The most personal, deep and emotional story in 50 years of Bond, brightened by amazing performance of Javier Bardem.
Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench
Budget: 150 million | Box office: 125 million (1 week)
They have done it! It‘s hard to imagine now, that just few years ago all Bond series was on the edge of extinction. Maybe not total disappearance, but definitely losing it‘s ground and roots, as the only home for all 50 years, studio MGM, was falling apart. How it came back to life is a story for finance experts, but the most important fact is that Bond is here for his 50th anniversary celebration. And many call it even the best in the series.
I‘ll refrain from such exclamations and comparisons to classic movies. For me the best is and probably will be 1967 You Only Live Twice with the original Bond Sean Connery. But I‘m also a big supporter for Daniel Craig as a modern Bond. Casino Royale was a great welcome and change of pace and style, maybe just a bit too much Born influence, which was even more evident in Quantum of Solace (those damned shaky cameras…). And now the picture changes again, but this time in the really right direction.
I was really surprised when MGM announced the director for the new Bond film Sam Mendes. Even then it became clear that the goal is to do a different kind of 007 movie – why else hire a director of American Beauty and Revolutionary Road? Of course as always there were people who jumped to conclusions early and spread the rumors, that Mendes is paying for more dialogue scenes and less action, that it will bee too dark (Mendes himself said he was inspired by Nolan‘s Dark Knight). But Skyfall has everything – from impressive opening titles with Adele song to the last scenes it‘s full of emotions, interconnected destinies, personal vengeance and merciless actions. By everyone, not just the bad guys.
And the bad guy, well, Javier manages to surprise even if you follow his career closely and remember his Oscar winning role in No Country for Old Men. Here I can say that he is the most impressive and real Bond villain I have ever seen. Motivation for once is not the world domination, but bitter personal vengeance to M. The dialogues and action scenes with him are staged really well. And M herself, well, if you wanted to see more of Judi Dench, here is a perfect opportunity.
It‘s great that Bond himself finally is shown more as a real human being, not just an agent with number attached. Some might argue that he looses part of symbolism in that way, but the whole point of Skyfall I think is to shake off the older stereotypes. This idea also greatly plays out in a humorous tone – no fancy gadgets, just you and your gun. And small radio. And a classic DB5! But seriously I was amazed what sort of forgotten, let‘s say guerrilla things is possible to create. That‘s how MI6 agents should work.
Even the name of the film is personal one. Whatever people think or relate it to, I don‘t think it‘s possible to guess what is it about without seeing. That‘s the beauty of 50th anniversary Bond, which deserves every praise it‘s quickly getting right now. The only concern for me is the future – how can you follow such kind of movie? Hopefully with brave interesting choices. There is a rumor already about a two part interlinked movie, which would be the first time in Bond history. Whatever the outcome, we‘ll definitely see Daniel Craig in it. Some say he is the best Bond ever.