Video Game reviewer Ben “YAHTZEE” Croshaw made a very good comment about spies –
“You see, a spy who breaks into an enemy base and kills everyone isn’t a very good spy, any monkey can kill with a gun, if it’s a very bad monkey”.
If you think about it, it’s true. A spy’s job is to spy on people and feedback information and not necessarily commit evil corporation Genocide which is usually the case in all most films. But I suppose that a spy film where a bloke does nothing but paperwork would not be very interesting although it may get an academy award. But when you like at recent James Bond films you can see a sort of origins story in it which is always popular. Everyone loves an origins story and that is a good thing because the latest James Bond film SkyFall is the best James Bond film since Die Another Day (10 years ago).
The film starts off with 007 chasing someone around somewhere in Turkey with help from his aide Eve. He is chasing someone who has some confidential data on a hard drive. The chase goes all over this town, through a market, onto rooftops and then onto a train. However the chase ends badly when 007 is shot by his aide when she is instructed to take a shot at the other person. 007 falls into a river and the opening titles begin.
M is writing the obituary of 007 and is later called to see the chairman of the intelligence and security committee, Gareth Mallory. She is put under pressure to retire but refuses to do so. On her way back to MI6 HQ there is a security hack inside the building from her computer which results in the explosion of her office at MI6. Meanwhile Bond is recovering in some unknown location and finds out about this and returns to England. MI6 is now stationed in WW2 bunker formerly used by Churchill. 007 goes through several tests to be put back on the job and appears to pass. Eve has been given a small desk job for the time being. Bond also meets the new Q who gives him a gun that only he can use and a small transmitter.
007 is sent to Shanghai to deal with the bloke from the beginning of the film. He heads to a building where the man kills an Asian man on the building opposite. Bond accidently kills the man when he falls from the building. 007 is spotted by the women from the other side, he also picks up a gambling chip from the man’s equipment box. Meanwhile M finds out that 3 Nato Agents have been killed and she has to appear in front of a tribunal. 007 heads to Macau along with Eve where he hands in the chip and receives millions of euros. He also meets the woman and asks her if she can meet her employer. Bond has a small scuffle with some thugs in a Komodo Dragon pit and then leaves with Eve. He gets on the Woman’s boat and they are both taken prisoner and head to small unknown island. There Bond meets former MI6 agent Raoul Silva (when I first saw this person I mistook the actor for Donald Sutherland, Now he would make a Great Bond Villain) who blames M for his torture in China. He kills the Asian woman and almost kills bond in a bizarre shooting game but then army helicopters arrive who were signalled by bond’s transmitter.
They all arrive back at MI6 where M has a word with Silva before heading to her Tribunal. Meanwhile Q and Bond try to decrypt Silva’s laptop but accidently hack MI6 which allows him to escape. Bond gives chase through the London Underground. M is being questioned at the tribunal and is almost being used as a scapegoat. Bond reaches Silva, but Silva escapes thanks to a bomb which derails an underground train. Silva heads for Westminster and tries to kill M but Bond arrives in good time. Silva escapes and Bond takes M to Scotland in his original Aston Martin and asks for Q and M’s aide to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for Silva.
007 and M arrive at Bond’s old home SkyFall and meet his old game keeper Kincade. All three set up his old house in wait for the attack from Silva. His men arrive and thanks to traps set up all over the house they are successful, then Silva arrives with more men in a helicopter. Bond destroys his house and escapes through a secret tunnel which M and Kincade used earlier. However M has a serious injury on her hand. Silva gives chase as Bond falls through an ice pack and deals with one of his men. Silva finds M and sees she is hurt, and decides to try and kill both himself and M. Bond arrives however and kills Silva with a hunting knife. Bond is too late though as M dies of her injury. Back in London, Eve gives Bond a gift from M’s will and decides to take a desk job being the secretary for the new M and introduces herself as Eve Moneypenny. Gareth Mallory has been given the job as the new M and gives 007 his next assignment.
SkyFall is a brilliant entry to the series. While I am not necessarily a fan of the Daniel Craig era because I like the Super Weapons and Super Villains. I mean, why exactly was the bloke in Quantum Of Solace Evil? SkyFall is a strong entry to the series and deserves a lot of credit. The film’s cast are a nice blend of current members along with some good new members. Bérénice Marlohe‘s character is interesting despite being killed off early on, if only she was featured more in the film. Ben Wishaw is a great Q and could be mistaken for Benedict Cumberbatch (to some people), he also has a trait of Henrik Hanssen from Holby City. Naomie Harris (Eve) is also a great addition and is slightly more reassuring than most people in the film. However my favourite character has to be Kincade (Albert Finney). Why has this guy not been in the series before? Let’s just hope that he is featured again (does anyone else think he looks like Brian Blessed?). Javier Bardem (Silva) is a pretty good villain but is too weird however he is a better villain than Stephen Lang in Avatar (just thought I would mention that).
But of course we need to pay tribute to Dame Judi Dench who has played M for 7 films. She leaves at the 50th Anniversary, a good time to finish, Thank you M for many Great Years and Great Films. OK she had to die to leave instead of living on and just retiring.
It is nice to see that the love relationships are not really apparent in this film and as a result do not slow down the plot like most films in the series (Diamonds are Forever). There are several other great scenes like the scenes in Shanghai but it is nice to see that London is used more in this film. I think London is greatly overlooked in the series and should be included more often and not just as a launching point. The scene at SkyFall could have been improved greatly with the right music, it was interesting to watch them set up the place, I think that they should have used a different soundtrack for that scene though, it does remind me of a TV Show from the 80’s, you know what I mean – The A-Team.
(When you watch that scene again, put this music to it, You know it makes sense)
The film’s effects were done very well, The Komodo Dragons were nicely done and looked real, very important (even though it did seem obvious that was going to happen). The Excavator on the train was especially good but best of all, the explosion at MI6 and the Underground Train topped all that, I wonder how they filmed those scenes?
Overall SkyFall is one of the best Bond films and Action Films in years. A nice blend of Actors and Effects combined with the well written story all adds up into one Fantastic Film. While it is still not technically a Bond Film it is going in the right direction. At least the Gadgets are back, now all we need is a villain (let’s have Donald Sutherland) with a super weapon. Why not have another satellite laser weapon, again.
GENEPOOL (I hadn’t heard of Sam Mendes until this film. This is the first time I have reviewed a Bond Film).