I heard great things about this film, so going in I had big expectations. And boy did it fail to live up to the hype. A very good thing that the series as a whole is doing is that they're taking the movies in a very different direction from Fleming's original concept - less end-of-the-world campy and more real-world espionage - which IMO is a very, very, good thing. The old so-called 'classics' that people rave about never made any kind of sense whatsoever. Remember Moonraker? Noah's Ark in space? Oh, boy. The film's problem, and I think most people would agree, is the really, really slow pace of its first half. We don't go to Bond movies for their artistic value - we want to see some action and HSQ and shit blowing up. There's a really good opening sequence for that, followed by what I think is the best title song in the entire Bond franchise, and then...yawn. Talk, talk, talk. By halftime Javier finally shows up on screen (in what I think is the lamest entrance for any villain in the entire Bond franchise, but Javier being Javier he pulls it off) and the action picks up a bit. Then Silver (Javier) lets himself get captured as part of the plan, breaks out, wreaks havoc.... and then we learn that Bond came from a rich family in Scotland... and his parents were killed when he was a little boy... and he was raised by the family gamekeeper... then he decided to become a spy and fight crime... hang on, did I walk into the wrong movie? Any second there I was expecting to see Morgan Freeman show up with a bat-suit and cape for Craig. That's what I really hated about this film: it was openly ripping off Nolan's TDK. The Xanatos-type villain, his uncontrollable chaotic style, even that one particular shot of Silver, silhouetted against the burning mansion behind him - remind you of a scene with our favourite Monster Clown? And yeah, we could've done without all the Oedipal subtext, too. Good climax, with some good visuals. The burning bungalow makes for a great centerpiece as the action comes to an end. Could be said to be better than Quantum, but definitely not better Casino. Overall 6.5/10.
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