Average User Score: 7.5Nov 19, 2012This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Where to even begin with how awful this movie is??? First, I LOVE action films. I LOVE Bond films. I LOVE Sam Mendes. Does that mean they should all be in one movie together? Um.... no. As a preface, I was really excited by all the hype for this film and waited in line for two hours to redeem my $22 IMAX ticket at the only "real" IMAX theater in NYC to get the very best seat in the house. And what did I get for this dedication? A meandering story line that was derivative, ridiculous, and at least thirty minutes too long (how does this "old guy Bond" that can't even pass a simple fitness test survive being shot with a high-grade weapon and falling several stories into a huge waterfall??); scenes and subplots that barely even made sense (why does Bond meet the Bond girl and determine she is a former child sex trade worker, then suddenly appear like a CREEP in her shower, promise to save her, and then let her die in the next scene commenting callously that her death was a waste of good scotch-- POINTLESS if not creepy); idiotic plot devices (why do people need a flashlight to find a huge building in a field lit up by massive explosions and flames? Ummmm, let's see... to make them easy for the villain to find...??); lame, lame LAAAAAMMMMMEE fight sequences (that Shanghai club scene was so ho-hum after all the build up. Not to mention it contained the ONLY bit of pay off on the supposedly "cool" gun. Why does a Chinese body guard not carry his own gun and how does he not know there is a huge dragon in this pit in the place where he works, nor manage to see it coming?).
The gadgets were boring- an iPod mini is cooler than that radio- and the scenes were overall, way too drawn out.
How, how HOW have we forgotten the primary rule of cinema-- SHOW don't tell???? I don't want to hear a long monologue about a Chinese prison sentence, I want to SEE it. I don't want to watch Bond follow two steps behind, discovering Patrice's trail of dead bodies- I want to see the kills! I want to SEE Javier Bardem's awesome escape from this airtight cell, instead of leaving Q to "suddenly realize" that he must have been planning it all along and somehow magically foresaw all these incredible details blah blah blah. Show me how this crazy cool fingerprint gun works! Give me a tour of your awesome Aston Martin that's so much cooler now than it was in Goldfinger. At least let me see the CGI scorpion TRY to sting Bond.... SOMETHING. And why oh why is the cleaning guy at the little beach bungalow bar watching Wolf Blitzer on CNN conveniently at sunrise...? Are you serious?? That's REALLY the best you can do with a team of three accomplished Hollywood writers? I want to SEE how Bond survived his crazy fall, if he's so old and has a bullet wound. The pacing of this film was slow, WAY to slow for an action film. Bond lost, in my opinion, all his sex appeal- the shower scene was so far from steamy and the shaving scene was loooonnnnngg and went nowhere. There was no build at all to the momentum of this film. Points where the suspense should have been at a high (like in M's hearing) plodded along with the efficiency of a three-toed sloth. Points where Bond could have been a hero (like for example, SAVING the Bond girl to make her three scenes at least kind of pay off) were missing entirely. With all the technology today, you would think they could have come up with some cooler gadgets and taken the time to show us how they work, because the HOW is really the awesome part of action movies anyway.
And why oh WHY did we witness at least ten minutes of film establishing how old and beat up James Bond is these days, and how he can't even pass a fitness test, only for NONE of this information to ever pay off anywhere else in the story??? I'm all for exploring the aging super hero thing, like Batman as a shut in facing foreclosure, but this just seemed like an unresolved, half-explored idea.
Javier Bardem stole the show as always, and actually held my attention with his two very lengthy monologues. In the hands of another actor, this role could have been ridiculous but he brought out the creepy sadism and kept it bubbling just under the surface for the whole film, justifying as best he could WHY (why oh why, Writers??) a man with such "limitless power" might wait fifteen years to kill the woman he hated most, biding his time with stock market manipulation, and why it seems like such a process to kill her when he can apparently blow up MI6 with undetected ease. Judi Dench and Albert Finney were both excellent as always, and truly made up the only emotional core of this film, being the only actors who were able to achieve a measure of compassion or depth.
Daniel Craig was pouty and plasticky as usual and his body language continues to seem put on and unconvinced. Eve Moneypenny had all the vim and vigor of a corporate lawyer and I really wasn't sold on that casting choice. All around- LAME BOND.… Expand