Archives for posts with tag: Daniel Craig

And here I thought Tintin was the dog’s name. In Steven Spielberg’s animated cinematic version of the Belgian cartoon series “The Adventures of Tintin” (2011), we’re presented with an adventure story featuring mesmerizing action that is equal parts James Bond and Rube Goldberg. There’s a lot more violence than one would expect from a film with the trappings of a kids’ story. (Tintin, a young journalist who solves mysteries with the help of his loyal terrier Snowy, is also quite skilled at gunplay.) Like John Williams’ score, the hero-villain story ultimately becomes a bundle of cliches despite a promising start.

The first time Daniel Craig is handed a gun in “Layer Cake” (2005), he briefly prances around like he’s 007 or something. That would still be a year or so away. We get to see him command a stage while on the wrong side of the law in this classic British gangster flick. There’s a much-coveted shipment of drugs and lots of double-crossing, just like in most gangster flicks, including the bad ones. The good ones let you follow along just closely enough to think you know what’s going on, when you really, really, don’t. This is a good one.

If the goal was to take the James Bond franchise on a dark turn, then mission accomplished, “Casino Royale” (2006). As the next 007, Daniel Craig offers plenty of pursed-lipped pensiveness as he walks with his John Wayne swagger, but lacks the Sean Connery glint in his eye (let’s don’t bother with the other, lesser Bonds). The plot is worthy of a Bond film, with sexy women, fast cars, exotic locations, quirky supporting characters and wild action sequences. But the tech is more techy than gadgety, which is a microcosm of the difference in the reboot: a lack of fun.