Here are some comments I made in previous threads:
This was one of the best Bonds ever. It´s in the top three along with Goldfinger and Licence to Kill.
Its main strong points:
- a coherent simple story, yet a lot at stake
- nice locations (especially the ice hotel, but Los Órganos was cool too)
- finally a good villain: a complete madman aspiring for control of the world; bad to the bone unlike e.g. 006 (Goldeneye) or Renard (TWINE) who were in a way victims themselves
- In a move away from the superficial generic superhero, Bond is portrayed as a human being with nuances, facets and, yes, weeknesses
- hilarious one-liners, yet not so much in your face but subtle
- creativity: fencing, surfboards, hovercrafts, Moneypenny in the end
- gadgets are state of the art (or more), and not the 150th watch or 232nd wonder weapon
- as a longtime fan, I loved all the quotes from past movies: Goldfinger, FRWL, YOLT, DAF, LTK + Roger Moore´s daughter starring - that´s what I recognised so far
- the car: it had a role (unlike the BMW in Goldeneye, who featured just for product placement reasons) and it was finally appropriate (unlike the BMW in TND which is mass market, every idiot here in Germany drives one) for a man of distinction like 007.
- Halle Berry: more than a simple sidekick introduced to look good and appeal to black audiences. Her acting as a blunt American agent contrasts very nicely with and hence underscores the Briton´s suave and completely different approach to his work.
- The whole movie´s style, including especially Madonna´s theme song, is very modern, even by today´s standards. It´s downright avantgarde; not everyone may like it, but that´s a venerable tradition in the 007 series which sees a comeback after the past three blunders.
- the twists and turns which make it all quite unpredictable and fun to guess what´s really happening
All in all, finally a James Bond movie which deserves that title - after 13 years, James Bond HAS returned.
Incidentally, a few days ago I thought about my personal ranking of 007 movies. Here it is, if anyone cares:
2. Licence To Kill
3. Die Another Day
4. The Living Daylights
6. On Her Majesty´s Secret Service
7. You Only Live Twice
8. From Russia With Love
9. The Spy Who Loved Me
10. For Your Eyes Only
12. A View To A Kill
13. Live And Let Die
14. Dr. No
15. The Man With The Golden Gun
16. Tomorrow Never Dies
17. The World Is Not Enough
20. Diamonds Are Forever