Again it took me a long time to catch up - here, it's with Daniel Craig as 007. I best like the way Sean Connery defined the role, and Pierce Brosnan came closest to that image of James Bond. So, when I first read about the "new, gritty" James Bond that appeared in "Casino Royale", I didn't like it a bit, and subsequently didn't watch any of the Craig Bond movies.
I guess I have to thank Adele for singing the title song - it really is a little gem, and it has stuck in my ear. It even made me want to watch the film, and finally I did. I was pleasantly surprised. "Skyfall" has the mixture of lots of action and a dose of humour that make a good Bond movie. Craig doesn't have Connery's roguish or Brosnan's boyish charm, but his quiet, deadpan manner is not a bad substitute. While Connery ambled through his adventures like they were an interesting, amusing game, and Brosnan seemed to be able to draw on an internal innocence that made any damages to the soul temporary, Craig doesn't let you forget for a minute that his business is an unpleasant one that leaves the soul scarred. Not that he's moaning or complaining, but his stoic poise betrays that there is suffering that the stoicity needs to mask.
I liked the humorous touches - Bond swaying to the rhythm of the original Bond theme, Moneypenny, the "circle of life" remark... I also liked the ambiguity of the ending - after all, the result of Bond's actions in the grand finale were the same two deaths that Silver had wanted (not counting the collateral henchmen damage), only they happened on Bond's and M's terms, not on Silver's. It's a difference that matters. But it's a far cry from earlier Bonds saving the world.
Still, if that's the new grittiness, it's OK with me. Now the other Craig 007 films are firmly on my viewing list.
Tiamat ... and other dragons
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