Friday, November 23, 2012

Skyfall ★★★★½


Australia: 22nd November, 2012; USA 9th November UK 26th October
Other Countries: Release Dates

My poor husband suffered terribly after watching Skyfall. He doesn’t normally eat popcorn as his stomach is not a fan but a kindly friend gave us a huge bucket. So by the time the initial chase sequence was over and the iconic opening credits montage had begun, he’d scoffed half the bucket. Supposedly, he was so engrossed and heady from the action he didn’t know what he was doing.
A small price to pay one would say in the viewing of what may, according to the fans, or may not be, according to some critics, the greatest Bond film yet. Pulling in $60 million in seven days in the UK, it has just beaten out the previous record-holder, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’. This year being the 50th anniversary of the Bond films, and Skyfall the twenty-third in the series, the makers wanted to bring all the key Bond elements together to make the longest-running film franchise in history as exciting today as it was in 1962.
So we have the breathtaking opening chase scene—best watched away from the popcorn bucket—the gorgeous women, the impossible escapes, the menacing villain and the suave sophistication that is only James Bond. Interestingly enough, the screen-writing team of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, veterans of Bond films, along with Academy Award®-winner John Logan must have decided that technology is so yesterday. It’s a bold move that Bond is not delivered his usual gadgetry but simply supplied with a gun and a ‘radio’ via his new young upstart Quartermaster Q (Ben Whishaw).
Despair not as the film sets out to prove that a Bond film’s greatness requires only James Bond, a nemesis and action. In fact we are reminded throughout that he may be older, less fit, battle-scarred and possibly redundant, yet with his experience nobody does it better.
After the opening chase where things go terribly wrong, Bond (Daniel Craig) is presumed dead. Even worse, he and fellow agent Eve (Naomie Harris) have allowed key information to fall into enemy hands. She is relegated to a desk job and James takes a secret break. When an unknown terrorist wreaks random havoc by bombing MI6, releasing secret agents identities on the internet, and targeting M (Judi Dench) with threatening messages, Bond returns. M’s career is also in danger from Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) who is sent in to manage her out of her job.
Bond tracks the terrorist to Shanghai and the action is paused for an interlude with the stunning Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe) wearing a dress to die for. She is the girlfriend of Silva (Javier Bardem), the mastermind behind the attacks and the unstoppable techno savvy villain out to seek revenge.
But a Bond film is all about the action and breathtaking stunts. Javier Bardem describes watching Craig take on the role: “There is some physicality to my role but of course mine compared to Daniel’s was nothing. And he does the action scenes so easily. From the outside, watching him, I was thinking, ‘If I were you, I wouldn’t be doing that!’” Bardem laughs.
Stunt Coordinator Gary Powell, appreciates the advance in digital technology and computer graphics, but prefers Bond action to be real. He says, “Though the opening sequence lasts only twelve minutes on screen, it took three months of rehearsals and two months of filming to produce. Standing on top of a train, travelling at 50 kilometers per hour, fighting with Ola Rapace going over a bridge, was probably a stand out moment.”
The humour and wit is back, as well as an iconic car—which had the audience applauding. If there was ever a movie to see in the cinema it is ‘Skyfall’. You don’t hit fifty looking this good by resting on your laurels. Buckle up, put the popcorn under the seat until you feel it’s safe—you’ll know when—and join the world in their love affair with this iconic character who still has what it takes to kill and thrill.

What is your favourite Bond film and favourite theme song? 
Official Site