Sunday, November 4, 2012


Review by James Colt Harrison 

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary of film history, the James Bond series is now being topped with MGM’s Skyfall . It’s the latest in the ever-popular spy thrillers starring Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. Miss Dench, as the imperious boss M, is making her seventh appearance as the matriarch who dominates her boys in the field from her desk at MI6 headquarters in London. She is no less tough behind her command post, but this time out she is now a mainstream character who is the target of some very nasty foreign agents in the field who want to see her dead. Is it up to James to protect her? 

What can be more enjoyable and delightful than a hugely spectacular action film, shot in glamorous places such as Istanbul and Shanghai? In fact, the movie begins with a heart-stopping chase through the streets of exotic Istanbul, over roof tops, through crowded bazaars, with fruit carts being knocked flying into adjacent chickens hanging from hooks, and spies crashing cars, motorcycles, and military jeeps into smithereens! And all that happens before the titles come on screen! 

Rarely are we disappointed with a James Bond film, and this one certainly will keep the hair on the back of your head standing up and your legs stomping the floor to put on the breaks of all those careening cars and speeding trains. Having Bond and a hitman named Patrice (Ola Rapace) fighting to the death on top of a Turkish train is one of the best action sequences ever filmed. And when Bond’s colleague Naomie Harris takes a shot at the two men and hits Bond by mistake, we think the indestructible Bond has been killed. 

But the picture would be very short if that happened. A very sad M arranges for Bond’s funeral in London and is not exactly surprised to see him walk into her office to ask for another go at espionage. 

New villains are to be now encountered. Bond continues his adventures on an abandoned island, the secret hiding place of fallen MI6 agent Raoul Silva, played with a delightfully fey tinge by Spanish super star Javier Bardem. To be able to steal the picture from such formidable actors as Craig and Dench is a feat of staggering proportions. Bardem licks his fingers and wipes them off the screen with an Oscar®-worthy performance. As director Sam Mendes said to the London newspaper The Guardian, “He’s a peacock of a character, unlike anything Javier’s played before. Canny and witty and flirtatious in a disturbing way that even I didn’t expect.” His performance is chilling, funny, menacing, sexually ambiguous, and psychopathic. Other than that, he’s a regular guy. The sexual tension between the two men is climaxed with Bardem playing with Bond’s chest through an open shirt. Never fear, Bond comes out on top. 

Humor has been brought back in Skyfall. Considerably missing in the past few Bond pictures, the laughs do not stop the flow of the plot. With hilarious impressions by the new inventive Q character, newcomer Ben Whishaw is youthful, eager, extremely geeky, and just a little smitten with Bond. (My goodness, Bond is catnip to both men and women this time around!). With his floppy head of curly hair, he looks as though he just graduated from college and is ready to bring modern technology to the fore and leave behind all of the old Q’s fantastic inventions and replace them with electronics. Whishaw was born 14 October 1980 in England and has seen his career skyrocket after many award winning performances on stage. His films include Perfume, Cloud Atlas, and Skyfall. In June 2013, he will be starring with Judi Dench in a stage play in London. 

From the beginning killer race through the streets of Istanbul to the final shoot out in the Scottish Highlands (with Albert Finney adding some comedy to his gruff character), Craig, Dench and Bardem show they are formidable interpreters of their characters and that there is no-one like them.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms