Tonight I saw Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem.
What a fun ride!
I'll confess that I haven't loved the entire library of Bond movies—and the last one left a lot to be desired—but this one brought me back.
The opening scene is nothing if not exhilarating, with 007 (Craig) jumping trains and operating heavy equipment (yep) to bring down his first enemy of the chase.
Behind the scenes, M (Dame Judi Dench) is calling the shots, and unfortunately not calling them too well. There are moments of worry that the entire film may turn into one long funeral, but of course that's not the case. Bond is back, after all.
And even as wonderful as the two of them are, nothing injects the story with more pizazz than the appearance of villain Silva (Bardem), who appears to relish in the art of revenge.
Bardem is in fact so good in this role, it sort of makes me wish he could just pop in to every movie and "be the bad guy" because he brings his characters to life with such dimension. We fear him, we loathe him and we can't take our eyes off of him.
He's sadistic here, but also sad—showing traces of the time when he was once on the right side of the action. That said, our threshold for tolerating gratuitous violence may be exhausted several times as we anticipate the good triumphing over evil.
Aside from the excessive guns and explosions (it is, after all, a spy film), this story twists and turns with sexy scenes and fast-paced thrills that never disappoint.
The running time of almost three hours just flies by.