« "I Don't Care About Holding People" | Main | Orin Kerr on the Case Against Libby »

Stupidity That Might Have Been

Casino Royale was one of my two favorite movies from 2006 (the other being Stranger than Fiction).

(As for the other obvious candidates, United 93 was excellent, but too devastating to think about watching again; Borat was hilarious in places, but so uncomfortable to watch that I actually had to pause the DVD for a few minutes at one point; The Queen was great, but not in my top two or three; An Inconvenient Truth was important and well-made, but not something I see myself watching more than a couple of times; and I haven't yet seen Pan's Labyrinth or Letters from Iwo Jima.)

A couple of months after watching Casino Royale, I watched GoldenEye with a friend. It was well-reviewed when it came out, and I had good memories of it. But watching it, I realized that Casino Royale had ruined many of the old Bond movies for me -- at least the Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan films. The groan-inducing double-entendres; the ridiculously implausible stunt sequences; the moronic, exposition-loving supervillains -- it was just all too much. (I'm planning on watching one of the classic Sean Connery films soon to see if they, too, have been ruined; I'm mildly optimistic that they might still stand up as cultural signposts of an earlier time.)

Interestingly, I've talked with person after person who has said the same thing: after seeing Casino Royale, the old Bond movies were unwatchable. It seems to be a nearly universal reaction.

With all this in mind, I saw a story recently on a planned-but-never-made Sean Connery Bond film from the late 1970s, Warhead:

It is the most ambitious and action-packed James Bond movie ever. Sean Connery returns as 007, battles a robot shark in the New York sewers, water-skis the Hudson River, and parachutes on to the top of the Statue of Liberty -- reports The Scotsman.

Sadly, however, it was never filmed and exists today in a few recently unearthed sketches and photographs. Warhead never made it in front of the cameras, let alone on to the big screen...

["Author and Bond fan"] Sellers could hardly contain his excitement as he leafed through pages telling a dramatic story in which the mysterious disappearance of planes in the Bermuda Triangle is the work of the criminal organisation SPECTRE.

They are intent on causing havoc by exploding a nuclear warhead under Wall Street, delivered by a robotic hammerhead shark via the city's sewers. 007 not only has to battle mechanical sharks, but also a massive villain called Bomba.

"You had an underwater base that rises out of the sea, you had helicopter attacks on the Statue of Liberty," said Sellers.

"It would have been the most extravagant Bond film ever."

Of course, when you're a villain, you should be named "Bomba". And when you want to explode a nuclear warhead under Manhattan, what better way to deliver it than via a robotic mechanical shark?

To the makers of Casino Royale, thank you for delivering us from this kind of stupidity.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment