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Monday, 29 October 2012

Skyfall Review: Well well, James Bond is actually back!!!

What a surprise - after the dire Quantum of Solace Eon have now given us what is not only Daniel Craig's best Bond movie, but maybe the best Bond film in years. I've never been a fan of Daniel Craig's Bond and yet at the climax to Skyfall, when we have all the components in place - a new Q, a new Miss Moneypenny and even a new M-  I had tears in my eyes. Yep, the real Bond is back and dare I say it but Daniel Craig is Bond. There was another emotional moment when Bond loses his temper after the iconic Aston Martin is destroyed and the Bond theme swells up in the background, I was ready to punch the air and shout, 'Go get em, Bond.'

Skyfall continues the harder edge of the Bond movies but it brought back a lot of the good nature and humour that's been missing ever since Craig stepped into Bond's shoes - Skyfall delivers with  emotional weight, characterisation, astonishing action sequences and sly humour. And it's a welcome return with Craig even delivering several one liners that hark back to the old style 007. Make no mistake about it Skyfall will both please those who like the new harder egde and also Bond purists like myself who believe that first and foremost Bond should be escapist. There was one moment I could have done without and that is the scene where it is suggested Bond has experienced homosexual sex but thankfully this is downplayed and only a small moment in a film that rarely puts a foot out of place. Though why this scene was included is beyond me - what are they trying to say here? Danial Craig's got a large gay fanbase and maybe they are trying to give a nod to this demographic. That's just fine and dandy but just remember James Bond, the pussy magnet, is far from gay.

Silva, the baddie, is excellently acted by Javier Bardem and reminded me a lot of Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill, and his ultimate demise at the climax is stunning - often the old ways are the best. Judi Dench in her last Bond movie goes out in style and newcomers Q and Miss Moneypenny are superbly brought in. Skyfall is set more firmly in the real Bond universe than any of the previous Craig Bond movies - the pre-credits sequence is the best since the boat chase in The World is not Enough, and the film that follows is tightly scripted and doesn't meander too much. The changes in location are also quite logical and it's great to see a Bond movie with so much of its action set in the UK - London comes across as a high tech metropolis and Scotland looks absolutely gorgeous. It was also nice to see Bond's boyhood home and the graves of his parents - "I always hated this place,' Bond says as his ancestral home is blown to the high heavens.

At last I feel as if I've seen a real Bond movie. I was never a fan of Casino Royale since I felt the movie didn't feel like a Bond movie at all,  and I hated Quantum of Solace, but with Skyfall I have a Bond that stretches back through the entire franchise and can sit comfortably alongside all the other Bond movies.

It's been a long time but Bond is most certainly back.


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