It was a good movie, it just wasn't a Bond movie.
The film was gripping, fast-paced, gritty, and was in general a good action flick. It just wasn't Bond. Blue-eyes over there plays a very hard man. This is a character with a lot of anger, bitterness, a chip on his shoulder, and who at various points in the film seriously doubts whether or not he will succeed in his mission. It is an interesting character with emotional depth, which is why it's not the Bond we know and love.
James Bond is characterized by a swaggar brought on by his impossible confidence in his own ability: he never, ever doubts himself. He is smug, arrogant, and saunters through car chases, run-downs, and gun fights without breaking a sweat or letting his shirt come untucked. He has saviore-faire to spare and a relaxed demeanor that allows him to practically saunter through the films.
The character brought to us by whats-his-face was more complicated, more psychologically plausible, complete, and human; a man who had to fight tooth and nail for every inch he gained on his enemies. A good character, an interesting character, but not 007.
The point of the movie was to be a prequel of sorts, see the earliest days of Bond, how he gains his '00' status, that sort of thing. But it fails as a prequel becuase the man we see at the end of the film bears little resemblance to the character we know he becomes, in the performances of Sean Connery. It's almost impossible to reconcile the two.
I had hoped that the prequel concept would mean more of a return to the camp and swaggar of the Connery days, but instead this was darker, dirtier, and much more modern than any other Bond film in the series.
That's the big picture, as it were. I'm not going to go through a list of little details that annoyed me, but I do feel compelled to mention 1: the utter, utter lack of good car chase. If you count the seconds during the film, you will notice that we actually spend more time watching the Aston Martin DBS rolling than we do watching it driving. The wreck scene lasted longer than the chase! For fuck's sake! I knew it was going to hurt watching that car be destroyed, which is why I was doubly annoyed that I got to spend so little time admiring it before it got trashed. Shame on them.
My other problem (ok, i'll mention 2) was with the audience. When Bond is being tortured the audience laughed. WTF? Yes, there was comic relief in the scene, but it only served to highlight the agony of what was taking place on the screen. How can you watch a man being tortured and laugh? I dunno, I guess I could ask the US troops staffing Abu Gahrib prison.
Still, for all that, it's worth seeing. Blue-eyes isn't that hot (honestly, when he put on the tux and adjusted his cuffs, I thought about how gorgeous the Pirate looked at the ball last Saturday, and I leaned over to him and said "eh. I've seen better." Poor lad turned absolutely purple. it was too cute), and the Bond Babe is a frigid bitch with brains (wtf? and Bond Bimbo with brains? that ain't allowed), but overall it was still an entertaining film. Just don't buy your candy at the theatre. Smuggle it in under your coat. I've never before spent $20 on two small bags of gummy candy and 1 bottle of pop.
Hey, that gives me an idea! The next Bond flick needs to feature a cinema-franchise owner as the villain! I think that's someone we can all agree is evil as sin and enjoy watching being blown up.