Kanuck wrote:I can see how opening with the boat sequence might have put you off after seeing it otherwise, but I feel like it helped ease into a movie that could be a bit hard to follow at times.
I can see that. It all boils down to preference.
I do like the non-traditional romance story, however. It wasn't at all what I expected, it worked quite well to drive parts of the story along.
This is among the elements that play well on repeat viewings. There's a real sense of melancholy and fatalism to these scenes. I love Gong Li's final shot in the movie on the boat, looking back over her shoulder with the wind blowing her hair back. Beautiful.
I still prefer Collateral. Of course, I've also watched it several times, and obviously they're two fundamentally different movies; Miami Vice has a ton of characters, Collateral very few. But the story seemed more worthy of a television storyline than a movie in its own right.
I think MV and Collateral complement each other very well. Both show Mann operating in a leaner, stripped-down style, and the use of digital in both is stunning -- no other crime movies look and feel like these two. Collateral (which I love) has a more traditional three-act structure, with clearly painted characters and themes. MV, though, is a densely plotted, and populated with opaque, inscrutable characters whom Mann, quite frankly, doesn't care if anyone else likes or not.
Licence to Kill (Glen, 1989) mixed/pro
We continue our Bond fest with Dalton's second (and last) stint as 007. This is a logical extension of the less-extravagant tone of The Living Daylights, accentuated by a most un-Bondian plot about revenge, murder and the drug trade. As played by Dalton, Bond has never been so grim and humorless -- I vaguely remember critics complaining that this movie shouldn't even be considered "true Bond" because it so resembled typical late-'80s action movies (Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, etc.). I kinda agree with this school of thought -- Bond should be cool, not bitter and glum. (Daniel Craig, however, nailed a deadly-suave attitude in Casino Royale.) That said, Licence to Kill boasts plenty of tightly orchestrated, intense action scenes, a very young Benicio Del Toro as one of the bad guys, and Carey Lowell as the skimpily attired Bond girl.