Kicking at the heels of Jason Bourne could be a good idea for any franchise, but the producers of the Bond franchise are starting to show signs of losing their own identity here. The reboot with the brave choice of Craig (which largely worked) in Casino Royale was a lush venture hampered only by the OTT finale. Now they decided to go all out on the action front with a director known more for dramatic vehicles. Marc Forster as well as the action unit director make this instalment look fine, but the story itself is suffering.
Aided by the fact that the villain was a touch on the dull side, and even that the supporting Bond girl (usually the one that dies, or the villain’s henchwoman) was one of the worst in the entire history of the franchise. The producers can’t seem to make up their mind if they want Bond to be dramatic, or action packed, and Craig isn’t given much chance to shine his acting skills off in his second time out.
With a third Craig outing assured, perhaps they will pick up the dramatic pace as well as the frantic action stakes. With the introduction of an organisation that is pitted against Bond the next instalment could go somewhere interesting. But with his “revenge” thread sorted out (sort of?) the writers are going to have to come up with something very interesting. Perhaps a decent villain(s) and maybe less Bond girls’ next time out instead of retreading the conventions of past glories. They were wise to drop the whole Q Gadgets and Moneypenny aspects, now maybe they can drop a few more Bond conventions and truly make the next one different.
The DVD release comes with some fairly generic showcase featurettes that have as much clips as they do talking heads. And some of this additional material only lasts a few minutes, which is a shame as some of the people (like Composer David Arnold) have some interesting things to say. Clearly the words “Special Edition” will be approaching us in the future.