Admittedly, I have never been that into James Bond. As a kid I mean, I guess it just didn't have a lot to offer a fledgling feminist, vegan, not really into flash, material goods and clean-cut men. But, I've seen every Bond film because I had a brother and because, well, I had boyfriends and I also tend to lie around watching rerun movies on occasion. And when channel surfing, shit blowing up, gunning and car chases are always better than romantic comedies.
When Daniel Craig took over as Mr. Bond I changed my tune though. It was completely due to Mr. Craig, whom I adore as an actor and have enjoyed following for what seems like forever.
Craig was a different sort of Bond. Less polished, more angry, more flawed. He made Bond human while retaining the edge only Bond could have. I was both looking forward to and dreading this installment because, well, my brief time as a Bond fanatic is now over. Yes, yes, I am a fair weathered franchise follower. Call me shallow if you want.
In terms of Craig's Bond I rank the four installments in the following order: Number 1 - definitely Casino Royale. This one set the bar and really set the whole Bond mystique on its ear, reinvented it and made it fresh enough for even me to jump aboard. Number 2 - Skyfall. Sam particularly loved this one because it got back to gadgets, made old things new and of course, we met Moneypenny ;). Numbers 3 and 4 for me and ranking were heavily discussed last night at the conclusion of Spectre. It has been said of this series that Quantum of Solace was the weak link. I tend to disagree and would put it at Number 3. It was dark and heavy, but it put Bond on a mission for personal answers. It was almost more of a Man on Fire type story and I tend to enjoy characters more when they have nothing to lose.
Spectre had some cool things but I thought the action was a tiny bit weak (except for the opening, which was awesome). I had a hard time with the love story. It just didn't seem to fall together right for me, given the eventual outcome. Maybe I just miss Judi Dench. Maybe the whole idea of Bond having rejected his anger and moved on just doesn't appeal to me. I just don't dig it. This isn't my Bond. And I guess I won't have to sort it out next time since this is the last of Craig's installments.
Still, I'm sad. Daniel Craig made me enjoy the franchise, something that I would have scoffed at 10 years ago. As an entertainment junkie and lover of guy movies, he gave me another thing to look forward to. And most importantly, he taught me to make an absolutely wicked martini.
Escaping reality - one movie, book, fantasy at a time :)