Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quantum leap ahead in James Bond movies

Thank God for Daniel Craig. He's saved the James Bond franchise.

Of course, he couldn't have done it without the intelligent scripting and high production values that have been evident in the two movies he's done as Bond, first 'Casino Royale' and now 'Quantum of Solace'. Craig plays Bond with the kind of unhesitating savagery that a man in his line of business would have to possess, the sort of borderline sociopathy that Ian Fleming originally wrote into the character in his books. I saw 'Quantum' twice this weekend, going to matinees on two days, just like I did when 'Dr. No' and 'From Russia with Love' came out all those years ago. I could quibble about some minor points in the film, but I won't. That would be petty and mean-spirited given all the enjoyment that I derived from seeing Craig playing a Bond that was vital and powerful again, not bogged down in foppishness the way that Roger 'dipstick' Moore played him, or burdened with silly gadgets that way that Sean 'gun control' Connery ended up. Bond doesn't dick around in this film. When he's attacked, he responds with ruthless and effective violence that has nothing in common with the silly stage-ish 'fighting' that prior Bond films displayed. As a student of the martial arts, with and without weapons, and lover of cinema at large I exult that they've taken Bond back to the basics in a big way, while making the production look better than ever. You like Bond? You should see it.

1 comment:

Paul K. said...

I also like Daniel Craig as Bond, and I like the fact that the franchise has jettisoned the formulaic cliches that provided ample fodder for Austin Powers.

I considered "Casino Royale" a lot better that "Quantum of Solace," for several reasons, one being that the action sequences in the latter were so cutty and choppy that I couldn't follow them. The worst example would be the boat chase in the Haitian harbor.

On the plus side, the villain in the new movie was more interesting than usual.