Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. United Kingdom/USA, 2008. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia Pictures, Eon Productions, B22, Danjaq, United Artists. Screenplay by Paul Haggis, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, based on characters created by Ian Fleming. Cinematography by Roberto Schaefer. Produced by Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson. Music by David Arnold. Production Design by Dennis Gassner. Costume Design by Louise Frogley. Film Editing by Matt Chesse, Richard Pearson.
After being reborn as a rookie in Casino Royale 44 years into his cinematic career, James Bond has returned for his newest adventure. The film picks up not long after the last one, with Bond hot to get revenge against the person(s) responsible for the death of Vesper Lynd, his one true love. What he stumbles upon is the new SPECTRE, an international crime syndicate called Quantum that may or may not be led by an environmental industrialist (Mathieu Amalric) who has raised suspicion from MI6 with his ties to a Bolivian leader and a desire to dig for oil on a piece of land that has none. Sleek and smooth, this film is a rhythmic opposite to its brash, energetic predecessor; there’s plenty of action and it’s always exciting, but the overall pace is on a slow burn that sizzles consistently throughout, with a wonderful plot whose twists and turns have you constantly longing to learn more. Craig is once again the most smoulderingly sensuous Bond since Sean Connery’s lips graced the screen in Dr. No, lighting the screen up with his manly swagger and piercing, vulnerable eyes and keeping the whole thing on an even keel. Thoroughly satisfying, bolstered by a strong Bond girl (Olga Kurylenko), completely unharmed by a very weak one (Gemma Arterton), gorgeously realized by Oscar winner Dennis Gassner’s production design and overall a marvelous entry in this perennial series.