THE SETUP: MI6 doesn’t look to have the best human resources department as a disgruntled former employee (Javier Bardem) targets M (Judi Dench) and the City of London. James Bond (Daniel Craig) steps up to defend his boss in this 50th anniversary of the super spy.
THE THOUGHTS: If you’re worried this is more “Quantum” than “Casino”, you can put those fears away. For this anniversary edition, James Bond gets back to basics with some great nods to the character’s literary history as well as the previous films, equal parts Connery and Moore. The film really had a nostalgia feel to it while still providing the modern feel that Daniel Craig has brought to the role. So what do you want from a Bond flick? Let’s see…
The good guys: In this 3rd outing for Craig, he’s really comfortable in the role. As I mentioned, he really brings the physical ala Connery but with the sparkle in his eye of Roger Moore. It’s a great combo. Judi Dench elevates her position as M (this is her 7th time in the role) with a lot more to play with that she has had previously…and she makes the most of it. New characters: Ralph Fiennes, spy Eve and the new Q add a lot in the little time they get.
The villain: you want over the top when it comes to the bond villains. Done. Definitely a far cry from his NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN role, it’s amazing to watch Bardem do his thing. He brings the evil humour and stole his scenes, especially the first interaction with Bond.
The action: shootouts, wrecked subways, destroyed trains. Actually, if I had any complaints for this movie, it would be the action could have been a touch increased after the kickass opening sequence, but at two and a half hours, there wasn’t much room to add with out removing some of the character moments.
5 stars – tell everyone you know. If you were hoping to get your Bond fix, this will set you up. For those non-Bond fans, you’ll enjoy the action and intensity (and definitely Bardem) while the die-hards will remember why they love these movies.
Layer Cake (2004) – this was the movie that not only proved Daniel Craig could lead a movie, but that he could also be a damn good James Bond. Here he’s a criminal trying to retire but unfortunately his soon to be former bosses have other ideas (that old chestnut). Yep, it sounds like a tired formula but it’s a darn good movie. Be prepared for thick English accents.