Sunday, December 10, 2006

This guy should be a Bond villain: Ken Watanabe

Ken Watanabe should totally be a Bond villain.

I've only seen him in Batman Begins and The Last Samurai, which could have been called Dances with Samurai or Ken Watanabe Rules. I liked The Last Samurai a lot more than most people, apparently. That may make me an imperialist dog, culturally speaking, but I enjoyed it. What's not to like? It had samurai and ninja and Ken Watanabe totally steals the movie from Tom Cruise.

In The Last Samurai, Watanabe plays doomed samurai warlord Katsumoto, who has mastered the ancient Japanese art of looking like an utter bad ass. In Batman Begins, he played a convincing "R'as al Ghul" and maintained his dignity despite the facial hair he had to sport. The presence of ninja in both movies may have biased me slightly, but I think Ken Watanabe has the presence and vibe of a Bond villain.

I vote Ken Watanabe as the main villain in Bond 23. Go Ken or Go Home.


Anonymous said...

And he owns an American Express Card:

Totally bondian!

Anonymous said...

I thought Neeson was Ra's.


Anonymous said...

Yes, but... Daniel Craig was an awesome Bond. Daniel Craig can run through walls more convincingly than Vinnie Jones in a fatsuit, and he looks like he'd murder his own brother and not care. But Daniel Craig beating Ken Watanabe? There's suspension of disbelief and then there's total absurdity.

... What if they decide they need a new Tiger Tanaka?

Edward Liu said...

Screw Ken Watanabe being the next Bond villain. Ken Watanabe should be the new Bond. Why can't there be two? We can have 2 film teams working simultaneously so we can have Craig Bond on the even years and Watanabe Bond on the odd years.

Then for 2010, we'll have the Bond-Bond teamup where Craig and Watanabe get together and have a brief moment of confusion before the two of them go out and kick the holy hell out of the world. That would be COOL.

And if you recognized that Ken Watanabe was a much cooler character than Tom Cruise was in "The Last Samurai," then you are safely immune from any accusations of cultural imperialism. That whole movie would have been much better if they had only relegated Cruise's character to minor supporting status as he should have been.

Anonymous said...

I also enjoyed "The Last Samurai." I even own the soundtrack DVD. My sense is that most people who hate the movie never actually saw it. Someone I used to work with dismissed the film with the line, "I don't know who the last samurai was, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Tom Cruise." Which, of course, only shows that she didn't know from shit, since the title isn't referring to Cruise's character.

Solidly underrated movie, and Ken Watanabe was great in it.

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I have not seen The Last Samurai, but I am in total agreement that Ken Watanabe kicks ass, takes names, and leaves a pine fresh scent.

Monty said...

I'll tell you who should be a Bond villain: Sean Connery. He's got just the right amount of over-the-top acting (i.e. "lots and lots") to carry off one of those maniacal speeches. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure it'll never happen. The closest thing I'll get is Connery's appearance as the maniacal weather-controlling supervillain in The Avengers movie. And that . . . wasn't at all good.

Anonymous said...

There's gotta be room for Chow Yun Fat in there somewhere...maybe an ostensible villain who turns out to have been on the side of the angels all along.

Tom said...

check out the opening salvo over at Premiere magazine, your beloved Samurai makes an appearance:

Aaron said...

Ken Watanabe should also play Ogami Itto in a new batch of Lone Wolf and Cub films.

Anonymous said...

Really, Patrick Stewart should be the third Bond villain and you can have a Bald Trifecta of Evil.

"The Brave and the Bald", perhaps?

West said...

Bond villain or not, I'd just like to see him in more movies.

He's just a cool-ass actor.

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