by Bill Taylor
Daniel Craig’s Bond dives back on to our screens after a lengthy absence, in the highly anticipated, Sam Mendes steered, James Bond follow-up Skyfall. Four years after the rather mediocre 2nd outing of the edgier era of the franchise, Bond is back, and oh boy has it been worth the wait.
In this instalment Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her, one she felt had long since been buried. MI6 then comes under attack and it is Bond who must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost, saving M and himself in the process
The relationship between Bond and M is a very interesting one that intertwines with the main theme of ‘new versus old’ throughout the film. For both Bond and M it is a crucial time in their respective careers, one that they both feel can only really truly come to an end once the “job at hand is done”. What really works about this relationship is that it shows a previously untouched upon side to both characters, allowing us to see the more human side to both M and Bond without making them appear humane. It is refreshing to see that the main interaction that Bond has with a woman in the film is, for a change, not of a sexual nature, I felt more connected to Bond as a character because of this. It just seemed more believable that way.
It is the performance of Javier Bardem as Bond’s adversary Raoul Silva, however, that really steals the show. Already being touted as one of the, if not the, best Bond villains in history, Bardem brings a very calculated sense of chaos to the fold; one rarely seen so convincingly before. As relevant a villain as could be in our modern times, Bardem mixes up a complex concoction of emotions, which ultimately explodes in to a chaotic crescendo of mayhem, leaving you breathless and completely satisfied in equal measures.
Quite possibly the best Bond film ever made, Mendes has truly outdone himself in creating the complete spectacle. Mixing the old with the new, paying homage to the heritage of the previous twenty-two films, whilst mixing in a fresh bag of innovation to boot, Mendes has very much stopped the sky from falling down.