By Kate Rodger
His name is Bond, James Bond, and after 50 years of loyal service to cinema audiences across the globe, Bond is as popular as ever.
Daniel Craig is our 6th 007 and he once again gets us shaken and a little stirred, in Skyfall. It’s the 23rd Bond, and Craig’s third outing as the iconic British secret agent. It’s also his most revealing.
We learn more about 007’s past, and the story unveils some seriously big Bond plot developments. There’s also plenty to ponder post-viewing, as the film throws up some enticingly curious little questions which plague me still.
Of course, you shall hear none of those spoilers from me! You’ll just have to see Skyfall for yourself.
So yes, our first blonde Bond returns after box office hits Casino Royale and the lesser liked Quantum of Solace, loyal at the side of his boss M (the wonderful Dame Judi Dench in her 007th Bond film). But that’s where the familiarity ends.
We have a new Q in the form of young actor Ben Wishaw (Perfume/Bright Star), and a new Moneypenny. Then, of course, the all-important Bond baddie is a fresh new threat, and in the hands of the brilliant Javier Bardem and his spectacularly awful hair, this baddie is like nothing we’ve seen 007 face off with before.
In Skyfall, the MI6 is under attack, Bardem’s Silva, the man whose motives are very murky, holds a stolen list of spies imbedded in terrorist groups across the globe, spies not just working for British Intelligence, but for all their allies. He plans to expose the identity of each one, unless of course, Bond can stop him.
Just as he did to Oscar-winning effect in No Country for Old Men, Bardem brings a special very memorable kind of creepiness to his character, a worthy and relentless adversary who slowly and tantalisingly reveals his intentions. His performance is stand-out.
This is a very British of Bonds, and set against the backdrop of the world’s longest-running cinema franchise as it celebrates its 50th, who better to helm than Brit Oscar-winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty/Revolutionary Road). Given his previous form, hauling in five Oscars for American Beauty being no mean feat, there’s no questioning the director’s credentials. But there were certainly a few Bond fans worried (yours truly included) that directing the pre-requisite action set pieces Bond is so famed for was unchartered territory for Mendes. I can confirm, unequivocally, that worry was needless.
Yes, Skyfall is a tad leaner on action, but it’s certainly incredibly meaty on plot, glued together with the perfectly pitched tone and mood, and delivered with some delectable cinematography.
Key to this tale, and so perfectly suited to the 50th anniversary, is the rewardingly “old versus new” theme running through this film. While a tad over-played on occasion, the opportunity to plunder the rich and nourishing history of James Bond was grasped with both hands by the filmmakers.
For Bond purists, Skyfall must satiate even the most demanding of appetites. I for one, feel very replete indeed.
Four and a half stars.
:: Director: Sam Mendes
:: Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Ben Whishaw, Helen McCrory
:: Running Time: 144 mins
:: Rating: M - violence
:: Release Date: November 22, 2012
:: Trailer: Watch here
source: newshub archive