Continuing Bond's personal vendetta to have revenge against the organization that made Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) blackmail and betray him. Daniel Craig continues to impress on being a cold-hearted and brutal 007 that Ian Fleming created from the beginning.
In the director's chair is German born-Swiss raised Marc Forster. Director of Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland and Stranger Than Fiction. An odd choice for tackling an multi-million dollar franchise, but seems this Bond series is focusing more on the drama than the action itself. Which is terrific by all standards, as we've had to deal with a few dumb action movies (i.e. Wanted).
Daniel Craig is still the best Bond on my list, practically because he is suave but ever so dangerous. Example is where he kills a fellow assassin, pins him to the floor and makes sure his pulse stops beating whilst looking around the area (now that is Bond!). Olga Kurylenko started out very badly in her acting career, being a dull and unsympathetic character in the terrible Hitman. Though here, it's not a huge improvement but finally given a much better character with a back-story and she is incredibly gorgeous and not ashamed to say worthy in the Bond girl canon. Gemma Arterton is a homage to the 60s Bond girls (look out for her first name at the end credits, got one word for it 'Beatles'). Mathieu Amalric is not your typical Bond villain, doesn't have any scars or evil looks to convince us he's a villain. Like Mads Mikkelsen, he doesn't know how to fight or take care of himself.
The action sequences are similar like the last two Bourne films, fast paced and jarring. That's because it has been coordinated by Gary Powell, who has a long huge Hollywood credit on his list. They can be annoying by most viewers, but I found them really put together (as I am used with Paul Greengrass's filmmaking style).
The most important thing with a Bond film is its theme song. Chris Cornell's You Know My Name was terrific, it was edgy and catchy. This one isn't terrible by any means, but isn't up to Cornell's league. It does have some classic Bond touches to it, but Jack White and Alicia Keys (in my opinion) weren't a good mix. It seemed jumbled, and didn't really grab me.
My final verdict is we still have Craig being a dark, and (as I keep saying) brutal Bond for 21st Century audiences. May not be superior to Casino Royale, but it is equal for being a somewhat extended movie. Will Bond Return? I should hope so.