Sunday, October 28, 2012

Film: Bond 23: Skyfall

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We pre-booked the tickets a few months ago to see “Skyfall”, the 23rd outing for James Bond (released on 23rd October and directed by Sam Mendes). I’m glad we did as the cinema was packed - and they were showing it every 45 minutes across a number of the screens too! It’s the first Bond film to be shot digitally and also the first to be released in iMax format.

There had been plenty of promotion for this particular instalment as it coincided with ‘50 years of James Bond’. Plenty of ‘007’ products too - in the Press, on the TV, and, predictably, preceding the film itself: men’s fragrance, mobile phones and what felt slightly out of place - Bond drinking Heineken Beer! The opening theme sung by Adele seemed to fit perfectly into the film’s mood (although it hasn’t done quite so well in the charts as maybe some were expecting).

So, was the film worth all the hype? All in all, I’d say ‘yes’. If you like your Bond a bit ‘rough round the edges’ (and unshaved!), this is your film. The earlier Bonds with their plethora of gadgets paired with somewhat predictable storylines and two-dimensional villains have given way during Daniel Craig’s era – and a much more grittier Bond-world. Skyfall was no exception and this, and in my view, made it all the better. Daniel Craig has given the role a lot more street-cred and allowed the franchise to reinvent itself, pull in the crowds and compete on equal terms with other action films such as Mission Impossible and Bourne.

The action scenes were plentiful and well executed and there were also the occasional humorous lines too - well appreciated by the audience at our screening. I won’t reveal the story here, but suffice to say, it’s all very watchable with great performances from all concerned - most especially, Judy Dench, who has a much more significant role in this film. You’ll also learn where the film title came from!

Be prepared to shed a tear in a number of places - and if you like cars, shed a few more for Bond’s trusty DB5! Some neat scripting towards the end sets the scene for Bond’s main characters and the future of the franchise.

Lots of people are saying this is the best Bond film ever. For me, not quite, as Craig’s first outing as Bond in Casino Royale stands out for me - maybe because of Daniel Craig’s unique take on the role. I’ll definitely be buying Skyfall on Blu-Ray and may try and see it on iMax too!