This will be short and sweet because I'm off to see Ms. Bond, Stephanie Bond, at a local RWA meeting. But to be succinct: the new James Bond movie, CASINO ROYALE, is pretty awesome.
This is the first Bond movie in ages to have a character arc for the hero, and it's so refreshing to see that: I hope it's a trend that continues. And Daniel Craig is great; he brings so many new angles to a character that's been used until it's become a paper cutout of anything interesting. Craig's Bond is rugged, and he can wear a tux while still kicking ass. I haven't ever seen an action sequence in one of these movies like the first extended one in CASINO ROYALE. I mean--Bond is brutal. In fact, the movie doesn't feature any of the gadgets you'd expect: this Bond is all brains and brawl. I love it. But don't worry that this new Bond leaves out the quips and the charm. Hell no--it's still there in spades. His sense of humor is dry, just like a martini, but there's a subtle wink in Craig's eye as he delivers his lines. The perfect example of this mix can be found in one of the best torture scenes ever put on film. That sounds wrong--"the best torture scene"--but when you see it, you'll probably agree from a storytelling standpoint. It's funny and cringe-worthy all at the same time, and Bond handles it with...well, I'll leave you to see that, but it had the audience clapping.
Viva the new Bond!