Things were getting awfully tired and ridiculous by the end of the Brosnan era, and it was obvious that an update was needed.
To pick up the series and give it a much needed revitalization, Martin Campbell returned to the director's chair, and he decided to go the direction of a reboot, showing the roots of the venerable spy, and how he got his venerable license to kill.
Despite a couple of odd things, like the shock paddles in the car, this is probably the most down to Earth, serious, and realistic entry in the long running series, and that's also one reason why it's one of the best. The other would have to be the focus on a nice balance between stunning action, and legitimate, deep character development and drama.
This film shows Bond at some of the most human and vulnerable he's been in a long time, if not ever. To pull this side of the coin off, we get Daniel Craig in his debut as Bond, and he easily pulls off the dramatic and action oriented sides of the character with ease. He's intense, and a real force to be reckoned with. Eva Green is wonderful as Vesper Lynd. who, despite being the love interest, plays a crucial role to the story, and is one of the better characters in series history.
The plot is wonderful, the script is stellar, and the direction is superb. This is such a great film (in general) that I kind of hate it as a result. There's really nothing wrong here that's not nitpicking. Yeah, maybe some might be a little put off by how serious and dark the film is, but I found it to be just what was needed at the time. Plus, this really works as a satisfactory espionage thriller for contemporary times.
Definitely don't miss this one. It's a real high water mark for the series.