Swiss Cheese

Vacancy Is Not Merely Skin Deep: The latest Bond is undercut by its baffling plot.
Keith Hamshere
Vacancy Is Not Merely Skin Deep: The latest Bond is undercut by its baffling plot.

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Opens Friday at the AMC 1000 Van Ness, the Empire 3, the AMC Kabuki, and the Sony Metreon

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It may seem finicky to ask for believability in this sort of movie, but suspense -- rather than sheer bombast -- is dependent on careful exposition: Payoffs require setups, and vice versa. If we don't know the rules of what's going on and who has what at their disposal, any excitement beyond the merely visceral is lost. The model for this remains Goldfinger: Whatever its flaws -- and it has some lulus -- it's a textbook model for how to structure action of this kind. The writers and directors of every Bond film should be forced to watch it before their first story conference.

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