I’m not fond of James Bond movies. Not then, not now not ever (or so I thought) From Sean Connery to Roger Moore to Timothy Dalton to Pierce Brosnan, I find them one by one over the top sexist cocky alpha males who could use some acting lessons. And the plots are full of holes, the scenarios bordering on absurd and the stories paper thin. I know that I should not expect Shakespeare when it comes to this kind of movies and believe me I don’t, but for an all-time blockbuster hit, practically a legend in its genre I expect a little bit more.
I remember when I was young and forced to watch these movies with my mother I remember disliking it even then. I cannot connect the dots regarding the stories. Why James Bond has to sleep with every moving thing in a skirt is beyond me. I don’t like the way he treated Miss Moneypenny either. It reminds me of a dutiful dog and an overbearing master. There and then in an old cinema sitting with my so engrossed mother she had no idea how much I detested being there, I vowed not to see any James Bond film when I grow up.
But I underestimated the power of brainwashing, especially to a young mind because later on in life even though I promised to myself I will never see any film with James Bond in it, I can’t help checking out any new release from the same franchise. Call it curiosity but it is stronger than myself. I want to know if there are some changes or improvement regarding the stories, characters and if the hero himself becomes more human this time around. I was disappointed. Although the action scenes improved a great deal thanks to modern technology the story itself remains paper thin and full of holes it resembles a piece of Swiss cheese. And James Bond is still acting like himself no matter who played him, there is nothing new there.
To be honest, I can’t help feeling smug and justified whenever I saw a bad release. Mind you, I will be lying if I say I saw them all, for aside from the earliest films with Sean Connery which I was forced to watch or otherwise I will not be given pocket money, I only saw a couple of movies for each actors playing James Bond. All of them I dislike.
When they announced that Daniel Craig is going to be the new James Bond I was shocked! What? A redhead? Are they gone mad? Isn’t he too white, too fair, even the hair is too thin! They’re making a mistake! He will be the worst James Bond ever! This time I didn’t even manage to check. I made the conclusion right from the start that I would hate it, point. Till I accidentally saw a rerun of Casino Royale last week on television then I was lost.
I didn’t even saw the first ten-fifteen minutes of it because I was zapping as usual but when I saw Daniel Craig on the screen running, something made me stop and look. There is something real about him, something human, something vulnerable. He is not a machine like his predecessors or one of those action heroes of the 80s. Here is an everyday guy who is forced to do what he could do in order to survive. No fancy over the top moves ala Matrix dodging bullets, no dizzying car chase of Mission Impossible, no jumping, leaping over buildings or guns that never run out of bullets; just an ordinary man trying not to get killed. Awesome!
And what do you know, he could act as well. The scene where he was sitting on a chair naked and the antagonist was hitting him literally below the belt and he was hysterically laughing saying: “A little more to the left, to the left! Yes, that’s good, perfect. Now you can tell all your friends that you die scratching my b*lls.” will be forever engraved in my memory. The action scenes were sublime, the story fantastic, and Daniel Craig proved to be the best James Bond ever. Yes, including Sean Connery himself.
Let’s see what the others have said about the film and I quote:
“I consider Daniel Craig to be the most effective and appealing of the six actors who have played 007, and that includes even Sean Connery.”
“CASINO ROYALE is the best James Bond movie to date. Not only that, but it is also one of the best action movies ever made. And now, has become one of my favourite films. This is a classic.”
“Craig is also the best Bond in the franchise’s history.”
“Daniel Craig is a fair-haired, bare-knuckle antidote to Pierce Brosnan. On the action-adventure level, it hits the bulls-eye.”
“Let’s say straight off that Craig is very good indeed: everything about his performance shows cunning and grace.”
“Daniel Craig brings originality James Bond, playing the super spy as ruthless, arrogant and cocky, but also bringing much more depth and emotion than any other actor before him.”
I can’t help but agree with the critics though other people might have other ideas about the film. Tastes do differ and we welcome diversity of opinion wherever whatever. Like someone said:
“When you strip the 007 films down for action and “realism,” you lose the soul of those old beloved Bond movies.”
Well, to each his own. All I know is one of these days I might try to see a rerun of Skyfall. They say the maker reinvented Miss MoneyPenny in this sequel, giving her a backstory and a first name. She even shot and wounded James Bond. Accident or no accident, for that alone I would definitely try……