Review Roundup: Author of 'Bond' in FLEMING: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE BOND Miniseries
Mat Whitecross's Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond follows the WWII adventures of Ian Fleming, the future creator of James Bond. The four-part miniseries premiered Wednesday on BBC America.
Let's see what the critics had to say:
David Hinckley of the Daily News says: Ian Fleming (Dominic Cooper) was another of those charming but superfluous members of the lower-level Brit aristocracy when World War II broke out. His people skills, heretofore used for seducing countless women and conning almost as many men, were redirected to finding things the Germans did not want the British to know. At around the same time, he took up with Ann O'Neill (Lara Pulver), a woman of equal intellectual skill who shared his passion for adventure...With fine supporting players like Anna Chancellor as Fleming's wartime superior, Second Officer Monday, and Rupert Evans as Ian's brother Peter, this four-part series makes us care about people whose fate neither we nor they can easily summarize.
Jim Vejvoda of IGN says: But BBC America's miniseries Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, debuting this Wednesday, is the first one to truly delve into the author's raunchiness, the dark and sadistic sexual side of him that was as much a part of who the literary James Bond was as Fleming's wartime exploits. Captain America's Dominic Cooper plays Fleming, although he looks nothing at all like the man.
Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter writes: You could spend a lot of time talking about how Ian Fleming really wasn't James Bond -- that the book and screen hero who has endured all these years and remains, affirmatively, legend rather than myth, had to be invented from the dreams of the author and that nobody could ever be as riveting as Bond...Well, yes, that is in some ways the point of BBC America's miniseries, Fleming; The Man Who Would Be Bond. But some will no doubt struggle with the juxtaposition and advocate for reading one of the books or watching one of the movies and forgetting the boring backstory.
Neil Genzlinger of the NY Times writes: The mini-series carries a disclaimer ("Some names, places and incidents are fictitious and have been changed for dramatic effect"), so it's impossible to gauge the accuracy of the portrait. But if it's even somewhat true to life, the comparison is really a contrast. Bond, at least the one of the movies, calls to mind words like "suave" and "rakish." Fleming, who died in 1964, may have had Bond-like experiences, but he's no one you can root for.
David Wiegand of SFGate says: A lot of knowledge can be a dangerous thing when crafting a miniseries about the most famous spy novelist of all time...That is one of the reasons that "Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond," a four-part miniseries premiering Wednesday on BBC America, is only sporadically entertaining. Too much effort is made foreshadowing what Ian Fleming would achieve with the James Bondbooks, and too little effort is expended making a consistently interesting story about it.