*MILD SPOILERS FOR THE DANIEL CRAIG BOND MOVIES AHEAD*
It’s official that Daniel Craig will be James Bond once more for Bond 25.
As of this writing, nothing else has been confirmed yet – no official director, leading lady, villain or even a working title!
So while there’s still a lot of mystery around the next 007 film, here’s my pattern-based theory on why the next one will be a good one.
But first, a quick stock take of the movies themselves:
(Please note, this pattern is limited to Daniel Craig’s Bond movies)
CASINO ROYALE (2006)
The stylish reboot that kick-started Craig’s career as Bond.
Casino Royale presented us with a ‘new’ Bond – literally – as we witness for the first time on screen, the beginning of James Bond’s career.
This is a Bond that can actually get hurt, physically and emotionally, and not just shake it off a few scenes later by straightening his tie. In fact, it becomes a crucial plot device that 007 overextends his emotions into something that tears him and his heart apart.
The film also keeps the Bond tradition of exotic locations, however, we are more or less fixed to a luxurious casino in Montenegro.
With a newly established timeline, and no ties to previous Bond films, Casino Royale could freely explore a grittier and edgier James Bond.
It was worldwide success! Some who doubted Daniel Craig’s “blond Bond”, admittedly reversed their opinions – proving that the audience could well connect with the character.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008)
This story kicks off immediately after the events of Casino Royale. The action gets going before our eyes adjust to the darkness of the cinema.
We see a lot of big, open spaces – stretching way further than casino interiors. But as entertaining as it might be, this film just doesn’t quite reach the mark of it’s predecessor.
It is the shortest of all the Daniel Craig Bond films at just under two hours – and it made the smallest amount at the box office: $586 million (Compared to Skyfall’s $1.1 billion)
Although the film itself received disappointing reviews globally, Craig’s portrayal of Bond continued receiving positive reviews.
In my personal opinion, I think this film also got hurt by bad timing. 2008 was an amazing year of box office-smashing movies: ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Iron Man’, ‘Wall-E’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Twilight’, just to name a few (no, seriously!)
The Bond masterpiece.
Arguably the crown jewel of Bond movies, Skyfall placed Bond in situations we’d never even thought of before, such as getting shot off the roof of a moving train by one of his own.
Visually, this is the most stunning Bond film, as our eyes are treated to candle-lit casinos, neon-lit skyscrapers, sun-scorched islands, overcast countrysides, fluorescent undergrounds and even the final scene: lit entirely by a burning house. Roger Deakins pushes the cinematography to full and glorious effect. Hiring an Oscar-winning director paid off.
The story is that of a broken James Bond, who enjoys “death” for a while – almost as if he’s trying it on for size. He fails his medical screenings and has to face his dark, obscure past whilst overcoming post-traumatic stress. MI6 is also in danger of being shut down down by government bureaucrats or by terrorists – or both.
On top of that, he has to deal with a villain who, on a skills level, is a mirror image of himself. A villain who actually has a legitimate quarrel this time, and not just bent on global takeover.
The acting, the sets, the music, the script, the visuals, and the action all reenforce each other to the point of creating a near-perfect Bond movie.
Sam Mendes returns to direct, and while the film continues with it’s luscious visuals, breathtaking action, and superb acting, the film sadly shrivels up when it comes to the screenplay.
It’s almost like the writers couldn’t wait to reveal all their surprises. So as the audience, we were like children who opened all the presents before Christmas. Premature thrills and excitement…now what?
It’s such a pity because Spectre started out as being a fantastic follow-up to Skyfall.
BOND: THE PATTERN
There’s not much else to say except that if this pattern continues, we should be expecting a great Bond film.