In Britain, James Bond is often noted and deservedly listed as the greatest movie character of all time. Appearing 50 years on in his 23rd venture, the character still remains as prominent and instantly recognisable since Sean Connery’s iconic portrayal of James Bond in 1962 archetypal classic Dr. No. James Bond created in 1953 by the unforgettable Sir Ian Fleming and ever since has turned into a true symbol of Britain. Characterised by his suave nature, way with the ladies, overcoming of villains and the imperious over-the-top explosions and far-fetched action sequences, admired by men and attracted to by women, everyone knows James Bond.
“Bond. James, Bond” is a phrase known throughout the world, and along with “Vodka Martini; Shaken, not stirred” has become a truly iconic representation of the character throughout each portrayal from Sean Connery to George Lazenby, Roger Moore to Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan to the for want of a better term; “resurrection” of the series by the current James Bond in Daniel Craig.
As fun and ludicrous as the classic Bond releases between 1962 all the way up to Pierce Brosnan’s final appearance in 2002’s Die Another Day, people have always recognisable the explosive nature of the film, and their far from gracious presentations of action sequences. A new dawn was born in 2006 when Craig took over, giving a new leash of life to the character in Casino Royale.
Casino Royale was a much needed film for all film fans. For classic Bond fans and just in general action movie fans, it gave the character a more realistic platform to work on, with better premises, star studded casts and all together intelligent screenplays, miles away from the cliché of the Roger Moore of Timothy Dalton Bond embodiment. Perhaps realistic is a stretch too far for even the most civilized of Bond fans, but they’re now certainly smarter films.
And so after the overwhelming success of Casino Royale, and the marginal triumph of Quantum of Solace (I don’t remember it all too well), we are brought the long awaited follow up in Skyfall.
Taking over from a large bunch of unknown directors, the impressive Sam Mendes of American Beauty and Road to Perdition fame is allowed the chance to put his marker down to prove his capabilities in all genres of cinema, from riveting dramas to gangster classics and now to big, explosive actioners like Skyfall.
An intelligent film that benefits itself in more ways than one, it truly is the most complex, witty, well paced and entertaining Bond feature I’ve ever seen. A real accomplishment, one that I hope isn’t just labelled as “another good Bond film”, but instead labelled as a great tale of mortality, with heart and a mouth watering cast. Daniel Craig has never been better.