I’m a HUGE James Bond fan. I’ve been watching the movies since I was young enough to feel uncomfortable with the opening sequence. Sean Connery has been the quintessential Bond for years, with Pierce Brosnan coming a close second. Until Daniel Craig. The reimagining of the Bond universe, following in the wake of the Bourne Identity is nothing short of stellar. I’m an avid reader and have 1st edition copies of most of the 007 novels. The ate much more serious and violent than the movies have been. Casino Royale was spot on with the book. Quantum of Solace, though not based on a book, is a formidable follow-up to the new grittier Bond.
I was lucky enough to see the new Bond film as part of a marketing conference for networks and cable companies. My company won 2 silver awards for 2 campaigns I was on. One was for a piece I designed for HBO Latin America. Our contact, Frank and I decided to skip one of the parties to catch the movie.
From the opening chase, I was on the edge of my seat. The action sequences were so hard and fast that I’m still processing them. The character development, including exiting characters from Casino Royale and the building of future characters in the form of Felix Lighter, and of course Bond himself was excellent. The movie answered few questions left from the first but hinted that the answers would be forth coming.
The only major gadgets were pretty realistic. MI6 used a Microsoft Surface like touch interface on their computers and Bonds most used tool was a fancy Sony Ericsson mobile phone with a great tracking device. Lookout Google!
Missing were Bond’s ubiquitous lines:
“Bond. James Bond.”
“Martini. Shaken not stirred.”
We were introduced to a drink without a name that will become 007s signature drink. Introduced in this movie was a custom martini that is introduced in the Casino Royale book called the Vesper. The writers and director are doing a fantastic job building the layers of the Bind character, all of the events that turn him into the killing machine he will become. Even guilt over the death a seduced female character (think Goldfinger) adds another layer to the onion of Bond.
My greatest disappointment with the new film was the title sequence. As a motion graphics designer, 007 opening titles have been a great influence. While the visuals were much more subtle than in recent years, they were lean, mean and cool, as they should be. Certainly worthy of the Bond franchise. Hopefully the ones I will some day create will be as well. What missed the mark was the music. The Jack White and Alisha Keys track would be fantastic for any other action flick, but it’s no Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, even The World Is Not Enough (one of my favorites, Shirley Manson would be a great Bond villain). While it had the requisite big instrument style, it lacked a flow as smooth as Bond’s lady moves, and was missing a memorable hook that belied to storyline. I’m still waiting for Amy Winehouse to get out of rehab long enough to finish her track, I have a feeling that shell better represent the Bond style. When and it is every released, I may just use it as proof of concept to land my gig doing the open title!