bond always had a backstory, it was blurry, distant and incomplete. Craig's Bond brought it to the screen but also overdid it at the same time when it just copied Austin Powers.

25

Re: The Brosnan Era: A Nostalgia Tour?

Like a football team can only play the team it faces, so Brosnan could only appear in the movies offered, and they could only pick the best man for the job at that time.

He was a stabilising force but his films were well hyped not well written.

Yes, in retrospect he was a greatest hits Bond. It worked at the time. He didn't break the mold, but Moore and Craig did, being unlike anything that had gone before.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017