When I saw this theatrically I thought it was drab and boring and one of the worst Bond movies. Movies always feel bigger and more important when you see them in a theatre, and we only get a new Bond movie once every 3 to 6 years nowadays so one that doesn't meet my expectations feels extra disappointing. In truth, Bond movies are best appreciated at home, in bed, randomly selected out of 23 other Bond movies while eating pizza and wings. Only then do they really come into focus.

Chalk it up to rock-bottom expectations, but I had a great time revisiting this. This time around I liked the slow pace and melancholy tone. The action scenes are pretty damn great, especially the fight with Dave Bautista in the train. The art direction and cinematography are handsome, and I liked all the sleek-looking locations with floor-to-ceiling windows. The jokes, when they come, all land. Christoph Waltz does the Christoph Waltz thing, which automatically places him ahead of any of the Brosnan-era villains. Craig is the most opaque Bond, playing him as a man who has become so cut off from his inner life that it may not even exist anymore. He and Lea Seydoux have a few scenes that have some of the spark that his scenes with Eva Green did. I admit that I prefer Bond movies with sunny tropical scenery but you can't have everything.

Once again, Her Majesty's Secret Service finds itself attacked by bureaucrats who think it has outlived its usefulness. Huge LOL at the attempt to position M (Ralph Fiennes) as a champion of democracy against shadowy, totalitarian forces. At one point he says that surveillance is a fact of life but what he really cares about is that the right people are doing the surveillance, which is ridiculous and is also the guiding philosophy of the Democratic Party. M also pooh-poohs those who would outsource Bond's work to an Obama-like drone program, arguing that we need secret agents who can look people in the eye and make a final moral decision before shooting someone dead. This reminds me of Clint Eastwood's stirring defense of the human factor against those who would turn baseball into Moneyball in The Trouble with the Curve.

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