The new Bond film in the franchise's 50th year is a great spy thriller and in the end a good Bond film. But not more. Let me explain why my praise will end up being somewhat limited:
If you've grown up in a time when Connery and Moore's Bonds including their spectacular action scenes, megalomaniac super villains and sexy sidekicks were the highlight of a Sunday evening for the entire family, there's just something missing from the recent Bond films. That's not to say I didn't enjoy them as movies, or as spy thrillers. But, they don't feel like Bond films. This one doesn't either.
Or wait, the opening sequence still does. It's fun, over the top and spectacular. I demand two or three such scenes from a Bond film, but sadly, it was the only one in this one. Adele's theme song is a bit too generic and boring but the visuals of the opening titles were great.
With the great acting names attached to this project, one could have expected fine performances and got plenty of them. I really liked Fiennes, Finney and thought Bardem's villain gave the film a much better second half than the somewhat slow first. The Bond girls fall kind of flat in this one, even though I really like Harris and the first meeting with the Severine character showed so much potential that got totally wasted.
The multiple nods to the older films we got in the last third of the film really won me over, though. The showdown finally added some much needed BOOM to the film. I didn't expect a mix between "Home alone" and "Apocalypse now" from a Bond adventure. So overall a very well done film, but probably not in my top 5 Bond films.
But I'll tell you something else. They have to get over the broken Bond character now. We've had him vulnerable, longing for revenge and mourning for three films now. I want a FUN film next time. Give Craig's Bond a new direction next time. A villain lair in a volcano. A martial arts Bond girl. A shoe that shoots fire. I am ready.