I'm not what you would call the biggest Bond fan. I haven't seen many of them, and the recent output other than Casino Royale haven't been very good (and I had some problems with Casino Royale). Big budget movies like this have a tendency to make their plots overly complicated. When you bring a guy like Sam Mendes in, he strips it down and keeps the plot simple, giving characters that generally haven't had a lot of meat on their bones a surprisingly amount of depth. So instead of having a bunch of unnecessary exposition between the incredible action sequences, Mendes gives us great character moments. Many villains in films like these have little motivation. They are just bad and their actions just show us how bad they are. Here, Mendes keeps the villain closely tied to the main characters (specifically M), instead of it being some random foreign crazy person that just happened to pop up on the radar. By doing this, it makes the film much tighter. And while the character is most certainly a "bad guy", I empathized with him, which is partly due to how the character is written and partly due to Bardem's excellent performance. He chews the scenery, sure, but that scene in the middle when he is talking to M took my breath away. No Bond film that I have seen has ever made me so interested in the characters.
This is what big budget entertainment should be. It doesn't take itself so seriously that it forgets what it ultimately is, but also gives its characters enough depth that we actually give a shit about them. I also give them props for having the balls to go with the climax that they did. Very contained, almost like what would happen if Kevin McCallister grew up to be a spy and people were trying to kill him. At first I thought it was a bit silly, but as it went on it really worked. The way that sequence is shot and how it progressively gets darker and darker was spectacular. That cut from Craig first hearing music to Bardem and his crew flying in on the chopper with that great Animals rendition of "Boom Boom" was a great moment.
So yeah, thumbs up from this guy. Highly recommended.
Last edited by Bourne101; 11-10-2012 at 04:14 PM..