After Austin Powers mocked the sillier side of Bond, and the Bourne series showed how hard-hitting and realistic a spy movie could feel while still thrilling your pants off, Casino Royale had to do something new. A Bond reboot; a tough, gritty Bond the noughties deserved.
He was blond, there were no gadgets, and he showed emotion not seen since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Then Quantum of Solace came and went without much fuss, and Skyfall, again, was a kind of reboot.
The most ambitious Bond film yet, with Skyfall, director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins brought prestige and beauty to the franchise, and it’s certainly the thematically strongest, and prettiest Bond film; people were saying it’s the best Bond yet.
It was great, but I wonder where they can go if Bond keeps showing this level of emotional depth. The reason Bond worked for so long is that he was the same unrealistic super-spy in every movie. If you want to make the same film over and over again, narratively speaking, the characters have to be the same at the end.