I for one will be sad to Daniel Craig hang up the role of Bond and walk away. I think he managed to straddle the line of making him feel realer and remaining true to the character. Previous to that, outside of Connery, Pierce Brosnan had been my favourite Bond. Something about Moore always fell apart for me when he smarmed rather than charmed. Dalton came across just too flat. Lazenby never really inhabited the role.
The relationships being real in Craig’s Bond makes the women more real. I liked the notion of a female Bond. Everything hangs together so much better when you can see the humanity in the character, and don’t just view him as a cool shiny surface.
Rami Malek does a great job of embodying the notion that the hero and the anti-hero are both created by the failures of the system in which they are operating. Slave the tools a “hero” and the actions are good, slave them to an “anti-hero” and they are bad.
It’s not ever the action scenes you have to worry about in a Bond movie, it’s always the connective tissue. When he is not shooting, kicking, and punching people and he has to talk, that’s when the notion of what Bond is becomes more problematic. I have found this crops up less for me with Craig. There is more kinetic movement pushing through the bridging scenes, so even if there is no fighting there is usually some kind of verbal or emotional tension. This movie did not feel like it hung around — every mark that was laid down for them to hit was hit.
Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter was great, but you always kind of wish he had more screen time. The same could be said of Blofeld. All in all it was a great sign off. I’m going to dig sitting down and watching all his films in a marathon and seeing how the whole of his run hangs together — I am confident it will read very well.