Always the lone gun. Always on the move. Always sifting through cities for the faces of his enemies. Bond. James Bond.Until now, the blonde Bond has never cracked a smile, but what’s this? Could his Grinch heart have grown three sizes? Perhaps three to accommodate his number of female conquests per show. He’s still Bond…like a traveling salesman with a woman at ever port. Always the wanderer with a savior complex.Ever suave, adjusting cuff links, ever walking calmly away from burning buildings and exploding cars, shoulders first like an underwear model mid-photoshoot. His pristinely pressed and combed remains unscathed, and yet, the assassin Bond has perhaps grown a conscience about his occupation. His sins and the faces of those he hunted and killed haunt him more now. Therefore the inner conflict of this film seemed to be Bond’s choice: when to pull the trigger or more so when not to. The audience gets the view from the scope many times thanks to director Sam Mendes. Don’t assume that Bond doesn’t still leave a massive body count in his wake, but somehow now he cares and needs to prove that mercy can triumph over justice sometimes and that killing isn’t always the answer. New leaf for a Bond film. For any film, actually. This one plays out more like a Mission Impossible or Borne film with a host of action scenes and stunts as our man lifts off from one helicopter to the next, half smiling and saluting, ready to take one more fist to the face to save the world. Yet amidst the action and excitement, it posits the moral quandary making each life valuable. Still rather violent, but comparatively less blood than we’ve seen in the past. So many nods to classic Bonds, this one played more like Sean Connery’s Dr. No in certain scenes. Ralph Fiennes brings such perfect contrast in his role as the savvy and sorrowful new M. You feel his helplessness, and yet you trust that he has a trick up his sleeve. Christoph Waltz brings a quiet sophistication with his broad grin and brilliant bad guy persona. Sadly, his case is just a little too easily solved, this conflict easily taken care of. Holes in the plot seem to matter less than if the suit has been properly laundered. So relax. All is proper. All is lovely. All is calm and bright and classically shaken not stirred in Bond’s world.
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