Friday, November 07, 2008


A Look Back at the James Bond Reboot & its direct sequel
By Reymundo Salao

James Bond is probably the most popular action hero of all time, having been around since the 50’s, and reigned as a film icon since the 60’s. Every person who has ever seen a movie or television is familiar with James Bond, its story, its characters, and even its music. The character created by Ian Fleming has been brought to life so many times, initially by actors like Peter Sellers and even Woody Allen. But it wasn’t until Eon Productions took a hold of the franchise and became it the most successful film franchise ever, with 22 James Bond movies made as of now. And that first Bond to take on the role under the Eon Production movies as Sean Connery, who was etched as the quintessential James Bond. Bond was brought to life later on by George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan. The franchise had its highs and lows but it survived the test of time.

In 2006, the James Bond franchise had its reboot and a new actor was chosen to take on the role of the new James Bond. The film was CASINO ROYALE and the actor chosen was Daniel Craig. Craig personifies an action hero image that we could relate to, rugged, tough, and rebellious. The film really reveals how much Daniel Craig proves himself to be more than worthy of being the new James Bond. Apart from his rugged physique, he delivers more spiky charm with both arrogance and a sensitive side of Bond which makes him a complex character, and that is what makes him very interesting. This film even shows a far more sensitive, loving, and romantic Bond than in any other James Bond movie (he actually says the magic words "I Love You" in this one). Far beyond the romantic version that George Lazenby has portrayed in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (wherein Bond got married). Craig brings to life a more human Bond. One that actually knows how to care for something important to him and his soul, and has a nasty sense of humor even when he’s being tortured.

CASINO ROYALE pushes for a more believable Bond in a believable setting. There would be no volcanoes here that reveal to be mountain fortresses for villains, nor are there underwater palaces or outer space stations run by uniformed bad guys. But there are some pretty simple gadgets not worth mentioning. My guess is, that just like “From Russia with Love”, this movie sticks to the plain action-thriller formula from the Fleming books. Perhaps some of us can wait for the gadgets till the next Bond movie may come.

The film is said to take James Bond "back to his roots" in a film that would be similar to From Russia with Love where the focus was on character and plot rather than high-tech gadgets and visual effects. An issue which would surely revolutionize the James Bond genre. The new James Bond series that began in Casino Royale intends to establish a more realistic James Bond. A Bond that kicks ass, bleeds, and gets tormented, even emotionally as in the loss of Vesper, his beloved wife. Although many may argue Connery to be the quintessential James Bond, I personally disagree and put Craig on that rank, because Craig’s Bond seeks to humanize the character. Bond is not anymore a somewhat action-comicbook character. He is now complex and emotional, despite the cold image his character desperately projects.

QUANTUM OF SOLACE is the direct sequel to CASINO ROYALE. The sequel begins 5 minutes after the ending of CASINO ROYALE. In the end of that movie, he finds Mr. White, who is just the tip of the iceberg, he is a mere operative of a much larger, much more dangerous terrorist organization. James Bond’s thirst for vengeance and vindication is not satisfied, and bound by duty and a personal vendetta, he seeks out this organization with a black pleasure; a Quantum of Solace. [to be continued with the full review of QUANTUM OF SOLACE]

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