There are great generational discussions going on this week; who is the definitive James Bond. Daniel Craig delivers a strong argument in his favor with the latest film in the Bond Franchise, “Skyfall”. This is, in great part, due to the fine directing of Sam Mendes, who tackles a series of gritty action scenes with sure handed skill and, at the same time, delivers some remarkably beautiful visual images, with exotic locales as the palatte. The script delivers some fine moments of reflection on the glory years of Sean Connery’s Bond with a new cyber oriented “Q” (Ben Wishaw plays the new MI6 quartermaster), no exploding pens for this nerd, and in one scene, the return of 007’s legendary Aston Martin, the only time that I can recall a car has receiving a spontaneous burst of audience applause .
“Skyfall” gives us a chance to learn a bit about Bond’s youth and why he is he way he is. It also focuses on Judy Dench’s character, “M”, and gives this great actor a chance to do more than merely give Bond his marching orders. The antagonist, Javier Bardem’s character, Raoul Silva, puts Bardem in the pantheon of baddies, rivaling his Oscar winning turn as Anton Chigurh in the Cohen Brother’s “No Country For Old Men”. Maybe there’s magic in a really bad hairdo because Bardem delivers a truly creepy bad guy, who deals in cyber dominance; no more stolen cold war nukes for this guy. The Bond musical score is back too and Adele delivers the best Bond theme since Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger”. Of course, any talk of best Bond theme songs is sure to spawn another generational squabble, so let’s all just get along and enjoy the ride.
My GPA: 3.9