Bond films and other such franchises are not like normal movies where you have to get to know the characters during the first few scenes as you wait for the plot to emerge.
We already know what is going to happen, opening action scene, plot set up, Bond gets a couple of gadgets, a few beautiful women, a Martini, kills assassins/hench-people, is nearly killed on a couple of occasions until his final showdown with the current choice of megalomaniac.
All this happens in Skyfall but this time there is something new. I found myself being introduced to a new Bond and on the edge of my seat. His character is stripped back and forced into a little (but not too much) introspection. Suddenly we view James Bond turned inside out. He has to prove himself to us for the first time in 50 years.
Some of the action scenes are a little unbelievable but that is to be expected. These forgiveable flaws are much outweighed by this new sort of Bond plot. The humour is subtle, though a few cheesy one liners still remain. The non-action scenes are muted and tense. Just when you think he can’t be stripped back any further they remove another layer until, for the first time, James Bond looks really vulnerable. Daniel Craig wears this newly-altered Bond very well.
Beside the new Q (Ben Whishaw who wouldn’t look at all out of place in “The IT Crowd”) Bond looks old and almost worn out. Naomi Harris adds a perky charm as an agent (part of Bond’s new vulnerability) but his weakness is magnified with his encounter with Bérénice Marlohe (who does a good impression of a French Angelina Jolie, if you like that sort of thing). Judi Dench continues to play a solid M while the introduction of Ralph Fiennes adds more depth to MI6. Javier Bardiem brings a real and truly creepy dimension to the Bond Villain.
In the very entertaining and juicy Skyfall all the Bond boxes are ticked but the ink is almost invisible.
Sit back and wait for a few surprises as well.
Happy Fiftieth Birthday Mr. Bond!!
Here are some of my favourite James Bond “Four Word Film Review”.
All FWFRs below are links to many more Bond ‘reviews’