Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Craig’

Welcome Back, 007!!!

I am PLEASED to say that Agent James Bond, 007 is BACK armed with his license to thrill!  After the rather lackluster performance of Quantum of SolaceSkyfall  was a much needed breath of vitality to the 50 year franchise.  YES, indeed in 1962, Dr. No  was released as the first Bond movie.  I will not detail the plot of the newest installment; however, I will touch on some of the things that made this a return to form.

  • Old Friends: Chief among them was Q.  Albeit a a very young Q but I see great things coming in future movies.  Hopefully, a return to the repartee between the Quartermaster and Bond from days of old.  A few other surprises along the way that I will save.
  • M: Dame Judi sure breathes life into what was always a cardboard cutout.  Instead of the stereotypical head of MI6 who presents 007 with his latest assignment,  she has become a much more dynamic and interesting character.  Skyfall is as much an M-centered movie as it is Bond.
  • BIG ACTION SEQUENCES: These seem to have been missing in the last two movies.  Trains, motorcycles, helicopters and other myriad pieces add to the FUN of the film.  I would really enjoy another good snow ski extravaganza.
  • Supporting Cast: I cannot remember a Bond film having such a cast of well-known performers.  Ralph Fiennes (without his make up as Voldemort … ok so he has been in other movies) and Javier Bardem (who plays ANOTHER memorable villain).
  • Daniel Craig: Maybe the third time was the charm.  Mr. Craig has finally lightened up a bit from the stoic, seriousness of Casino Royale and QoS.  You can almost see him winking at the camera.  Thank goodness, as he has signed on for at least two more turns.

I am hard-pressed to find anything I did not like about Skyfall.  Even Adele’s theme song was reminiscent of the best of them.  The previous theme was another less than memorable aspect.  Perhaps the gun barrel OPENING the show would be nice instead of closing it?

A Blunt Instrument

Casino Royale was the first Ian Fleming James Bond novel written back in 1953. Since then, the movie rights have been tied up in legal matters and just recently joined the ranks of the official Bond movie series. The 2006 movie was essentially a reboot of the franchise. It introduced a BLONDE Bond in Daniel Craig who I am having a hard time warming to. Hopefully with a new adventure arriving in November, he will grow on me. In any case, the lates movie opens in traditional fashion with a pre-credit sequence which illustrates Mr. Bond’s first two kills… thereby granting him his Double-O status. That is about as similar to most films in the series as it gets. This film is considerably darker but no less entertaining than the rest.

The plot of the movie concerns Bond and a female treasury agent (Vesper Lynde) on the trail of a weapons financier, Le Chiffre, who has a rather disturbing physical abnormality. Bond is entered into a literal life and death Texas Hold ‘Em tournament with the villain. The hope is to defeat Le Chiffre and force him to aid the British government in exchange for protection from his creditors.

I found the character of Bond to be quite interesting. He is not the seasoned super spy who has been out in the field thwarting the evil plans of countless bad guys. Instead, he is careless, untried, and has an enormous ego making M question her decision to promote him to 007. Along the way, Bond learns an important lesson in the espionage game both from experience and from the advice from his superior: “Trust no one.”

As usual, the action sequences are quite thrilling to watch. One of the most memorable scenes (in fact one taken directly from the novel) involves 007 being tortured by Le Chiffre in a way which would seem to decimate his manhood forever. In true form, Bond is able to make a quick though painful quip. Also like any good Bond film, is the double entendre and suggestive character name. Ms. Lynde’s cover identity is Miss Tiffany Broadchest.

Although dark in tone, Casino Royale does provide enough heart-pounding action to satisfy. I’m not entirely sure if this was a total reboot of the series. I hope we have not seen the end of original supporting characters like weapons master Q or flirtatious secretary Miss Moneypenny. Casino Royale ALMOST took itself too seriously.