Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bond 2.0

There's been a lot of rebooting of franchises the past few years. Marvel Comics did it with their Ultimate series, WB did it with Batman Begins, Universal did it with Battlestar Galactica, word has it that Paramount will do the same with Star Trek. And then there's Bond. James Bond.

Granted, changing Bonds seems to be only less frequent than changing Doctor Who, as the franchise has been going for over 40 years. When it was announced that the new Bond, Daniel Craig, was blonde the internet went into a tizzy. It seems like people were more wrapped up that Bond was blonde, not the they were going back to the beginning of Bond.

Sure, when I first heard that the new Bond was blonde, I did a 'huh?' But if you can accept that the new Starbuck is a woman, why not a fair-haired Bond? And it turns out that Craig's hair isn't all that fair. We're not talking Aryan ski instructor blonde here... take a look at the pic. And I know of at least one friend who will appreciate the new blonde Bond's piercing blue eyes.

As for the movie itself, well it's a Bond movie, and a pretty good one. Not a great one, as the third act drags a bit and feels very different from the first two. I found it interesting that for the reboot they kept Dame Judi Dench as M. I was also glad, because Dench makes a great M. She's in charge without being bitchy and is definately someone you wouldn't want to cross. They didn't give her any great memorable lines like in previous movies though. But it would be hard to top:

General: Sometime I wonder if you have the balls for this job, M.
M: At least I have the advantage of not having to think with them all the time.

Craig's Bond is definately rougher, just getting his Double O status. He's charming, but doesn't have quite the suaveness of earlier (or is it now later) Bond's. He's still clever, but not infallible. He's tough, but not invincible.

You get to see the 'origins' of many of the Bond trademarks in this movie. I won't go into them (and spoiler territory) here, but Bond fans will appreciate them. One standard that was missing was Q. There are no supergadgets, though this isn't such a bad thing. The cloaking car went overboard last movie, and Bond is supposed to be more than gimmicks.

The 'Bond Girls' are hot, as always. The cars are fast, as always. And there's plenty of action.

My overall rating: 3.5 martini drinking, tuxedo wearing flying monkeys


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