By Aaron Moran (Ireland)
skyfall

 

23rd Time Lucky

Skyfall is a peculiar Bond film, but not completely, it retains all the series staples, the guns, girls and gadgets but puts such a fresh spin on them they hardly feel like staples at all. Much of the credit has to go to Sam Mendes. He was always a strange choice to begin with, with his theater background and art-house tendencies but one thing he is renowned for is getting the very best out of his actors and this is very much the case for Bonds 23rd outing.

Daniel Craig returns to don the Tom Ford once again in his third go at the role of the suave super-agent. One thing Craig brings to the role which no other previous actor could do is bring an air of gritty realism to a man who having gone through everything he has would be irreversibly damaged and Craig makes you believe it with every furrowed line in his weathered face.

Mendes has gathered together a superb cast to support Craig with the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Ben Whishaw and Dame Jude Dench all bringing their considerable talents to small but integral roles in the plot. The real star of the show here is Javier Bardem, who after chilling you with his role as a psychopath in the Coen brothers No Country For Old Men returns to what he’s best at playing the first great Bond villain of this century. His introductory scene deserves to be re-watched as he channels a psycho-sexual violence and goes on to emasculate Bond simply using his computer and a few choice words.

Roger Deakins is Mendes frequent collaborator returns and shoots what is most likely the most gorgeous Bond film ever put on celluloid. The third act which takes places place entirely in the Scottish Highlands looks breath-taking through Deakins camera.

The film is a stunning return to form after the disappointing Quantum Of Solace it manages to combine the darker more grown up feel of Casino Royale with the over the top fun which has been missing from Bond of late. The script is strong and keeps you involved throughout and you never feel time is dragging through its 2 hour and 25 minute running time. The credit should go to Mendes who manages to make the most fun and entertaining Bond yet and leaves a very difficult job for whichever director has to follow up this.

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