Thursday, November 8, 2012


After chasing a suspect in possession of a vital piece of intelligence through the rooftops of a Turkish bazaar and a moving train, 007 (Daniel Craig) is accidentally clipped by his partner (Naomie Harris) where he falls to his presumed demise. Enjoying the perks of death, Bond emerges from the shadows when a brilliant and psychotic ex-agent (Javier Bardem) launches a vindictive terrorist attack, not with the aims of world domination, but at his contentious yet motherly mentor M (Judi Dench). What began with the stride that was "Casino Royale" and was lost in the anemic "Quantum of Solace", is completely realized here, not only in the reinvention of the character 007 but also in crucial elements of the story. Daniel Craig again provides a wounded, vulnerable Bond where we actually fear that danger can be had by him and those around him. In Javier Bardem's supremely invested cyber-villain, who owes more than a little to Heath Ledger's Joker, much is gained from his character's single mindedness. Director Sam Mendes brings his acute filmmaking sensitivities to the project, which is evident from the rousing opening sequence to the stunning "Straw Dogs" style finale. His success should also be shared with cinematographer Roger Deakins. Looking at the resume of the trio of writers credited with the screenplay, Robert Wade and Neal Purvis both had worked on several Bond films, good and bad, and I wager much credit is due to John Logan, an accomplished penner of a variety of films ("Gladiator", "The Aviator", "Hugo"). Another successful tactic used in the Harry Potter one of casting as many veritable Brit actors as possible which in addition to the aforementioned Dench include Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw (an excellent, young Q), and Albert Finney.
*** 1/2 out of ****