The New James Bond film: Skyfall

23 Oct 2012

Studying carefully all the modern superheroes, like a wise old dog, 007 agent has learned some new tricks

The film is directed by Sam Mendes, whose frequently dazzling, utterly audacious entry in the franchise has less in common with its much-loved predecessors. Studying carefully all the modern superheroes, like a wise old dog, 007 agent has learned some new tricks.

Here, Bond (Daniel Craig) faces a foe almost as inscrutable as the Joker himself: Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), an ex-MI6 agent who worked with M (Judi Dench) in her pre-Handover Hong Kong days who has returned, unhinged by a perceived betrayal, as a master computer hacker bent on vengeance. Mendes is unafraid to let the quieter dramatic moments breathe and ace cinematographer Roger Deakins makes the wildly ambitious action sequences the most beautiful in Bond’s 50-year career. (The release of Skyfall marks the series’ half-centenary.)

The sensational Istanbul-set prologue is soon bettered by a early sojourn to Shanghai, in which Bond pursues an assassin through a glass skyscraper lit up like a neon Aurora Borealis. This is Skyfall’s popcorn-dropping moment, and an uneven third act that harks back to the Bond films of old (the Goldfinger Aston Martin DB5 makes an appearance) never quite coheres.

Bardem’s lip-lickingly camp turn makes him the oddest Bond villain since the Roger Moore era, and his nicotine hair flops queasily over his forehead in a way that calls to mind Julian Assange.

Skyfall is a Bond film for the Anonymous generation, that will be a stratospheric hit. The analogous theme song, which will reportedly be featured in the closing credits of the movie, is released by Adele.

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Moby – Innocents

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