Well it’s hard to write about this bond film without spoilers so I’ll try to keep this short.
Bond returns to the form of Casino Royale for me with the latest film. Stripped back to the bare essentials of Bond against the villain (and his many minions).
The opening car chase/bike chase/gun fight/fist fight does what a good Bond opening should do and sets up the rest of the film. Then we get a classically styled Bond opening credits/theme song, not as strong as Casino Royale or Golden Eye, but a fine addition to that tradition.
The plot is a solid Bond plot. By which I mean there are some moments after the film where you go why would the Villain go to all that trouble when all they need to do is bypass all of that stuff and they’d win? The answer is because they are a Bond villain and in the logic of that world villains don’t get the KISS theory. They’re like movie serial killers – beings of fantasy not reality.
There is some great acting on show – Craig, Bardem, Harris, Whishaw and Finney are all excellent. Judi Dench has far more to do than in her previous outings as M and delivers a fine performance. Fiennes deserves a mentio as he has to pull off, in very little time, turning a character from the sort of stuffed shirt obstacle/civil service villain to supporting hero with very little screen time.
The Travelogue element of Bond is incorporated into the story without overpowering it. We get the Far East, Turkey, London and Scotland. The later both nodding to Bonds back story and (although I’m not sure its intentional) to Richard Hannay’s flight to Scotland in John Buchan’s The 39 Steps.
I’m not going to say this is the best Bond ever because I think we now have enough Bonds to have a Bond for many different moods. What this is is an excellent addition both to the genre and to the 50 year old series. Highly recommended.