First Hit: Action and more action but without much thoughtfulness.
Don’t get me wrong – Daniel Craig as 007 – James Bond, is at least neck-to-neck, (if not ahead of) with Sean Connery as my favorite Bond.
Whereas Connery’s Bond was sophisticated and debonair; Craig’s Bond is more rough and movement oriented. Therefore this film is more or less strictly an action film versus a thinking man’s Bond film.
Like the immediate predecessors, this film begins with a long sequence prior to the opening credits. In this case we are led to believe that James is killed. We all know this wouldn’t be true or else why would we have another 135 minutes left of film to watch?
This sort of telegraphing happens throughout the film; we know that arch enemy Silva (played by Javier Bardem) will only be killed in the end, and no matter how many times Bond has the opportunity throughout the film it will only happen in the end.
What was surprising was M’s (played by Judi Dench) involvement in the story. And in some ways I liked this touch. I liked that we involved other characters including M’s boss Gareth Mallory (played by Ralph Fiennes), Eve (ready for it) Moneypenny (played by Naomie Harris, and a new Q (played by Ben Whishaw).
The newish versions of old characters were introduced reasonably well which bridged the old Bond to the new Bond. However, this film just seemed to be just a series of action sequences stringed together with some dialogue. However, Silva’s character created an appropriate level of disturbed presence to move Bond to the next level of action.
Although many of the action scenes were amazingly put together, I thought the subway (tube) coming through the hole in the ceiling to be incorrect. The sequence is too long and the train would have stopped moving forward long before it did and it wasn't appropriately slowing down as it hit objects in its way. This would have been different in real life and therefore it didn’t come off a real crash.
Craig is a favorite Bond of mine and he’ll do more good Bond films if his natural intelligence is developed as well. Here he is superb in the action sequences. Bardem is appropriately spooky and devilish in his actions. Dench is strong but a feeling tired in this role. Harris is nicely interesting in her role as Eve, one of Bond's paramours. Whishaw is good and appropriately nerdy as the new Q. Fiennes, works out well as M’s boss and his slow engagement into the story works very well. Neil Purvis and Robert Wade wrote an action script and not one exemplifying Bond’s intelligence. Sam Mendes, showed a strong hand at creating interesting action scenes (motorcycle chase), helicopter use (both on the island and Skyfall), and the wonderful nostalgia of first using the new Jaguar (M’s car) to the old DB5 (Austin) with ejection seat button and machine gun headlights.
Overall: If you want to watch a lot action – go see this film.