Monday, June 01, 2020

Faster Than a Falling Plane

Last weekend I watched GoldenEye with my two oldest kids. I remember thinking it was a great movie, but that was before Jason Bourne came along and changed spy movies forever. Now, it sort of feels more like an Austin Powers movie. But it was still pretty good, although there were two major problems.

First, Sean Bean's character gets killed in the first five minutes, and then when the opening credits roll, Sean Bean gets second billing. So it's not THAT much of a surprise when he comes back later in the film.

Second, James is riding a motorcycle after a pilot-less airplane down a runway that ends in a cliff. The airplane goes over the cliff, and then James follows it. The airplane has maybe a five-second headstart. As the airplane plummets, James slowly gains on the airplane, climbs inside, and pilots it to safety. Now, gravity is a constant, so in a vacuum the airplane and James Bond will fall at identical rates. If the airplane had a five-second headstart at the top of the cliff, it'll go splat five seconds before James does. But the world isn't a vacuum, right? (That's a good title for a future James Bond film: The World Is Not a Vacuum.) So a bowling ball falls faster than a feather. So the question is, what provides more wind resistance, an airplane or James Bond? Or, to ask it a different way, what is more AEROdynamic, an AEROplane or...James Bond? AND, an airplane with it's motor running! But James manages to somehow make himself more aerodynamic than a running airplane, and it's all good.

I thought Alan Cummings was better in Josie and the Pussycats, and Minnie Driver was better in...anything else, but generally speaking, the Pierce-Brosnan films are the least cringe-worthy of the pre-Daniel-Craig James Bond canon in this post-Bourne world.

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