Directed by: Sam Mendes
Written by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney and Ben Whishaw
The latest Bond flick is the type of well-executed entertainment that will likely be played and replayed on Saturday afternoon programming for years to come, and I’m okay with that. The 23rd installment of the Bond franchise is sleek, cinematic, action-packed, touching and updated in fun ways that didn’t seem to offend Bond purists.
What I liked: Mendes does a superb job developing a visual sense of character rather than relying on the trite Bond-speak. For those who still haven’t seen it, suffice it to say, there is a sense of meaning in each visually charged landscape that offers us a glimpse into the character for who it is designed or meaningful, and which explains the Oscar nod for cinematography. The performances are strong across the board with Judi Dench and Javier Bardem edging out the rest. The story rushes forward loaded with energy and grace despite the daunting 143min running time. Finally, as one who loves origination stories, I have appreciated that the latest Bond films continue to reinvent and rediscover well-known characters and characteristics that might have all been jammed into Craig’s first film.
What I didn’t like: You can’t exactly fault an action flick for being…well, an action flick, so despite the fact that the story and characters are slotted in to fit the visual highlights I think Mendes did a credible job of mining the details. Though an interesting story might have been rushed and some more character development would have interested me, there really isn’t much room for improving a movie jam-packed with so many qualities, only to say that there are so many.
My rating: Looking forward to watching it again.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Note on the trailer: I prefer the subtler trailers that don’t offer an abridged version of the entire film but I think it’s safe to assume that I was one of the last people to see this movie so enjoy the highlights.