“Bond. James Bond.” Those infamous words will be said in theatres across the world as the 22nd film featuring Agent 007 hits the big screen.
In his second Bond picture, Daniel Craig (Bond) travels to Austria, Italy and South America. Despite his nonchalance in the last installment, Bond is still set to avenge the death of his beloved betrayer, Vesper. In addition, he and M (Judi Dench) uncover a complex and dangerous organization with their fingers in many pies. His mission leads him to Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a ruthless businessman conspiring to gain control of one of the world’s most important natural resources. Bond’s path is also crossed by Camille (Olga Kurylenko), a woman with a vendetta of her own.
The newest chapter in this decades old epic shifts the focus from Bond’s suave, clever demeanor to fast-paced action sequences. It’s a highly noticeable and unwelcome change. The first 20 minutes of the film speeds through three different breakneck scenes: a car chase, foot chase, and hand-to-hand fight. Furthermore, filmmakers are very fond of using parallel editing when cutting the action sequences, using a horse race and an operatic performance. It’s somewhat grating. Finally, even the CGI in some of the scenes is perceptible.
The dynamic between Bond and M is as energetic as ever. M is too attached and forever protective. Bond reciprocates entirely despite his recklessness. They exchange quips and provide the very minimal comedic relief throughout the movie. On the other hand, Bond’s consistent solemnity is understandable but much less entertaining.
The Bond girls are uniformly beautiful but less forceful than their predecessors. Strawberry Fields’ (Gemma Arterton) role is minimal and Bond’s seduction is even less conspicuous, denying audiences a thorough display of his charm. Conversely, Camille is much more his equal, which is a gratifying trait in a Bond girl.
Overall, even though Craig is an acceptable 007, this episode is not up to typical standards.