It feels like a long time since audiences have had the pleasure of seeing a James Bond film (2008’s Quantum of Solace being an absolute disaster), but Sam Mendes brings the character back to the silver screen with a vengeance and most importantly, style.
Mendes makes it clear throughout the film that he understands what makes Bond (Daniel Craig, whose really come into his own with the character), Bond. He must be current with the era whilst also remaining within a set of criteria that differentiate 007 from the average action hero, such as the girls the gadgets, and of course the humor.
Although some of these elements are present they have a subtler role (notably with the gadgets—except for one sure to be crowd pleasing moment at the end) but it fits the modern era of espionage and terrorism. All of it encompassed in Roger Deakins’s absolutely top form cinematography, which deserves immense recognition, and will drive you to want to paint everything blue.
The plot revolves around Bond, coming out of hiding after a botched MI6 job, to go up against Silva (an absolutely excellent Javier Bardem), a cyber-terrorist with a past, and with a very Bondian deformity. Silva and Bond match wits and bullets, as Silva carries out a personal vendetta against M (Judi Dench). The film plays out in much of the way you expect, and want a Bond film to, but with a few surprises in store.
Although the film has a few flaws, such as being a tad overlong, it’s an absolute pleasure to sit through. Mendes has not made only a great Bond movie, but a great film in general. From the opening chase in Turkey, through the traditional credits sequence (set to Adele’s SKYFALL), to a thrilling finale in Scotland, this film is an adventure for all audiences.