I’m not really a James Bond fan (though I’ve seen A View to a Kill more times that I can remember) so it shouldn’t be too surprising that I never got round to seeing the Daniel Craig era Bonds. Till now, that is. Here’s my take on Casino Royale:
The first Bond of the Daniel Craig era is supposed to be ‘the gritty one’ but apart from a short sharp shock in the intro, and That Torture Scene near the end, it’s largely cheesy as fuck. Less cheesy than the silly Brosnan flicks, sure, but hardly the rebooted, ‘serious’ James Bond it’s purported to be. Still, it’s pretty entertaining, though it doesn’t half go on; two-and-a-half hours is far too long for a film of this ilk.
Quantum of Solace‘s poor reputation is not completely unwarranted:
AKA the one hamstrung by the writers’ strike. And it shows. A few interesting ideas, to be sure, like the nods to Spaghetti westerns, and it’s finally the more serious Bond that the Craig era promised. But it doesn’t really hold together, the stakes aren’t as high, and the colonial overtones (not least Olga Kurylenko in brownface – not for the last time – as if they couldn’t have found a Latina for the role) leave a sour taste.
Thankfully, Skyfall is a better prospect, though far from perfect:
Poor CGI detracts at key moments from what’s otherwise the strongest of the Craig-era Bonds, though it also seems confused at times about how to handle the tropes of the series (with the result being a fairly ignoble end for one character) and, like Casino Royale, runs about half an hour longer than necessary. That sounds more negative than I meant it to be, but they are problems that need pointing out, and I’m quietly hopeful the upcoming Spectre will show some improvement.