Saturday, November 17, 2012


Movie Name: Skyfall
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Helen McCrory, Ola Rapace, Nicholas Woodeson
Genre: Action, Suspense
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

007 is back, this time around directed by acclaimed film and theater director Sam Mendes, whose last films "Revolutionary Road" and "Away we Go" were met with different levels of acclaim and success. The new 007 follows a mission that is closer to the heart of M and James Bond. The film introduces the viewers to a high speed chase sequence, one where Bond gets almost fatally wounded. Assumed dead, Bond hides while healing, but is forced back after his agency gets attacked by someone who knows it all too well. The mission turns out to be one of rescue: a rogue agent is keen on destroying M and it ends up being James Bond's mission to save her.
At this point each 007 adventure is one that follows the mechanics long established by the franchise. Nothing is ever particularly new or surprising, except when the path chosen is one almost cartoonish and beyond ridiculous (case in point, Lee Tamahori's "Die Another Day" which was Pierce Brosnan's last outing as James Bond, or quite a few of Roger Moore's outings, particularly "For Your Eyes Only" and "Octopussy"). Sam Mendes tries to maintain a focus on the action that is more attuned to the current action films, resulting in something that is simultaneously engaging but also retro (in the sense that the action scenes while well shot and edited, are also something that has been previously seen in other films). Where this film manages to take off, is actually in the way the narrative weaves some of the actual story of Bond into the events taking place, lifting the curtain behind what has always been somewhat of mystery to this agent actually is. Also making M the target, also reveals her fallacies, but also the emotional ties her all team had towards her, particularly Bon himself. This film also benefits of having a villain that while underwritten, is also truly menacing and unstoppable. The actors are as usual well cast, in particular Daniel Craig who creates a mask of menace and some vulnerability, the same going for the ruthless and obviously great, Judi Dench. They get wonderful support from the fantastic Ralph Fiennes and the superlative Javier Bardem, who brings different layers of interest into what could have been a rather one note type of role. Highlights also go to the ensemble which includes Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Albert Finney, Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory. The cinematography from Roger Deakins is stunning as is the score from Thomas Newman. A solid action film, that while not bringing anything necessarily new to the table, is nonetheless quite entertaining.