007 is back.. he’s always back.

I have long since cared for James Bond films. I saw most of them as a kid, Roger Moore was my favourite. As I’ve grown older my tastes have changed, mostly in the form of action movies. Pure action just doesn’t excite me these days. So I’ve let these films pass me by. The other struggle I have with the series is that every film is a stand alone adventure. New problem, new love, new car, new villian, gadgets, exotic locations, etc. It’s the same formula every film and that’s not a bad thing neccesarilly. Bond is a fictional character, like Superman, one that the real world needs to look to. We need to see that as the world changes, espeacially for the worse, these heroes are still here to save it. Their characteristics and goals change, as the world changes.

I remember when there was so much controversy about having the blonde haired Bond, Daniel Craig. It never bothered me because I was so far removed from the series. From the get go of this film, Bond is different. This Bond has never been so different from his predocessors. He is rugged and ready to get his hands dirty, even his fashion sense is mocked twice in this movie. He is driven with obsession. And best of all, Bond has a heart. He falls hard for the Bond girl, Vesper. He makes plans to leave his job to play out his life with her. It is here that we finally see a Bond that bleeds. Still overall, I don’t feel he is Bond or that I’m watching a Bond movie. It may be for the simple fact that I have seen Daniel Craig in many films before, but it also has to do with its style. This film is very gritty and darker than the previous films in the series.

I dislike the technicalities in spy films, as they create a realm of intreague, one thats usually hard to follow. Simply put, Bond is not chasing a villian seeking world domination this time. Seriously, this is a bit of a shock. Instead the villian, Le Chiffre is trying to recoup the sum of hundreds of millions of dollars that were lost in a scheme Bond foiled in the stock market. Le Chiffre enters a high stakes poker tournament with a ten million buy in. The stakes are high for both. For Bond it’s the girl and for Le Chiffre it’s his life, the investors will have him killed without the money. By this point the film is feeling long and ready for a climax. No not yet! There is still 45 minutes left till the end. It’s a great film and a great start to Daniel Craig as Bond. I just felt the end was overkill, it was trying to do too much.

This is a good movie, better than I thought it was going to be. I truthfully watched it for the two subsequent sequels, for the directors helming each project. First there is Marc Forster, whom directed one of my favourite movie of all time, Stranger Than Fiction. Followed by Sam Mendes who directed American Beauty all the way to Revolutionary Road, which are amazing films.

3.5/5 – Stars

Robert Ring

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