Andrew Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
Am I the only person on the planet who thinks Craig is at best the 3rd best Bond? I’m convinced that anyone who thinks he’s the best one doesn’t understand what Bond actually is.
If I were judging this as a normal movie I’d say it was a really solid spy thriller. It’s well acted, has easily the best photography of the whole series, has a strong directorial hand, and it’s pretty damn entertaining.
But this is supposed to be a Bond movie. There are certain expectations I have for that and to be honest, with the exception of Casino Royale, none of Craig’s outings feel like Bond to me. I don’t want The Dark Knight, I want The Spy Who Loved Me.
The problem with this movie is NOT the logic gaps. So many complaints I heard are people upset at the fact that Bardem has this crazy control over timing and knowing exactly what every person will do before they do it. These complaints are moronic. Anyone who has ever seen a Bond movie knows you have to stop caring about logic if you want to enjoy a Bond movie. That’s not the problem.
The problem is much of this movie feels like it hates Bond as a general concept. It sneers at the quirky mindlessness of everything that proceeds it in the series. Bardem is probably the closest to feeling like he gets the right tone but even he gets swallowed by the darkness of the narrative. Thomas Newman’s music is not good (aside from the classic riff he throws in when the DB5 shows up). Keep his digital nonsense away from my horns and strings.
Give me gadgets, give me villains with ambiguous world domination plans, give me cartoony henchmen. Those elements are what give Bond movies their charm! They aren’t supposed to be masterpieces of cinema, they are an escape that you can simultaneously have fun with and also laugh at.
I’ve read a lot of people saying this movie feels overly nostalgic and I couldn’t possibly feel more the opposite. They literally blow up the DB5 as a completely superfluous act just to say FUCK the OLD Bond this is NEW BOND! None of this feels remotely like Bond to me. Can we make the movies period pieces so that we don’t have to deal with modern tech in Bond anymore? Maybe we can’t go back but between this and the catastrophe that is Spectre the series seems so absurdly off course I don’t know if it’s redeemable.
I really enjoy the ending setting up a more traditional Bond but they basically completely do away with that in Spectre and go right back to the serialized storytelling that I completely despise. Goddamn just tell a complete story for ONE of these Craig outings. I don’t care about any of this nonsense.
I’d rather watch any Roger Moore outing than this one despite this being objectively a far better constructed movie. It’s still well made but I’m desperate to get back to the series roots.