Release (wide): Nov. 14, 2008 … Overall: B- … Teens: B … Story: B-.
Daniel Craig plays “007” (aka James Bond) in this 22nd instantiation of the iconic British spy’s adventures. This one is somewhat different due to a director who may have overextended himself a bit — oh, it’s got all the rapid-fire action of the others, without too many toys this time — as director Marc Forster takes Bond on a journey through more than gunfighting and womanizing; it goes into the as-yet unchartered waters of forgiveness. The plot is hard to discover through the action, but I think it goes something like this: Bond’s investigation into his girlfriend’s death as a result of her involvement in a blackmailing scheme leads him to Dominic (Mathieu Amalric) and his “girlfriend,” Camille (Olga Kurylenko). Camille was brutalized in her youth by a general with whom Dominic has ties, and everybody’s connected in a tangled web: Dominic’s ties also run to the CIA and British intelligence, and to Bond’s boss, M (Judi Densch). She ends up getting in Bond’s way more than helping him here, because of the complications of the aforementioned tangled webs, so their relationship, it has to be said, has seen greater levels of partnership in its day. Despite an underlying moral code of vengeance, more than the fair share of over-budgeted violence, and of course the womanizing, not with Camille but with a counterintelligence agent (Gemma Arterton), Bond in the end takes a friend’s forgiveness to heart, leading to a climax that is ultimately sound, despite a lot of messy filmmaking along the way.
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