"Bond. James Bond."
Once, those three words stood nape hairs on end for fans of the action/adventure genre. A lot has transpired since 1963 when Dr. No was brought to the screen, but Bond has been a great constant through all those years. One thing that has kept the series fresh has been its frequent re-invention. While the stream of actors has represented the most obvious change - Connery to Lazenby to Connery (again) to Moore to Dalton to Brosnan to Craig - there have been other, less obvious alterations. For most of Brosnan's reign, Bond was trying to go toe-to-toe with superheroes and Michael Bay-inspired plastic creations. With Brosnan's departure, the decision was made to try something a little different. Casino Royale was, therefore, a departure from what 007 had become in the '80s, '90s, and '00s. It felt new and different but it was really a return to what Bond used to be. From a personality standpoint, Craig is more like Connery than any of the actors who played the part in between. And, from an emotional standpoint, Casino Royale is a cousin to Lazenby's only outing, On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Those are the only two films in which the unflappable hero fell in love. And both lead directly into a subsequent adventure in which revenge is served cold. Quantum of Solace (the unfortunate title is taken from an Ian Fleming short story, but nothing of the narrative remains) is more of a direct sequel than Diamonds are Forever was, but both films show Bond at his coldest. Deprived of love, he has become a formidable killing machine.
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