Skyfall*****

Posted: October 29, 2012 in Cinema

Most of the previous 22 Bond films have been little more than tongue-in-cheek variations of their predecessors and they have become British cinema’s equivalent to the Christmas panto – grotesque villains, exotic “dames”, familiar plots, etc. – but the last one, “Quantum of Solace”, was so abysmal that the continuation of the series seemed threatened. At first, the choice of Sam Mendes, whose cv suggests he would be more at ease with Shakespeare than Fleming, as director of the 23rd came as a surprise, but it is a choice that now seems inspired. Mr Mendes has done for 007 what Christopher Nolan did for Batman, infusing intelligence and humanity and, in so doing, he has not ditched the action thrills, visual spectacle or old traditions; he has simply made them all bigger and better to produce a multi-layered epic. A great cast of top drawer British thespians is joined by Javier Bardem, already the nastiest screen villain of this Century so far, now even nastier. The best Bond at least since “Goldfinger”, maybe the best of them all.

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