Director Sam Mendes
He’s been on the screen for 50 years. After all that you’d think that James Bond has been getting a bit too old and creaky. Admittedly, some of his adventures have seemed like that (especially in the early ’80s) but with Daniel Craig taking over the role, the character and the franchise has undergone something of a renaissance. He’s been re-invented for the modern era, all tough, gritty and violent. But to some, Craig’s interpretation of Bond has been too tough and missing the sense of humor present in the earlier films. The latest film keeps Craig and his cool exterior but there’s a sense of fun and excitement here that is a joy to behold.
The plot revolves around the theft of a hard drive containing the identities of NATO agents embedded in terrorist cells across the world. It soon becomes apparent that this is masterminded by someone whose agenda is not just to cause chaos: they want to humiliate MI6 and M (Judi Dench) in particular. James Bond (Daniel Craig) is sent to numerous exotic locations including Shanghai and Macau and he soon finds himself on the trail of the mysterious Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) whose motives will soon make the stakes much more personal for both Bond and M.
This is an exhilarating affair, beautifully filmed (there’s some stunning cinematography from Roger Deakins and Oscar winning director Mendes does a great job) and brilliantly performed (especially from Bardem who makes a great villain). It feels like a new direction for the character but still retains enough ‘Bond’ to be a blockbuster with a uniquely British sensibility and – in re-introducing characters old and new – should appeal to fans of the past exploits of 007.
It’s a triumph of a movie and anyone who likes action cinema should find themselves thoroughly entertained. Those who are Bond fans will have already booked their tickets.