The latest Bond film begins in rip-roaring fashion with a pre-credits sequence ending in a stunt. This is followed by the opening titles and a pop song, which shows that the makers respect tradition. Bond has a
briefing in which he is told about the bad guys. He gets on their trail, meeting Miss Expendable and some ethnic types. Having screwed Miss Expendable he makes direct contact with the bad guys and meets the Bond Girl. The bad guys kill Miss Expendable and it becomes apparent that a nefarious plan is in the offing. After an interlude for drinks and wisecracks, the bad guys capture Bond thanks to the treachery or incompetence of the ethnic types, and introduce him to the Villain. The Villain places Bond in a position so uncomfortable that it really becomes almost quite uncertain whether or not he will emerge as undamaged as he has in the previous twenty-something films. There are lots of stunts and explosions and amusing one-liners. So-and-so from the telly has a memorable comic turn. With an international cast and a director who made something fairly good a decade or so ago, at last we have a Bond who verges on the tragic, a Bond worthy of the harsh realism and fierce intelligence of the novelist who wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It is clear that the franchise has been reinvigorated, that Britain can do something right now and then and that somebody or other has more range than we thought. Next, please.