Why can movie heroes never look like they're having a good time anymore? Sean Connery always looked like he knew something the audience didn't with his devilish, sexy Bond. Grrr.
Here, Daniel Craig delivers Bond with the kind of detached, stoic, professionalism one usually finds in gay-for-pay adult cinema. This movie is a lot of good things but "fun" might not be one of them.
Another thing this movie is not is Skyfall, which, by any standards would be a tough act to follow. Nor is it Casino Royale with its vibrant colors and energy. It's beautifully crafted and cold. Let's face it, that's kind of its director, Sam Mendes', trademark. His revival of Cabaret on Broadway was fabulous, but you could still say it was stylish and cold. American Beauty? Stylish and cold. Skyfall -- oh, you get the point. Still, it's a good ride even if it's not that emotionally engaging.
I don't do spoilers, but let's just say that a major piece of Bond
's backstory gets served and picked-up as casually as sherbet before the main course. Really? It comes out of freak'n nowhere and seems clumsy. The audience didn't respond with a collective "Ah," but a collective, "Huh?"
Little else is clumsy in this film, maybe to a fault. Quite a lot of control is exercised throughout. For example, if you're going to cast the current go-to guy for mad villains (Christoph Waltz), you might as well let him chew scenery and be memorable. Not here, pretty closed mouthed proceedings for Mr. Waltz, who certainly knows how to play to the cheap seats. He's held on a tight reign, as is everything in this picture.
And, frankly, it is long. One hundred and fifty minutes long, to be exact. A little too long. But, still, no fan of the franchise will be offended or disappointed by this chapter, and, even though Mr. Craig has stated he'd rather be water-tortured than do this again, it's an awfully good bet we'll see him swirling another Martini glass before too terribly long.
One last thing: I missed the hell out of Dame Judi Dench as M.
(Loudinni specializes in movie reviews of 500 words or less sans spoilers.)