You know I’m a huge Bond fan, and even though I found Skyfall more problematic than most, I still found it a worthy addition to the series. So a new Bond film from Sam Mendes, with an even stronger cast (Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista), and promising the return of the great SPecial Executive for Counter-Intelligence, Terror, Revenge and Extortion, should naturally be one of my most anticipated films of the year.
But this trailer leaves me cold. Yes, on second viewing I was a little more favorably disposed towards it, but I have yet to get to the point of really liking it. It’s a poorly cut trailer, for one; there’s at least one of those flash-cuts which popped up a lot in shitty mid-00’s trailers, and it comes off as a generic action film trailer.
The problem is, everything comes off that way. It looks like a random globe-hopping spy film with a protagonist named James Bond. It does not look like a Bond film. I fear Daniel Craig may have stayed in the role one entry too far–obviously it’s too soon to really comment on his performance, but remember that Connery’s work as Bond dropped off markedly after Goldfinger. Seydoux looks okay, I suppose, while we see little of Bellucci or Bautista.
That leaves Waltz, and I’m not sure how I feel about him. I love Christoph Waltz. I don’t know how you couldn’t. But based on what I’ve seen, he doesn’t seem to be doing anything he hasn’t done before. That “author of your pain” line is good, but it’s by far the best line in the trailer–Seydoux has that awful “is this what you really want?” line, and Craig’s response (“I try not to think about it”) is a relief. It’s the most genuinely Bondian touch in the trailer.
I’m also iffy about the world-building they’re doing here. Allowing for the fact that cinematic universes are hot nowadays, and allowing for Bond’s own adaptability, I’m quite curious as to how they’re going to put him at the heart of SPECTRE (or whatever they’re doing), without really straining credulity. I for one hope not too many questions are answered. There should always be an enigma at the heart of James Bond, 007.
Regarding awards potential: I’m not banking on a Picture nomination for this. If they didn’t nominate Skyfall, this won’t get in. Director and Adapted Screenplay are likewise dicey. An Actor nomination would be cool, but again…they missed the boat in 2012. Maybe Waltz gets a third nomination, but I doubt it highly. Cinematography is a maybe, though it doesn’t look remotely as good as the last film (Deakins is a beast, and maybe he’ll finally get his Oscar for Sicario…though beating The Revenant will be tough). Production Design is an outside shot. Editing could happen, but since the Best Picture expansion, a non-Picture nominee has only been nominated once (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which actually won). Sound Mixing and Sound Editing seem safe bets. Visual Effects might happen, but this doesn’t look like a VFX-heavy entry.
And, of course, there’s always Best Song. One never knows.