Last night I went with Kevin and Nicole to see the new James Bond film. If you're expecting a classic Bond with invisible cars, bowtie cameras, exploding cufflinks, and wristwatches that shoot lasers, you will be disappointed. If you're expecting a decent follow-up to Casino Royale, your expectations are much more realistic.
Nicole mentioned that she had read some reviews that compared the new Bond to a Bourne movie. That's a fair comparison. From word go the movie is non-stop action. Well, I can't say non-stop. There are a few beats where things slow down. But those beats are very few and far between.
Again, people expecting the suave James Bond of the Connery days will be somewhat let down. Daniel Craig, according to Nicole, does have a certain charm. But he makes James Bond more of an action hero than any previous actor. I can't think of a previous Bond who would chase down their target on foot and pull Batman-style moves by jumping from rooftops fire escapes. If I'm wrong let me know. I just can't picture Roger Moore taking off in full-sprint. Seems more of a leisurely stroll kind of guy.
But that's the thing people need to realize. We live in different times than the James Bond of the 20th century. Those cheesy gadgets that Q used to showcase for Bond are out of style. People, I think, want more realism in their spy movies. Okay, I'd like a little more realism. I don't want to see James Bond get caught, then placed in some supposedly inescapable death-trap with one inept guard in the room. It's a James Bond movie. You know he'll escape, even if the escape is unbelievable. In Casino Royale he was captured and tortured. There's a lot to be said about having him beaten to a pulp and watching him go through that pain, but still knowing he won't be killed.
Quantum of Solace is definitely not a stand-alone film. Most of the plot makes sense only if you've seen Casino Royale. On that note, the new movie felt more like an extension of the previous film, rather than a brand new Bond. But they couldn't very well make Casino Royale five hours long, could they?
So if you're looking for classic Bond, go out and rent Dr. No. If you're looking for the 21st century's take on Bond, see Casino Royale first, then go see Quantum of Solace.