Saw Casino Royale over the weekend. It's a nice reboot to the series as the film details Bond's first mission and covers, in a pre-title sequence, how he gets the double 0 designation (spoiler alert: It involves killing people). He makes mistakes. He's quick tempered and not a terribly nice person. The villain, Le Chiffre, is not a megalomaniac bent on world domination, just a financier of terrorist groups under the shadow of something larger and more sinister that we don't yet see. And he cries blood. Cool.
The film also rids itself of much of silliness that fouled Pierce Brosnan's run. You may recall the last time we saw Bond, he was parasailing on an iceberg tsunami. This time, the action, while exciting, isn't over the top and unbelievable (except for one scene involving a remote heart restart). But the film takes its time with an hourlong stretch in the middle about a high stakes poker game. There's no real sense that something needs to explode every 20 minutes to keep things interesting.
Gone, too, are many of the blatant commercials with only three distinct signs of product placement: Aston-Martins, Omega watches, and some new digital camera. And there's no Moneypenny, Q, and the usual armload of gadgets. I assume that's coming in the later films.
While stripped down and more serious, although not without humour, they've made James Bond fun again. I'm looking forward to what comes next.
And I can't resist a hero with his own theme music, be it 007, Superman, or Shaft.
Related: Cracked's Lamest 007 Scenes.