I’ve just got back from seeing the latest Bond movie, “Skyfall”, at Leicester Square Odeon. Wow! I’m still reeling. An awesome film.
I’ve always enjoyed the Bond movies – they never fail to be entertaining. The sixties films with Sean Connery were truly iconic. As much part of the era as the Beatles and mini skirts. Roger Moore turned the series into wry comedy thrillers and I can’t remember a lot about the Dalton and Brosnan eras. May even have missed a couple. Daniel Craig restored a hard and darker edge, as new technology rubbed up against the classic glamour and style of the early films. Both “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace” were up there, for me, with the best.
But “Skyfall” is on another level. I expected a good film, having read a few reviews, but not this good. I found the whole film riveting and the denouement in spooky, misty Scotland incredibly gripping. I was buzzing at the end!
You never get too much character development in a Bond movie, but there was a journey into the dark past of M (Judi Dench), Bond and the malevolent villain Silva, played with grotesque elan by Javier Bardem. It added an intensity to the film, a deeper interaction than usual between the central characters. Intensity was the word for me. There were relatively few scenes, but as a result there was time in each to build a genuine tension.
And of course there was great imagery. The opening chase scene through the alleys, up the steps and along the rooftops of Istanbul was thrillingly spectacular. The pursuit of the assassin through the glassy tower in Shanghai, all looming structures and confusing reflections, was reminiscent of “Blade Runner” (my favourite film).
The confrontation on the devastated island, somewhere off China, was brutal. And London played a big part, much of it subterranean. The dark heart, the underbelly of the city.
And then that final confrontation in Scotland. Explosive, destructive, like so many Bond movie final scenes. But focused, intense, claustrophopic. Dare I venture that I felt a Harry Potter moment about it all? Silva as Voldemort? I wonder…
“Skyfall” is reputedly heading towards being the biggest grossing Bond film of all time, so I’m not exactly preaching to uninitiated here. But if you haven’t seen it, and like Bond movies even a little bit, go and see this one.
It might leave you, like me, shaken and stirred…