Pat Stacey: This cheesy, silly Bond-themed reality show cheapens the brand

The spin-off was expected to fill the gap between the films. Perhaps there will be a TV series featuring Bond’s CIA friend Felix Leiter, who has made solo appearances in the graphic novels, or a series focused on Miss Moneypenny, whom the Daniel Craig films portrayed as an action lady rather than just M’s secretary. Was renovated.

Maybe Lashana Lynch, who was excellent as the temporary 007 no time to die, Or Ana de Armas, as rookie CIA agent Paloma in the same film, will get her own vehicle.

The last thing anyone expected was a reality show. But the last thing is what we get 007: Road to a Million (Amazon Prime Video; all episodes available), A Terrible Deception Race around the world, treasure hunt, who wants to be a millionaire And I am a celebrity. , , Get me out of here! there is a little bit too deal or No deal thrown in,

007: race for a million It apparently cost more than a million to make. It was filmed in various locations including the Scottish Highlands, Italy, Spain, Jamaica, Brazil and the Caribbean. Nevertheless, the above average production values ​​cannot hide the disrepair of the entire enterprise.

Nine pairs of contestants – siblings, married couples, best friends, a father and son – face various challenges to find a suitcase containing a multiple-choice question.

They choose their answer by selecting one of three canisters. Get it right and the canister releases green smoke; They win some money and move on to the next challenge and the next location.

Get it wrong (red smoke) and they go home empty handed. The couples who make it to the end will each win one million in cash. The longer this goes on, the more physically demanding the tasks will be and the more difficult the questions will be.

The contestants are believed to be being instructed by a shadowy figure named “The Controller”, played by Brian Cox. In the manner of a classic Bond villain, he sits in front of a bank of screens in his lair, watching their progress, making short quips, and communicating by phone and recorded messages – which is actually more Is Impossible Goal Even more than James Bond.

Again, the bond connection is weak anyway. Take away the film-style opening titles and regular blasts of David Arnold’s rearranged version of Monty Norman’s iconic Bond theme and this is just another reality show, and an extremely tiresome and repetitive one at that.

This is not a surprise. 007: race for a million It was not originally conceived as a Bond tie-in show. The idea of ​​the format came first; The decision to put Bond branding on it came later.

I have a sneaking suspicion that some portions had already been filmed before the decision was made. Why? Well, for one thing, there are two contestants with the name initials JB – Joe Bone and his younger brother James – yet no one thought to get in line: “The name’s Bone, James Bone.” How do you miss such an open target?

Later, the brothers find an old yellow and black Rolls-Royce, just like Auric Goldfinger’s. Do any of them say: “Look, it’s just like Roller “gold Finger!” Did he even know at the time that he was taking part in a Bond-themed show?

The Bone brothers, who dominated the first episode and were cut off from the same nice-but-bland reality show confines as Joey Essex, spent 10 minutes squabbling over whether the Scottish king in Shakespeare’s play was Hamlet, Richard III or Macbeth. Yes, but still manage. To lose one’s way for three rounds.

Brian Cox, who can be very indecisive, told Jimmy Fallon last week that he signed up for the show under the mistaken belief that he was being offered the villain role in the next Bond film.

This, as well as his admission that all of his bits were dealt with in post-production after filming had ended, adds to the feeling that 007: Road to a Million Brand marketing is nothing more than an empty, cynical exercise.

All this makes cinema’s most popular and enduring franchises cheap.

(tagstotranslate)Pat Stacey

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