Poor Daniel Craig! Even when his casting as James Bond was just a rumor, he was slagged for being too short, too blond or too "not who I had in mind (Clive Owen, etc.) as the next James Bond." Then he delivered a brusque, sexy performance as 007 in a movie that was miles better than everybody assumed it would be -- and now he's getting attacked for doing what any sane actor in his position would do. Craig has signed up to do another four sequels as the world's favorite secret agent, but Alice Fisher of The Guardian thinks he should stop while he's ahead.

Fisher acknowledges that the deal "makes good business sense" and that Casino Royalerevitalized the franchise. Yet "it's hard to be thrilled by this announcement when formulaic movie franchises seem to be throttling cinema. ... Craig shook up Bond's familiar character, reinvented him as an action man. If the spy is now allowed to just putter along through four more similar adventures that invigoration will have been worthless."

Fisher appears to be advocating the end of the James Bond series even more than she bemoans the Daniel Craig deal, somehow dreaming that if franchises like Bond, Saw, Pirates, Harry Potter, and Aliens / Predator simply go away, cinema will somehow be better for it. Newsflash! Sequels and series have been embedded in the film group brain since the invention of celluloid. The problem isn't the existence of franchises, it's the decline in the quality of ideas and the execution thereof. Like all intelligent people, I'm concerned that the next James Bond may be too jokey, sure -- a concern well expressed by Danny Leigh, another Guardian writer -- but that's because I want to see more good, thrilling James Bond adventures -- not because the series should end.
categories Cinematical