Friday, November 9, 2012
This just came out so there will be no spoilers.
After four years of financial woes which caused delays, the new James Bond is here just in time for the 50th anniversary of the franchise. Skyfall is just about as close as we are likely to get to a perfect Bond film. In this adventure, we follow Bond as he tries to stop deranged former MI6 computer whiz Silva (Javier Bardem) before he completes a personal vendetta he has against M (Judi Dench).
Bond is assisted by fellow agent Eve (Naomie Harris) as well as a new Q, played by Ben Whishaw. First thing I want to mention is the script by Josh Logan, Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. Together, they have managed to craft a smart, tense, expansive spy thriller that still manages to have a rather intimate feel. It's certainly better thought out than the previous film Quantum of Solace which fell victim to the writer's strike in 2007.
Performances are also very good with Craig his usual cool, deadly self. Judi Dench puts in maybe her best performance as Bond's boss (it helps she actually plays a role in the story) and there are a few surprises revolving around her that are handled very well.
Even better is Javier Bardem as the deranged Silva. he really hams it up nicely here, sinking his teeth into every line and laughing insanely every now and then. He also has a rather alarming tendency to refer to M in a way that suggests some serious Mommy issues as well as a scene where he gets a little closer to Bond than Bond would probably prefer. Bardem is, as anyone who has seen No Country for Old Men can attest, very good at playing creepy nut jobs and he really makes you shiver whenever he turns up. Granted, it also helps that he has a rather gruesome physical trait that is just ghoulish. Let's just say that if I ever need to take a cyanide pill, I really hope it works.
The rest of the cast is also solid. Naomie Harris is sexy and funny, Ralph Fiennes is fun as a bureaucrat, Ben Whishaw is fun as the new Q and Albert Finney has a nice though underused supporting role. To say more would veer into spoiler territory.
The action is also top notch with the highlights being a rooftop pursuit on motorcycles, an insanely over the top stunt with a train, a few nice shootouts and an extended finale that is surprisingly intimate even as it goes over the top.
If the film has anything maybe resembling a flaw, it sags just a little bit in the third act. Apart from that, the latest Bond film is simply outstanding.