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Best Bond Ever? Movie Fans 'Yes' Bond Fans 'No!'
So hands up who honestly thought 'Skyfall' would be the must see blockbuster of 2012, No? Well it seems certain to be not only the highlight of this year at the multiplex but also Movie enthusiasts favourite ever Bond, However bond devotees may not be convinced. As 002 Roger Moore once said "It's sort of like a bedtime story: As long as you don't go too far away from the original, the child is happy," So Sam Mendes and the crews balancing act has to be commended, moving away from the traditional bond formula whilst also staying in range of the double O radar is a tricky business. The epic intro full of action that's more like the end of a film, the irrelevant MacGuffin (No Nuclear Armageddon this time its Hacking and Hard-drives - hmmm very modern) the one-liners and the Aston Martin are all here, however the glamorous exotic locations are swapped for London. A nice touch in this Olympic year.
Indeed at times it feels similar to the opening ceremony's celebration of British culture not only in heavyweight acting talent (Fiennes is fantastic with limited screen time he manages to change are view of him with every new appearance) but there are also nods to the poetry of Tennyson and the art of JWM Turner not to mention Adele's more traditional theme song. Thankfully this spirit doesn't extend to giving John Cleese another bash at Q instead the subtler more pivotal role is given to Pingu from 'Nathan Barley' (Ben Whishaw). Who along with at least 3 others give fine performances and should be expecting a return for Bond 24.
The person we should most of all be hoping gets on board for the next mission is Cinematographer Roger Deakins. Whose involvement makes this the most beautifully shot Bond by some distance. The first act as expected is full of intrigue and a bit of a slow burner (It is over an hour in before main baddie Bardem's first appearance) but the stunning visuals ensure you won't want to take your eyes off the screen for a second. If he and Mendes were to stay we could be in for the kind of sustained reboot we were promised at the beginning of the Craig era.
Without giving to much of the plot away expanding the role of M is something precisely none of us were asking for but it is however a master-stoke. Having are hero's damsel in distress being a vulnerable 70 odd-year-old rather than the usual bikini clad babe adds a lot more freshness than it has any right to. It is this sort of minor tweaking that 'Skyfall' does so well. If I had to find a criticism I must admit after 'No Country for Old Men' I was expecting something very special from Javier Bardem (Don't get me wrong he is the best nemesis in a long long time). I think had Bardem been given just as big a part but as a second in command henchman/enforced type we could have had a character as iconic to the franchise as perhaps Oddjob or Jaws. That aside we are left with a Bond film to be enthusiastically enjoyed an absolute must see.