Skyfall, Sam Mendes (2012)
When: November 2012
Where: Odeon Swiss Cottage (IMAX)
James Bond turned 50, he already has the fast cars, the trophy women and a rather well developed drinking habit so what now? Skyfall answers a lot of those questions and sets up many more, it also continues the rich vein of form since Daniel Craig took on the role of 007. There are a number of things that made Skyfall great to watch but my favourite was using the cinematic play of light and shadow to blend with the films narrative. The Bond style is something we take for granted, the full size Ken Adam sets, the fight scenes, the use of the James Bond theme and the famous opening credits. Mendes plays with it well, a polite British nod to the past, a modern British look to the future.
Rather than give this film any more free publicity I thought I'd talk about a couple of my favourite scenes in the film. The first is the fight in the tower in China. The scene is almost Batmanesque, however where as Batman has gadgets, a plan and an escape route costing millions, Bond rushes in using just the shadows and light to hide himself from the man he intends to interrogate and kill, this was classic Bond by nature but with a real cinematic touch, after all cinema is but light and shadow.
I also enjoyed the scene where Bond and Q (Ben Whishaw) fight to stop the Silva (Javier Bardem) from killing M (Judi Dench) and the MPs during the questioning. The dead eyed, world weary, seen it all before rush hour crowd not bothered by a man jumping on to the back of a moving tube train. The simple small room, confined shoot out with those questioning M and her methods shown up as cowards and the birth of the new M (Ralph Fiennes to follow.
Whilst I don't know if Skyfall is the best Bond ever made it is certainly the most cinematic and I really hope this continues going forward to keep the heart of my favourite film franchise alive and well.