When it comes to a “must see” movie for me, there are only a few movies that enter that category. Regardless of how they spin it, I’ll be seeing every installment of Indiana Jones, Batman, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. Oh, and this little, longest-running series about a British spy who prefers his martinis shaken (not stirred), a Walther PPK (I’m old school), his cars fast and tricked-out, and his action hot and heavy (yes, you can read that on multiple levels). So, when Quantum of Solace was announced, I marked my calendar.
James Bond has always been a favorite character of mine, as you might tell from my uber-geek moment, the feature reviewing all twenty-one currently published movies. Somehow, James Bond movies became events at my house. We’d rent a few of the older ones every summer, and we’d certainly be in line for every new Pierce Brosnan one that came out. Bond was the antithesis of my father, in the way that he treated women, handled violence and drank, but the one-man-can-stop-evil motif played well in my justice-oriented family.
So, do I care that Daniel Craig is blond and not brunette? No, he’ll still step into the gap to fight SPECTRE or QUANTUM or whatever they’re calling themselves these days. Do I care if he shows up to a gunfight with a knife, and no gadgets? No, because he’ll be faced with ridiculous odds and still come out smelling like a rose. Do I care if he never says, “Bond. James Bond” in the context of Quantum of Solace? Well… no.
Craig is the epitome of James Bond in the imaginative version of Bond that my mind first created when I read Ian Fleming’s original novels. Sean Connery and Roger Moore, then Timothy Dalton (ugh!) and Pierce Brosnan, added to the spectrum that John Gardner was writing about in the 1980s and 1990s, but Craig has topped them all. What the special effects-oriented final flames of Brosnan failed to accomplish was reminding us that Bond was an everyman who happened to be more suave. Yes, he had charm, okay looks and a few tricks up his sleeve, but his intellect, card playing and physical shape kept him on top more often than the big bangs that the 1990s-2000s version sold the audiences on.
I’m anxious to see a continuation of the fine story that Casino Royale began. We’re in for all the things we expected before from a Bond movie, but now we see character development and a plot that reflects our world. You can have your Oscar contenders, your three-year-in-the-making animated films and anything else you want to choose. I’ve got a view to a kill, where the living daylights are on the line, and tomorrow never dies. Bond is back, baby!