TV TV Features

Huffington Post: Stop Getting Bond… Right? (21/05/19)

The new teaser trailer for the latest James Bond film Skyfall is out (if you haven’t already seen it – what are you doing reading this piddly article, go and watch it!) Sam Mendes’ latest has all the tropes of a great Bond film – great action, witty quips and… dialogue that resembles a Gordon Ramsay programme (Skyfall? DONE!). In a passionate plea, Alan Partridge once shouted at his confused guests “Stop getting Bond wrong!” Skyfall looks like it’s going to fulfil this demand and more besides – so for the 50th anniversary of the martini lover can Mendes manage to pull out the best Bond since Goldeneye?

That isn’t to say that there haven’t been moments of greatness in the previous Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan films – that Casino Royale intro really made people sit up and listen – but as our friendly neighbourhood Spiderman once said before he went all silly, grew a fringe and started tapdancing, with great technology comes great responsibility. It’s all well and good to have sleek production skills, but audiences want more from their Bond now. They want their action and their plots to be clever, intelligent and meaningful as well as totally awesome. They want Jason Bourne without Matt Damon.

Apart from the dialogue, which no doubt has been parodied a thousand times on YouTube already, Skyfall‘s teaser trailer hints that this could finally be achieved. Whilst there are amazing scenes such as Tube crashes, Shanghai nights and sniper shootouts, there is also a prevailing mood of the tense atmosphere we last found in Casino Royale. Surprisingly for a trailer in this day and age, the entire storyline isn’t given away in one fell swoop, but we can only hope that it all doesn’t boil down to another crisis with Bolivia’s water system (“Oh God not the water! Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the water?!”)

JB always needs a malevolent baddie, and whilst he only shows up as a silhouette against a fireball, you can bet that the star of No Country for Old Men Javier Bardem’s silent appearance in the trailer signals a change from the usual slightly camp cackling villain. It’s about time James got himself a proper badass to face rather than one with a theatrical bleeding eye, and Bardem is definitely the man for the job.

Really the only way Skyfall can fail is if it loses sight of what Casino Royale slowly started and Quantum of Solace cocked up royally – an intriguing psychological cocktail of thrills shaken not stirred with intense, moody dialogue. We don’t need REALLY BIG EXPLOSIONS to be cool these days, and whilst it’d be an outrage to Bond if we didn’t have a few, let’s hope that, as the trailer seems to show, Mendes and co haven’t forgotten that the modern day Bond doesn’t need to stick to the formula – he can do his own thing, and be much better for it. We can all hope and pray, however, that they don’t take this too far and ask Skrillex to do the theme tune.

Skyfall is in cinemas on October 26th.

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