Friday, November 10, 2006

Hollywood Reporter: Another James Bond Rave

High praise from the Hollywood Reporter, which says Daniel Craig is a great Bond. They don't mention the obvious reference -- the "Jason Bourne" series starring Matt Damon that this movie is clearly modeled after (which is only fair, since the Bourne movies are clearly modeled after the Bond books). But everyone also seems to forget that Bond was brought back to a much more ruthless, realistic tone once before with the Timothy Dalton era. It was a welcome tonic at the end of Roger Moore, but didn't spark the box office. Pierce Brosnan did just that with a sometimes cannier take on Moore's unflappability and the usual trappings of gadgets and gals. Of course, Brosnan also urged the producers to retool Bond and make him grittier and more realistic -- they've done exactly what he urged, but with someone else. Small thanks for grossing $400 mil worldwide. The Hollywood Reporter does point out the movie is way overlong and drags a lot at 144 minutes and only three action set pieces (two towards the beginning are great; the finale is okay). Plus, I don't think Craig and Eva Green have any chemistry -- a big problem since their romance is at the heart of the movie. He strikes more sparks with Judi Dench as M. I'd say lower your expectations but know that you'll have fun. The trappings are weak -- poor theme song, poor title design -- but the film itself is definitely heading the series in the right direction.

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