Yeah he's back and he is blond. So what? After 5 of them and especially George 'I can shag the life out of Bella Starr' Lazenby who gives a damn about who plays Bond? The islanders do because its the only time they are the smarter lot and Langley is left licking the leftovers, but then this isn't about Bond. Daniel Craig can be all craggy and gritty (wait, wasn't Timothy Dalton all that?) but he still can't manage enough punch, with all his brawn, to hold up this overhyped 'if you've seen the trailer you've pretty much seen the film' Bond card game fiasco. Yes, you can quote me there. The movie may go on an rake in millions but apart from the chase (on foot, mind you) in Madagascar, the rest can be best described as a pre-title sequence.
The plot looks like its made of ceramic. No matter how hard you try to twist it, it stays firm and looks supeficial. Oh and it is very delicate as well, which is where the Eon Productions goofed up. They should've printed 'Handle With Care' in bold red before tossing it over to Martin Campbell. By the end of the film you're left picking up the fragments and piecing it together only to find a dour looking finger bowl when you expected an exquisitely crafted antique vase or some such richly complicated turn of the century piece of art.
It was to be a reboot, much like Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins', but I feel Martin Campbell overestimated himself here. A reboot does mean going back to the drawing board and trying to breathe in a fresh perspective, but it certainly does not mean serving up a 2 hour poker game in the guise of a spy thriller, I'd rather watch 'Rounders' all over again.
The actors, apart from Daniel Craig, who has much to prove yet, were quite rudimentary. Le Chiffre can weep copius amounts of blood and try and act icy but someone who looks at Bond's beefy, naked body and goes 'Wow' is hardly the super villian I am used to. This may be Bond's first outing as a super spy but it was my 21st and I'm used to the calculating and heartless villians that dotted the earlier flicks. Think Max Zorin, Scaramanga hell even Gustav Graves with his diamond acned Zao had more menace than this accountant ('Banker to the world's terrorists' says M) who can't keep his cards straight and his boss Mr White. Wonder if Tarantino is suing for copyright violation here.
Bond falls in love, as he will in numerous future escapades, but acts as if he is done loving and giving after his beloved Vesper goes down the elevator shaft, into the murky waters of Venice. He also tenders his resignation, pouts like a school boy and laughs while his nuts are being cracked. But he doesn't manage to grip me or make me believe he is the same 007 that Ian Fleming crafted and Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan essayed with such ease.
I suppose Eon Productions would do well to hand over the direction duties to Roberto Rodriguez the next time they want a reboot, a little bit of white gunk masquerading as blood may to the trick. In the words of Daniel Craig's other alter ego Conner Rooney, Casino Royale was 'fucking hysterical'.