I have just returned from my local cinema, from which I had the pleasure of seeing the new James Bond film Skyfall. The 23rd instalment of the James Bond legacy is back, celebrating 50 years since the first film Dr No was released.
Daniel Craig returns for his third incarnation as 007. His previous two outings have received mixed views from adoration to utter disappointment. Casino Royal was laborious to sit through, while Quantum Of Solace was a rebranded Bourne and thus a great action roller-coaster but a poor homage to 007, thus needless to say true fans were sceptical about the release of the latest Bond.
It delights me to report that the third time really is the charm and I was enchanted from start to finish; Skyfall had the entire auditorium on the edge of their seats. The film is a visual pleasure, and that’s not just to do with new Bond girl Bérénice Marlohe who plays a beautiful Eurasian that Bond meets in a floating casino. Skyfall is one of the best Bond plots ever, with references back to previous Bond films, as well as a providing tantalizing glimpses into Bonds past before MI6.
The film begins in Turkey with Bond chasing an assassin, entailing in an adrenaline fuelled chase that concludes with Bond and the assassin fighting on top of a train. Bond is accidentally shot by his assistant field operative Eve (Naomie Harris) resulting in a spectacularly fall; the likes of which haven’t been seen in cinemas since Hans Gruber in Die hard. Cut to a brilliant new sound-track by Adele, which combines spectacularly with a graphical opening credit sequence.
The film picks up months later with an attack on the Milbank HQ of MI6 by an unknown enemy and M dealing with the a new government minister, Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) who challenging and questioning MI6’s role in the society today.
Meanwhile Bond is to be found on a beautiful island paradise; drinking and sleeping his way back to health but news of the London explosion brings the realisation that his country needs him. Bond is plunged back into a world of espionage and shadow games. He encounters one of the most original in a long line of psychopathic villains beautifully underplayed by Javier Bardem. This takes him too many glamorous locations such as Shanghai and Macau, while the finale is set in Scotland in what must be one of the most visually and emotionally intense Bond endings ever.
Skyfall misses the inventive and sometimes distracting gadgets of old, but with a new quartermaster (Ben Whishaw) being introduced, we may see a resurgence of ingenuity from Q branch.
All in all I have been blown away with the latest Skyfall, the first hints of the subtle humour and character ingenuity that old Bonds were renowned for is back. The action sequences are smooth and slick and have moved away from the over the top and unrealistically hard scenes of past Bonds.
Most importantly though we see a new human side to Bond, a vulnerability that has been missing from the new 007, a view that Bond is starting to age and is starting to feel all the drink, all the suffering and all the damage that he has mentally and physically subjected himself to.
I can promise you, that if you go and see the new Skyfall movie in cinemas, you will not be disappointed, you will not be bored, you will be enthralled and entertained by a new look, new feel Bond that is nothing short of a modern-day knight.