So the trailer for the new bond film is out and it seems prudent to display my thoughts regarding his reinvention and about what I regard as the conclusion (or start of the conclusion) to the last 3 instalments.
Let’s all agree, the reinvention was not unnecessary. As much as I liked the suave charm of Brosnan’s 007 he was overwhelmed with crass scripts, ridiculous gadgets and a slavish commitment to every cliché thought possible. And don’t get me started on John Cleese.
Casino Royale was a very solid start, stripping back everything and breathing a lease of life in to the ancient concept. The film had some great ideas introducing quantum as a sort of modem day pseudo Spectre. The film gave us a sort of ‘bond origins’ story that was smart and tapping in to just enough bond tropes to keep it familiar. The film worked, though I’m still not sure about a baddy who suffers from asthma.
Quantum of Solace was a mixed bag in my opinion. It wanted to carry on the story of Casino Royale but didn’t seem to know where to take it. It reintroduced a few more bondy things, our drip feed after the traffic accident that was The World Is Not Enough, but the film felt wary of pushing its luck and as such perhaps restrained itself a little too much forgetting that bond still needs to be bond.
This weakness became apparent when Skyfall was released, ditching the story line of the previous two films for a stand alone film that took the time to put to bed the final legacies of the Brosnan years and replacing them with ones more ‘traditional’. This was the final part in the reinvention allowing the series to continue unencumbered from invisible cars and media controlled stealth battleships. I was disappointed by the loss of Quantum as I had fond memories of Spectre in the early days but low and behold the next film is actually called Spectre so I guess I needn’t have worried. Skyfall is overrated with its need to to self consciously homage the old bonds quite so faux-ironically, but it was necessary in order to finally mop up the last of the mess of the previous decade. It did that admirably.
So going forward what have we got to look forward to? The most exciting thing bar the return of Spectre is Christopher Waltz as the baddy. There is much speculation about whether he will or won’t be Blofeld but quite honestly, though I hope he is (and signed to do multiple films) it doesn’t matter. He is perhaps the strongest casting as a baddy for some time and if he does return for multiple films he could herald a challenge to Jaws as a proper iconic baddy. The rest of the casting is just as strong with familiar names popping up in essential roles. Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci are both great choices as Bond girls and while the idea of ‘bond girls’ nowadays does leave a slightly acrid taste in ones mouth, these strong actresses are capable of ensuring that that too is perhaps a successful reinvention.
Spectre is supposed to be the beginning of the rest of Bonds life on screen and I am very optimistic indeed. Below is the new trailer. Enjoy.