I have to say it is an excellent film. I can’t say Daniel Craig strikes me much as the image of Bond we’ve had so far, and I’m not talking about the Blond hair, that doesn’t bother me, it’s just the ‘swagger’ isn’t very Bond like. However that doesn’t seem to make much difference as he pulls of a good performance anyway.
The film does feel like a Bond film. Lacks obviously the standard elements (the gadgets etc), but that’s a good thing. I know Licence to Kill did this as well, but LTK was frankly boring and had no proper Bond plot, it was just a rather dull revenge story with an even more dull villain and dull drugs plot. Gritty yes, but gritty doesn’t automatically mean good. With Casino Royale we have gritty but it’s not taking itself too seriously all the time and still retains the glamour of Bond.
The only problem really is the Judi Dench ‘M’, but then continuity has never been much of an issue with Bond before, and besides I quite like her as Bond. Black Felix?… well that’s what Never Say Never Again did (even if that was unofficial).
A little long perhaps but then ending is pretty good.
Best Bond film ever? No. OHMSS easily retains the top spot there and I’d say even Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice are better too despite their age and obvious flaws for 60s films.
The reboot, M, Craig as Bond, I can all live with I think. Only problem though is the more serious and realistic angle they are taking is jarred by the early scene on the building site. It’s a bit hard to believe. I mean it’s almost like something out of a super hero or Hong Kong film.
Oh and of course as this is a Sony film since they bought up MGM, Sony product placement is everywhere. For example, Sony mobile phones (seems everyone has one), Vaio laptops, Blue-Ray discs and players.
Better or equal to Goldeneye I’d say, which is fitting given it’s the same director and both are new starts to the series. That probably makes it in my book in the top 5.