Viewed – 23 February 2016 Blu-ray
Yep, another big movie I didn’t get around to last year. And I call myself a Bond fan. Well here we are then with this latest outing for Daniel Craig as everyone’s favourite British spy. I have certainly liked Craig as Bond for the most part even if the series has not quite lived up to the ‘Bond for a new generation’ hope gained from Casino Royale. Subsequent movies seem for me to have instead slipped back into the more tongue-in-cheek traditions of classic Bond. This is no different, but now you could say I’m getting used to it.
Sam Mendes in perhaps a Bond first returns to the helm directing this after the somewhat downbeat Skyfall, and we’re immediately introduced to Bond on a mission in Mexico following a lead to what may uncover a secret criminal organization. I won’t spoil the details but he’s soon defying MI6 (headed by new ‘M’ Ralph Feinnes after ‘spolier’ Judy Dench’s demise in the last movie) and bedding the women whilst roping in Moneypenny and Q for help. This time it’s all about the mystery man behind the curtain, a villain who may well be Bond’s greatest adversary. It’s no secret that current hot property Christophe Waltz is here as a new take of classic character of Blofeld, and to say he knocks it out of the park is an understatement. Waltz is on brilliantly charismatic / evil form and even though his screen time is limited he elevates this from just another Bond movie into something a bit more special. Mendes’ direction for the most part is attractive and classy, but his more artistic leanings don’t always suit a more action-heavy movie this time around (could that possibly be the least exciting car chase ever committed to screen?). Yet thankfully the plot, which moves fast from one exotic location to the next (Africa, Tangiers, Austria…) leads to a thrilling final act that is up there with the best we’ve seen from this franchise. Daniel Craig again is decent if somewhat chilled and overly serious (perhaps his only real failing) but still looking the part and with a great down-and-dirty train carriage fist fight, he still more than handles himself as 007.
It still has a few too many nods to yesteryear, much of the humour falls flat, and sometimes it gets a bit silly (smart blood?) … but regardless, 007 hasn’t been this good for a while. Nice to have you back on form James.
Verdict: 4 /5