Friday, 1 March 2019

A review of Pierce Brosnan's
I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself !

Like most people, I was expecting this Wednesday to be just another run-of-the-mill, bog standard Wednesday: get up, go to work, get cross about Brexit, come home, get cross about Brexit again, go to bed. But, as it turned out, this Wednesday was no run-of-the-mill, bog standard Wednesday at all. This Wednesday was Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! Wednesday, a Wednesday so packed with incident that I only had time to get cross about Brexit once.

Now you might think that a mildly amusing Instagram video by a famous actor that went viral for a few hours wouldn't be worth lavishing 1,600 words on two days later, but that, my friend, is where you are wrong. I have spent the last 48 hours rewatching Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! because it is a work that demands that level of commitment and analysis. It certainly didn't take me this long to write an excessively wordy and pointless blog post about Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! because I thought of the idea about a day and a half later than I should have done, so you can forget that crazy notion right now.



The specific time is a bit of a blur, but at some point on Wednesday 27th February 2019, former James Bond actor and star of some other films Pierce Brosnan dropped a video on his Instagram feed without any warning whatsoever. Like a surprise Beyoncé album or a trailer for another fucking Cloverfield film, the video just appeared from thin air. For those of you who are tragically unfamiliar with it, here is Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! in full:

I mean, wow. I'll just let that sink in. Maybe rewatch it a few dozen times to really absorb the wonder.

Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! was shot by actress Jamie Chung, who, like me, you may not remember from Grown Ups, The Hangover Part II or Sucker Punch. Chung is currently filming The Misfits, directed by Renny Harlin and starring - yep - Pierce Brosnan. Perhaps you're beginning to see how the intricate workings of the universe, like a cosmic collection of cogs, levers and other doohickeys, have manoeuvred with a divine grace to bring the right people together at the right time to create genuine magic.
Jamie Chung, yesterday. Possibly Wednesday

Shot in a single, fluid take at the luxurious Jetex Private VIP Terminal at the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! is eight seconds of glorious, Bronhommy goodness that this world simply doesn't deserve. And yet, despite all the odds, it exists, like one of those animals that's so amazing it almost proves the existence of God. A butterfly or some shit, I don't know.

Chung opens her masterpiece in unforgettable style: there, in full frame, is Pierce Brosnan's face staring into camera, his head nonchalantly propped up by the index finger of his left hand (the other fingers remain casually relaxed, but clearly ready to provide backup should the index finger require it). His shirt is unbuttoned and his tie is loose, but no suavity is lost. The hair is, as ever, impeccable, and the hint of a smile can be seen forming at the corners of Brosnan's beautiful mouth. And yet something's not quite right: the first sign that there's more to Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! than meets the eye.
FAO @OnePerfectShot

For it isn't Brosnan we're looking at here, but a facsimile: a monochromatic rendering, which appears to be floating on the surface of a cup. And not just any old cup - a cup with a silver rim and handle (plated or solid? My heart yearns to know), balanced delicately on a saucer of indeterminate material. It could also be silver or it may be glass, but the bubble effect on its surface reminds one of the tears of an angel, delicately shed around the face of Pierce Brosnan.

With no warning, a hand wielding a teaspoon (silver, naturally) enters frame and the unthinkable happens - Pierce Brosnan's face is rent asunder, shattered by the deliberate penetration of the image by an unseen assailant's ludicrously expensive teaspoon. And yet that isn't even the most dramatic thing to happen at this early point in Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself !. As the Brosnan visage is irreparably and literally defaced, a female voice (we later discover it's that of Jamie Chung herself) utters a single, spine-tingling word:

Stirred AND shaken, right guys? Guys

WHAT. THE. FUCK. Are we watching an early scene from the new 007 film? Is Brosnan somehow back in the tux after a 17-year hiatus? Or is he, in a devilish twist of casting, the villain? It is all, as yet, a mystery, although Bond fans around the world have by now accepted that Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! must be canon.
Pierced Brosnan

Not content with opening a gaping wound in the image of Pierce Brosnan's face that takes that hinted-at smile and carves it into a Joker-like grin, the hand continues its wanton destruction with a delicate but merciless stirring motion. Brosnan's face swirls into oblivion and the camera slowly pulls out, revealing a stunning truth: all this time we've been looking at a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee with Pierce Brosnan's face on it. Gradually we get a tantalising glimpse of the party responsible for the caffeine-based carnage: a man (presumably) in a smart blue suit, the warmth of which contrasts with the clinical whiteness of the surroundings. Whoever it is, they had better have a damn good reason for smooshing Pierce Brosnan's chops into a creamy froth.
Running out of joke captions now

And then, the kick in the guts none of us could have prepared for. A rug-pull of such intensity that it makes Iron Man Three's Mandarin twist look like Spectre's reveal that Christoph Waltz is actually Blofeld. Everything we thought we knew about Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! has been turned upside down and inside out, or at least it would have been if he hadn't given away the plot in the text of his Instagram post.

For the diabolical mastermind behind the opening scene of facial devastation is none other than Pierce Brosnan himself, smiling directly into camera as if he's actually enjoying the damage he's inflicting on his own mug. What are we to make of this Brosnan-on-Brosnan butchery? What parallel cinematic universe has opened up before us? As Brosnan delivers the subtlest of pouts (a clear nod to Daniel Craig's signature Bond look) and a brief but unmistakable eyebrow raise (ditto Roger Moore), the answer - one possible answer, at least - comes from Chung again, with the words we'd already begun to form in our minds but never really expected. With a whisper of love, a whisper of hate, she lets the name slip out from between her lips like cigarette smoke escaping from a femme fatale's mouth in a 1940s film noir...

"James Bond".
Yeah, nothing, sorry. Think I peaked with "Stirred AND shaken"

This is almost more than I could take. I don't know where I am any more or what my name is, let alone who the figure before me, rendered in an otherworldly square of pixels from across the globe, can be. And yet that name is unmistakable. It's James Bond. Hold me.

But that's not all. Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself !'s final, unexpected act piles another layer of possible meaning onto the metatextual lasagne that has already filled me up and given me Brosnan-flavoured gas. James Bond, for it is now definitively he, appears to break character, his face creasing into a laugh that makes a mockery of everything we've seen, as if it was merely a gag; a throwaway moment of mischief tossed off to fill time while waiting for a luxury jet. Chung, too, cackles maniacally from behind camera, as if the two of them have been in on this baffling piece of performance art all along. And who knows, perhaps they have?
Is this the last one? Oh thank fuck for that

And then, perhaps reflecting the inevitable circularity of all things, Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! begins again, the face rebuilt, ready for another massacre at the hands of its own, er, hand. How Pierce Brosnan's face got onto his own cup of coffee is never explained: was it painstakingly created by the world's greatest barista? If so, did Brosnan request it himself? Or did the image, as was suggested to me by Empire magazine's Helen O'Hara (a woman whose steadfast anti-Bond stance was demolished in the eight seconds it took her to watch the video), appear there organically, like the face of Jesus in a tortilla? Quite rightly, Chung has remained silent on the subject. The mystery must remain intact, unlike the coffee-froth Brosnan we were introduced to so long ago.

More than that I cannot add. Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself ! is open to so many interpretations that there simply isn't room on the internet for them. Whether it's a splintering of the James Bond franchise, a sophisticated experiment in social media or simply a man stirring a cup of coffee, I doubt we shall get to the bottom of the enigma in our lifetimes. Hopefully these words I have recorded may provide some context for future generations studying the 21st century's most formidable achievements. If that's you, then I hope you find the truth. You deserve it. PS Sorry about Brexit.


  1. I can't believe that no-one's yet commented on this fantastic movie review. I have just seen Pierce Brosnan's I Asked For A Coffee And I Got Myself for the first time and your review has nailed it.

    1. Thank you, I suspect nobody else has commented because you are the only person reading the blog x