Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Skyfall: Best Bond In A Very long Time
Mendes has raised the bar so high, it's well, like me standing before a pole vault and looking up. We open with a killer action sequence in Turkey with Bond and a fellow agent in hot pursuit of a goon in possession of a hard drive that contains the identities of all NATO agents embedded with terrorist organizations around the world. Love the chase through Istanbul and the driving Turkish music that amped up the tension. Naomie Harris rocked as Eve, a fellow agent whose driving skills would make the Secret Service drool. They pursue this little bastard onto a train, but eventually lose him and the hardrive.
Bond, injured in the hunt, disappears for a bit and returns just as MI6 agents start dying and M is fighting for her career and reputation. He re-teams with Eve and the story shifts to Shanghai as Bond tracks down the man who shot him in Turkey. They fight, Bond wins and encounters Severine, who tells him pssst, he's about to be killed, then claims she will "help" him if he kills her employer. Yawn...Don't they always? This was the one part of the story I didn't buy, a minor thing, really. She was needed only to point Bond at Raoul, something that could have easily been handled another way, but we're talking Bond, so it's always the candy that brings on the villain.Just like Hansel and the gingerbread house.
Bond gets hauled before Raoul Silva, a maniacal psycho bent on Wrath of God vengeance. Oh Javier, how do I love thee? Let me count each psychotic way...The seductive interrogation of 007, the Hannibal Lechter prison scene, the shooting at the inquiry, the chase in the tunnel, the helicopter raid in Scotland...I could go on and on. All of it was a demented joy ride and I was addicted the moment Javier stepped on screen. He really brought the old school Bond villain. Plus, he owned an island. High five, Sam Mendes!
After a really...ahem... interesting interrogation, Bond is released and follows Silva out, where the tables get turned and we are off to London. Here's where things really get amped. We know M is ruthless, but damn, old girl really is hardcore steel. And hell to the yeah, it's about time we get respect for being able to make those ballsy decisions same as men. Judi is the ultimate Bond girl for me. She keeps 007 in line as well as ruling MI6. I have loved her M since we were introduced to this incarnation back in Goldeneye.
Speaking of Bond's ladies, let me just say that Naomie is one hell of a Bond girl, she's smart, driven and can handle 007. Other than Naomie, there wasn't much in the way of a Bond babe coterie. We have a nameless woman he hides out in bed with. Apparently, she really is only good for one thing. Then we have the completely vacuous Berenice Marlohe as Severine. Poor Berenice is no more animated than frozen pasta. She's just there like a store mannequin, delivering her lines in a monotone as though she had to concentrate really hard on each syllable. I wished she would have at least attempted a personality, but perhaps this was beyond her meager skill set.
London is where the action shoots into hyperdrive and we get THE CAR. Pause for the choirs of angels and the golden light. Yes, Bond kicks it all traditional with an Aston Martin DB5. I was so happy I was crying. The AM DB5 is the first car that I ever wanted with all my heart. The audience where I was let out a collective squeal upon the reveal. Another high five for Mendes bringing back Bond's most famous ride and with such awesomeness, too.
I would be completely remiss if I did not comment on Daniel Craig's outstanding performance as Bond. He has really taken Bond to whole new level. We see the vulnerabilities and cracks, which only make him seem more larger than life. He outshines his Casino Royale performance in every way. And I really liked that one. And Q, oh my God I loved this new Q, Ben Whishaw was arrogant, nerdy and kept his cool under fire. I also give major props to Albert Finney as Kincaide and Ralph Fiennes as Mallory. They struck the notes perfectly with Craig's Bond.
This was a fantastic film and is definitely one of my all time favorite Bond movies, if not THE favorite. I could go on for days about all the incredible things in this movie, but I will spare you. One note, the theme song by Adele was haunting and coupled with the outstanding kaleidoscope of the opening credits, was just a pure sumptuous visual and aural feast. See this movie NOW.