One thing you have to hand to 007’s production stylists: the way they’ve rebooted the non-ironic 1980s-motif of the Bond franchise is awesome. I mean, deconstruct the promo image here. No girls, no villains, just Bond alone. And the gun – an expert touch. The Walther PPK Bond traditionally carries is a bit of a girl’s gun; putting this assault rifle thing (I think it’s a Steyr AUG) in the hands of Bond while he’s still wearing his suit and tie is a masterstroke. With Casino Royale, it completes the franchise’s successful reboot.
Around the turn of the century, films like Vin Diesel’s XXX attempted to deliver the death blow to Bond. (XXX even had a cheeky pre-title sequence of a dinner-suited secret agent failing due to his inability to fit into grungy nightclubs.) Bond had got stuck in the 80s: power dressing, clunky gadgets, when foreign travel was still just about rare enough to be cool. Through the awfulness of ‘Day and Tomorrow, 007 limped on, but only just. But how could technology impress when global satellite navigation devices were available in Argos?
Luckily, XXX was deep-sixed and put on Ice, and the Bond team learned from its mistakes. Casino Royale was a triumph, inspired by the raw bruises of the Jason Bourne films, even if the narrative was somewhat wanting. (How, exactly, did Vesper go from prim sidekick to loving companion between frames? Was she making an ironic comment on the fact that modern woman only likes men when they’re powerless and emasculated?)
Let’s hope they’ve got the script sorted this time, but as for the cinematography and image system – it’s looking good to go.