Culture Street


On November 29, 2012

By Sophia Whitfield

This year the Bond franchise celebrated 50 years of the James Bond series, which began with Dr No in 1962. Expectation has been high with the release of the 23rd film. It started with the opening ceremony of the London Olympics where James Bond (Daniel Craig) escorted the Queen into the Olympic Stadium with the help of a helicopter and a parachute.

The lead up continued with the release of the Bond theme, sung by the critically acclaimed Adele. Even sitting in the cinema pre the showing of the film, the Heineken ad plays out with Bond as its central theme.

The director Sam Mendes has a fleet of successes under his belt, including American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road. Perhaps it is Mendes Britishness that really makes this a fabulous Bond film. The humour is consistently brilliant adding a more humane touch to the otherwise action packed film.

The film opens with a car chase and the loss of an essential list which reveals the names of agents around the world. M (played by Judi Dench) stands surrounded by the coffins of former agents draped with the Union Jack and must now face the consequences of a mission gone awry and the loss of valuable lives.

With MI6 under threat Bond resurfaces to protect M and recover the list.† The Aston Martin DB5 which was first seen in Goldfinger makes an appearance as M and Bond plan their escape from madman Silva (Javier Bardem). Javier Bardem is rivetingly scary as the much maligned former agent determined to seek revenge.

Predominantly set in Britain with a minor diversion to Shanghai, this film captures Britain from The National Gallery to the London Underground.

Ben Whishaw plays the nerdy Q with aplomb. Gone are the former heady days of exploding devices and in their place two rather unremarkable devices which Q hands over to Bond whilst they sit on a bench at the National Gallery contemplating Turnerís The Fighting Temeraire. Further classics are embedded into the film. Judi Dench goes back to her former classical roots reciting Tennysonís Ulysses as she prepares to fight against the enemy.

In his third Bond film Daniel Craig captures the sultry James Bond. He is in a class of his own, there is no longer a need to compare him to former Bond actors, he has made his mark on a new generation of Bond fans.

It is a difficult film to review without giving away too much, but ultimately the film returns Bond to his earlier days with character names Bond fans will be very familiar with.

Here ends another gushing review of Skyfall!


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