He still looks like Steve McQueen's ugly cousin, but I gotta say the man is a great Bond. Daniel Craig killed it...I mean that in the positive slangified way. :-)
This is the Batman Begins of the Bond franchise, a totally new reimagining starting completely from scratch. And they got it mostly right.
First of all, this is the first Bond where the viewer isn't forcing his/her suspension of disbelief on the abilities of the actor. Daniel Craig has a pretty fine physique. Yes, indeedy, he can chase down a "free running" perp. Yes, he can beat the snot out of the bad guys and still keep that arrogant sneer.
Okay, so you know all the Bonds had different styles. Sean was svelte-suave and very Esquire. George Lazenby (yeah, I included him and what?) had that distracting butt-chin, but he was "O.K.". Roger Moore was a joke, campy and totally unbelievable. Timothy Dalton was a bit too serious for my tastes. And they waited too long to get Pierce Brosnan.
Daniel Craig is what they were shooting for in Die Another Day, but didn't quite get. They finally brought Bond into the new century by, ironically enough, going back to the old school essence of Bond. There are hardly any gadgets, no naked silhouetted women in the opening song, and no long elaborate stunts before the opening song. It's just Bond's brains, guts, and ego in all it's youthful sureity.
Now, I told you it wasn't all good. Eva Green is the most average-looking Bond girl in the history of the franchise and her skills as an actress (yes, yes, I know not really that big of requirement in these types of films, but hey this is the new Bond) kinda' sucked.
All, in all that was the weakest part of the script for me, the super-cliche'd romance. That, and an ending that dragged after a certain point and then just deflated.
Overall, though, I must say...The action and the poker scenes were completely on point. Even the villain had that classic Bond scar. And props for casting my man, Jeffrey Wright (in a totally unworthy of him, small part, hut hey at least he's working)...Totally off subject, but this man should seriously be working more than he does. He's arguabally one of the greatest actors of his generation.
If you're a fan of Bond and you were doubting Mr. Craig, put those doubts aside and get your butt to a theater. There were a few folks impressed enough to give this installment applause.
PARENTS: There's a torture scene involving a man's lower anatomy that could be a bit much for the youngsters, but overall there's nothing too objectionable. It's video game violence and PG love scenes.
Depending on your kid's maturity level, he/she could get squirmy on the poker scenes. But really those are some of the most high-tension parts. Don't let your young person ruin it, if you know they get bored with that stuff.
I'd take mature kids.