This is me, eating crow:
I said some negative things about Craig's Bond in the past, and decried the general state of the Bond franchise's "new direction". The only reason the last two films and Craig himself never made the absolute bottom of my lists was because the Dalton Bonds (and Dalton) existed.
I fully expected to not like this movie when a friend asked me if I wanted to go see it (his treat). And, indeed, I really didn't like about the first 50-60% of the film, same "tired" feel to the presentation. Craig "thugging" his way through the role. Absolutely hated
the whole "eye in the sky" thing with M basically running the mission from London.
Then the story took everything I thought was wrong with this incarnation of Bond and very self-awaredly used it in story
to turn the film 180 degrees hard over.
Everyone was saying that MI-6 as run by M and as represented by Bond was "a dinosaur", "old", "played out", etc. "We don't do things that way any more..." and so forth.
But it was those "old, played out dinosaurs" who, in the end, got the job done where the "new" MI-6 was constantly one step behind because in the 21st century, everyone
(including the enemy) knows all the high-tech tricks. Or to paraphrase Bond "It's time to do things Old School..." (cue the Aston Martin :thumbsup
I thought Mallory was a prick, but he redeemed himself nicely during the battle at the Ministry hearing, which (going back to the hearing before the attack) was very nicely done, with Dame Judith's M finally stating in story the film's thesis as I outlined it above. Bonus points for her inclusion of one of my favorite bits of poetry (Ulysses).
By the time the film was over, and we were in the last scenes in the office, I was sold, both on Bond (again) and on Craig's ability to play the more "glam" Bond, double-entendres and all. They even went back to acutal PAPER files. That which is not online cannot be hacked, after all.
In short, I LOVED this movie...can't wait to see the next one if it's going to continue this "soft reboot"...