With that my three month plus journey of Bond comes to an end. It feels weird to think I have now literally watched days worth of Bond, and honestly, I’ve loved every minute of it. I want more Bond in my life, I now find myself looking into buying a nice suit, getting into Bond shape (think more Roger Moore than Daniel Craig or Sean Connery) over the summer, and maybe one day owning an Omega Seamaster watch. While I’ll probably never own a Bond car, there’s nothing like driving down the open highway while listening to Monty Norman’s classic Bond theme. I can’t wait to see what comes next in the series, and am excited that now whenever I’m bored I can reach for my Bond 50 box set, pick a movie, and rewatch 23 amazing stories about a British Secret Service agent with a license to kill.
Ah yes, Skyfall. For Bond’s 50th anniversary, no punches were pulled. This film is quite amazing: Javier Bardem plays an amazingly creepy, evil, and almost loveable villain, Judi Dench brings a magnificent end to her role as M, and we finally have a new Q and Moneypenny along for the ride. All things considered I would probably put Skyfall into the ranks of From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Goldeneye, and The Spy Who Loved Me in terms of best Bond movies.
Now comes the difficult part… I have to wait to review the next one with everyone else! Weird…
Quantum of Solace
I must admit, my appreciation and understanding of this movie comes from the Nerdist’s Matt Mira. First of all, he gave the best advice on Quantum of Solace ever: watch it right after Casino Royale and it will make so much more sense.
Seriously, if you have both do it. The plot adds up a bit more and everything Bond does seems to fall into better place. That doesn’t however mean that this Bond movie’s plot is very strong. I’ve watched this movie twice now, and both times I could feel it drag at the same time, which is rare for me to feel/notice in a Bond movie. I can see why this was heralded far less than Casino Royale.
Then again, Matt Mira to the explanation rescue! Quantum is a product of the writer’s strike in the late 2000s, meaning the Bond team did not have their full potential band of writers on board. While it doesn’t excuse the film entirely, it makes things much more understandable.
All that is left is Skyfall, and I will have come to the end of my journey. Woah.
I can remember seeing this movie in the theater. I was both excited and a little saddened beforehand. My favorite Bond was now gone, and now the whole story of James Bond had to begin again. Q was gone, Moneypenny gone, no sign of SPECTRE, and no promise of any gadgets.
Within the first 10 minutes of the movie, however, my worries were gone, as Daniel Craig began his Bond journey with an amazing opening fight, a traditional shot down the barrel of a gun, and one hell of a song from Chris Cornell. Casino Royale shifted the way I thought about Bond at the time, and I was much happier for it.
I won’t got too much into the movie itself, since it was such a hit in the box office, but instead I have a thought: Bond may be the only reboot film franchise (excluding tv cases such as Doctor Who) that has really worked. I discount the new Star Trek movies since JJ Abrams did the whole alternate timeline thing, meaning all the old movies still count (kind of genius, I think). If you think about it, rarely do Bond movies refer back to the older films, as the characters themselves can change faces if need be, such as M, Moneypenny, and Bond himself, with little protest from the fans. Plus, if you like to follow the non-canonical theory that James Bond is simply the code name for the agent 007, it makes perfect sense to have this Bond be initiated in his first film. Also, props to the filmmakers for spending only the first 15 minutes on Bond becoming a 00, it did the job and left the rest of the movie for a thrilling Bond adventure.
Die Another Day
Ok, this one wasn’t too bad either. Looking at it from the perspective of critics, I can understand how it was just a bit too gadget driven. While gadgets are a key part to any Bond story, this seems to have a new one every five minutes. For some, this is just a tad overkill. For me, the gadgets were fine. I’m a nerdy type, though, so all of that amazes me.
In terms of the actors, I thought this was much improved from The World is Not Enough. Halle Berry does a great job as Jinx, and while her lines are a bit contrived I’ll take that any day over Christmas sex puns.
A fun fact about this movie is that this was around the time of Bond’s 40th anniversary, so they made sure to include as many references as possible. I saw scenes reminiscent of many older Bond films, and many old gadgets showed up in Q’s debriefing.
Overall this was a good showing, but I now understand why it was time for a change. The Bond team had a tough time allowing this idea of James Bond to continue post 9/11, and after this movie did not go over as well as some of Brosnan’s former works, a change had to be made. I love Brosnan as Bond, and would have watched quite a few more of his films, but at the same time I understand and appreciate now why they had to move on.
According to Cubby Broccoli, when in doubt, he told his daughter to go back to the beginning, back to Casino Royale. They did just that with Daniel Craig reveiving his 00 status in 2006.