Simon at the Cinema: Skyfall Review
There is a scene in Skyfall which perfectly sums up the film and what director Sam Mendes is striving for with his first shot at the Bond franchise.
Our British spy looks bemused as he opens up a case containing the latest gadgets for his mission and is surprised to find it only contains the bare essentials – his signature gun and a radio.
The new and far younger Q turns to Bond and says: "What did you expect, an exploding pen? "We don't really go in for that any more".
To which Bond replies: "Brave new world."
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And for Sam Mendes and the twenty-third James Bond film, it is indeed a brave new world we have entered – particularly for fans of the classic Bond films.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of nods to past Bond references, but it's far less in your face.
This has caused opinion amongst film fans to be split, with some praising the film for its gritty, realistic approach to Bond.
But in the other camp, diehard James Bond fans have been protesting that Skyfall takes itself too seriously.
Daniel Craig puts in a fantastic turn as the MI6 spy and for the first time, we are shown his emotional side – complete with flaws and weaknesses.
This Bond is a very different Bond to the Sean Connery's and Roger Moore's of the past, but he is a far more convincing character because of this.
Add into this some edge-of-the-seat action sequences which builds up the suspense and a chilling performance by Javier Bardem as villain Raoul Silva and you have the recipe for a classic film.
Skyfall represents change for a franchise which has always been quintessentially British and while fans may not agree with all of the choices Mendes makes, there is no arguing that he hasn't made things interesting.
Watching Skyfall reminded me of another franchise that was rescued from the ashes – Batman.
While this Bond film certainly isn't as 'dark', as Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, it does feel like the franchise is being pushed towards a much darker and more tormented future for Bond.
The jury is still out on whether or not this is better than Daniel Craig's first effort as Bond – Casino Royale.
But fans can't deny that this is certainly a slicker and better conceived movie than Quantum of Solace.
If you want to see an intelligent, modern thriller, which doesn't dumb down the action or the dialogue for its audience, then go see Skyfall.
You won't be disappointed.
Let me know your views. Do you agree with my verdict? Disagree? Let me know your opinion.