Cert: 12A Runtime: 143 mins Director: Sam Mendes Starring: Daniel Craig, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem and Judi Dench
The two survivors. This is what she made us
So Skyfall has arrived, just in time to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Bond. I am very open to say 007 has never been my favourite franchise. Daniel Craig has been scrutinised for taking the part of Bond but will he prevail after the shock that was Quantum of Solace? American Beauty director Sam Mendes has taken the chair for this latest venture. With a strong cast behind him with the likes of Dench, Bardem and Feinnes, I had some slight hope with the 23rd venture.The film begins in Istanbul, where James Bond (Daniel Craig) finds fellow MI6 agent Ronson critically wounded and the hard-drive of a laptop missing, the contents of the hard-drive not yet revealed. Bond gives chase to the enemy, a professional hitman by the name of Patrice (Ola Rapace), with the help of M I 6 operative Eve (Naomie Harris).Bond and Patrice are still grappling with each other denying Eve a clear shot. M (Judi Dench) gives the order to Eve to take the shot, but Bond is hit and falls into the river below, apparently dead. With Bond heavily drinking in paradise, M I 6 headquarters computer system gets hacked into and sets a bomb. With M (Judi Dench) under fire by Gareth Mallory (Ralph Feinnes), Bond returns from the shadows to find the cul-prate. 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.I won’t go into any further detail on the story but it is handled well through out. Certain comparisons have been made with Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ and I can definitely see resemblances.Whilst the story for the film is quite basic, it is written extremely well for the most part. The dialogue is probably at a higher level than I have heard in a Bond film for many years and maybe ever. Sam Mendes is generally accepted as being a actors director and he shows his skill here, bringing out some great performances.
‘Skyfall’ represents a remarkable high watermark for the series, a truly stunning masterpiece that counts as one of the best, if not the best, Bond films we’ve seen. It is also so because it is quite unlike any of the Bond films thus far, delving into his origins as well as his relationship with Moneypenny for its most character-driven addition yet. The showy action and authentically British wit are as sharp as ever, but what makes ‘Skyfall’ stand out is how surprisingly riveting the drama is.Kudos to returning writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, together with Oscar-winning scribe John Logan, who have expertly tapped into today’s real-world fears for a tense and thrilling story that spans three continents.But the story’s not all nostalgia, as it deals with a more immediate, direct and personal threat this time round, as compared to the more bombastic, dastardly plans that classic Bond villains usually have. It deals with the challenges any security agency would face in today’s environment where the enemy is seldom overtly known, but having gone underground, and is rather faceless, yet ready to strike at any time.much of the film’s greatness belongs to Sam Mendes, he takes many audacious risks that most directors would pass over in favour of Bond conventions, and while the film’s first hour does feature many of them, its second half delves into Bond and M’s pasts, before descending to a Straw Dogs (Peckinpah)-esque Scotland-set third act, which oddly works. He brings a sophistication to the series, allowing a reading of Tennyson to sit seamlessly alongside a cameo from a particular car.
Performances are excellent from everyone who plays a major part. Daniel Craig not only continues to play the hard as nails side to Bond brilliantly, his vulnerable side is on show more than it has been in the previous films. Not much has been mentioned of Bond’s past in previous films, but Skyfall gives you everything you need to know and more. This is not only Craig’s best performance as Bond, it’s the best I’ve seen from him as an actor. This time he allows us to see a totally separate side to the James Bond character. Old wounds are opened and left open for all to see how much of a wreck he has become after doing the job he was required to do. His performance is only outmatched by Judi Dench as M, who just like Bond has to deal with the sins of the past when she realises one of her old agents is after her. Again it’s the first time we see M show her human side. Showing behind her well fortified MI6 office desk, she becomes just as afraid as any other person. Judi Dench is excellent in this, and her chemistry with Craig is very much a mother looking out for her son kind of relationship. Which has been more or less been the story between the two throughout the three Craig films.Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, is probably the best entrance you’ll ever see for a Bond Baddie. He is also by far, my favourite villain of the series and will be a hard act to beat. I really cannot say any more about Bardem, as he is one of many high points that Skyfall has to offer. A stroke of genius from Mendes to give him blonde hair but the hair does reveal a back story. Javier is proof that grade-A actors do get the best villainous roles, if they’re written properly.A great actor, just love him and so much going on in that masculine skull of his.Bond fans will really enjoy this movie. In my opinion this movie Is as good as Goldfinger or Dr. No.