We went to see the new James Bond movie yesterday. It was standard fare, but I enjoyed it enough. The female lead lacked spark; I couldn't really believe Daniel Craig falling for her, even though she was pretty cute and a much tougher bar-fighter than I could ever be. Craig delivered the product pretty well, although it more than stretched credulity.
It seems to me that there's a not-so-elusive balance in this kind of movie, which has to do with suspension of disbelief. Yes, you know that actual human beings can't crash airplanes during a high-speed car chase and leap out of the burning wreckage and steal a passing car. I guess any one of those elements would be okay, but when they happen seriatim, every forty seconds or so, you do get worn down. I suspect that on paper -- in the script -- it looks like good grim Bondian comedy. But it's too much too fast to be actually amusing.
The dramatic character development that might rescue it is there in outline, but it's too dilute. Bond is about to be retired, along with his whole section, his whole way of life, because he is in fact a half-century out of date. It may be asking too much of a movie, even as long as this, to explore this premise while also supplying the requisite fist-fights and gun battles and car chases and high-tech mayhem. I guess it feels like several stories all compressed into one.
Oh, Judy Dench has a lovely little posthumous cameo, expertly inserted into the plot. I wonder if she knew when she filmed it that she would probably not live to see the movie. What a pro.