by Aninoritse Odeli-Serrano
Bond has been out of the cinemas for four years, clearly a very long time for a legend to be off the screens and out of our minds.
Gone are the glory days of Sir Sean Connery and Sir Roger Moore; and Quantum of Solace didn’t exactly excite us, still I believe, no I assure you ladies and gentlemen, Commander Bond is back in GRAND STYLE.
Skyfall opens in Istanbul – not to the traditional gun barrel sequence sadly, but it does have this amazing climax in the Scottish highlands. Many complain there are no Bond Girls, no fancy gadgetry and cars. Oh please. Skyfall isn’t telling a story of a villain who is trying to destroy the world which we are most familiar with, instead, MI6 is bait and M is the target. Here Bond’s loyalty to M is tested.
And what a way for Dame Judi Dench to take her exit as M! She has been in since 1995 and played it 7 times. For once Bond and his girls didn’t take the shine or glory, allowing M revel in it and she is the hero. As always, she keeps her 00 boys in check, pushing them as hard as it takes, there are results and there are casualties… and this is where her past comes back to haunt her. Indeed, she just might be the greatest Bond Girl ever.
Anyone who had doubts about Sam Mendes directing, please put them aside right now. With the first few minutes, we see Bond chasing a target and he is having car chases, riding motorbikes on rooftops and train scene. Mendes delivered and right on point. Mr. Mendes is not known for the traditional action packed movies but he does have a background in theatre and does have an Oscar to show, so he means business and business was delivered.
Javier Bardem is one helluva villain; he plays Silva, a twisted psychotic individual who as we find out is a former security operative. He does put up a fight to be one of the best Bond baddies ever. He is cyber-terrorist and encounter with James Bond whilst telling him the Pest Control story is indeed his highlight. With Adele writing and singing the Skyfall tune is probably up there with the great Bond tunes of the last 50 years. She embodied Skyfall and can only be matched with Dame Shirley Bassey.
You’ve got to love how Bond takes the mickey of his own formula. Bond is shown and depicted as old scruffy and rough but that’s the deal and the selling point…the old man still has the fight in him. A little glitch for me however, is seeing Bond holding a particular kind of green bottle. A bit odd I would say. Over the years, we Bond fans have had to deal with some appalling commercial branding
The one-liners are brilliant and no, it didn’t lose its British-ness but I suggest you watch with a sense of humour. The film is full of outstanding performances, besides the new Gadgetmeister Q, played by Ben Whishaw is at his best as drops his lines with great pun. The chemistry between Naomie Harris who plays Eve and later introduced as Moneypenny and James Bond is brilliant. She’s sexy and witty and right up my street…and oh, throw in the eye candy from Severine (Berenice Marlorhe) who plays with your eyes with her divine figure. Ralph Fiennes has always been a fine actor and shows his class. The return of the Aston Martin DB5 is one of the great highlights of the film.
Skyfall does stand out among the Bond films however; it is too soon for it to pick its place in the pecking order. As the film ends, a gentle reminder informs us that “James Bond will return”; that Ladies and Gentlemen is how you celebrate 50 years on screen!!!
– 4.5/5 stars.
Aninoritse Odeli-Serrano tweets @aninoritse