James Bond Films: #22: Diamonds Are Forever

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     How could this have happened? A Sean Connery Bond film at this low on the list? Yeah, well it’s happened. This wasn’t an easy decision to come to, but in the scope of Connery’s time as Bond, this is pretty shitty. A lot of people think the campiness that Bond devolved to came about in the Roger Moore era, well the producers decided to get a jump start on that fucker.
     After the tragic events of the previous film, Bond is on a rampage! For the first 5 minutes. After that, it becomes a standard diamond smuggling flick. It leads Bond to Las Vegas with another smuggler named Tiffany Case (Jill St. John) and then comes across archenemy Blofeld (Charles Gray) who plans to use diamonds to power a laser. Yes, a frigging laser beam. At least it’s not on a shark.
     The campy tone is what not only sinks the film, but dates it pretty fucking bad. The jokes seem straight out of the Batman TV series. I’m not talking the Bond puns, but Mr. Wint, and Mr. Kidd, two assassins, that are pretty much gay. Oh, the film doesn’t say that they are, but they do like to hold hands and skip away after killing a man with a scorpion. I like to watch this scene and wonder, “Oh, how the times have changed.” It’s not even necessary, it’s put there for an awkward laugh. And shit is it awkward, especially in the times we’re living in.
     The handling of Blofeld in this picture is fucking bullshit. As I will get into in a later review, but the last film ended pretty fucked up. Do we get a fascinating follow up on the psyche of Bond after suffering a traumatizing event? Pfft, no, he was boozing it up, knee deep in women by brunch. I love the fact that apparently they don’t even try to give a shit about continuity as Blofeld doesn’t even resemble his previous portrayals. This is a character that had been set up for 4 films now, and they reduced him to some megalomaniac instead of the man who would be Bond’s foil.
     The greatest offense in the film I lay squarely at the feet of Sean Connery himself. If you want a course on how to phone in a performance, then this is the picture for you. It’s a damn near modern art masterpiece in not giving a fuck. Have you ever seen the look in an actor’s eye when they’re itching to cash a paycheck? I have. I understand that many of you will feel that a phoned in Connery performance is way better than a Roger Moore performance, and I have to disagree for 2 reasons:
     1. Moore is at least trying.
     2. I know how good Connery  
         can be, and anything less I
         won’t stand for.
     The film can be entertaining for all the wrong reasons, and that’s a fine way of looking at it. I disappointed me was the fact that this could have been a great Bond film dealing with loss, but instead it’s just generic. The second I knew something was wrong was that Connery looked like he aged about 10 years in the span of four. I know you didn’t care Mr.  Connery, but holy fuck!

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