Maybe not 100% spoiler free like agent Bladerunner’s post, but I did the best I could. If you REALLY want to play it safe, just skip my inane babbling, like most rational folks do anyways.
It is to Bond what Batman Begins was to that pointless crapfest series of movies. Both movies dealt with the beginnings of their characters, not worrying so much about continuity with what had been done before/after them. This works for me. The latest set of Star Wars movies are a good example of why you don’t want to try to stick within the framework you already set up too much. Yeah, prequels are hard, but this one got it right in many ways. Is it a must see in the theater, I don’t know? If you have a nice home system you won’t loose too much, so if your schedule is full there may be other movies out this season that I would put before this, but definitely catch it on Netflix, as it really was quite enjoyable.
Problem is, I can’t exactly figure out what to say about it that is good. I have a few complaints I can start with, but I will try to come back to what is good. First, there seemed to be 4 different directors and writers, or maybe they broke up the movie between different production groups for style reasons, I am not sure Interesting, but I don’t know if it really works. The continuity between the different parts was just not there for me, and I didn’t feel like it was my fault because I am not sophisticated, but rather, I felt like someone was trying to demonstrate skills that they clearly had, but maybe they should have saved for another film. Maybe some of you smarter folks will appreciate that aspect of it more than I did.
Second, as many of you already know, for me casting is one of the most critical parts of movie making. In my opinion, this casting was brilliant…. mostly. Daniel Craig was amazing. He was nothing like any of the previous bonds, and that is fine by me. I enjoyed many of those films, but they really were becoming caricatures of themselves. The one liners and catch phrases were becoming more of what defined the movies than the story and action. This one dropped all of that (including sadly, some of my favorite stuff, but discussing that may be a spoiler to some of you purists, so I will talk about that at a later date). The few one liners where delivered with a completely different style and approach, that they actually worked. The bad guys were SOOOOO bad and the rest were all great, perfectly cast for their roles, with a few that really stole the show for a few minutes (Jeffrey Wright and the guy that played the banker both stood out to me). Judi Dench as M was superb. If she gets any better I might start developing a thing for much older women, which is good, because I seem to be aging myself for some reason. Which leads me to the leading woman, my biggest complaint. Ok, in a bond movie there are usually a few women, and there are here as well, don’t worry, but the main chick just didn’t do it for me. She was hot, sure, and seemed to be quite a talented actress, but I didn’t buy her in her role, and I didn’t feel any chemistry between her and Bond, though that may have been on purpose for story reasons that I am not smart enough to follow. Maybe she nailed her part, but if so, maybe that part needed a bit more refinement, but then again, they don’t let me make many big budget movies, so I may be missing something here.
So, what did I like about it? Well, it was just a great film. Despite its incongruous nature to us lowbrow types, it was enjoyable as hell to watch, even if you have to check your ticket to make sure you are in the correct theater. The intro was the best ever for a bond flick, in its own way. With a single exception (in my opinion) the casting was superb. The parts I missed about the old ones, I got over, and the new parts that would not have worked at all in the old Bond movies where a nice change of perspective to the series. I am truly looking forward to the next one. I wouldn’t suggest it for kids (nothing there for them) and I wouldn’t suggest it to my Dad, who is a big bond fan, but for the rest of you I would give it some witty affirmation of a positive nature.