Posts Tagged ‘Judi Dench’

Welcome Back, 007!!!

I am PLEASED to say that Agent James Bond, 007 is BACK armed with his license to thrill!  After the rather lackluster performance of Quantum of SolaceSkyfall  was a much needed breath of vitality to the 50 year franchise.  YES, indeed in 1962, Dr. No  was released as the first Bond movie.  I will not detail the plot of the newest installment; however, I will touch on some of the things that made this a return to form.

  • Old Friends: Chief among them was Q.  Albeit a a very young Q but I see great things coming in future movies.  Hopefully, a return to the repartee between the Quartermaster and Bond from days of old.  A few other surprises along the way that I will save.
  • M: Dame Judi sure breathes life into what was always a cardboard cutout.  Instead of the stereotypical head of MI6 who presents 007 with his latest assignment,  she has become a much more dynamic and interesting character.  Skyfall is as much an M-centered movie as it is Bond.
  • BIG ACTION SEQUENCES: These seem to have been missing in the last two movies.  Trains, motorcycles, helicopters and other myriad pieces add to the FUN of the film.  I would really enjoy another good snow ski extravaganza.
  • Supporting Cast: I cannot remember a Bond film having such a cast of well-known performers.  Ralph Fiennes (without his make up as Voldemort … ok so he has been in other movies) and Javier Bardem (who plays ANOTHER memorable villain).
  • Daniel Craig: Maybe the third time was the charm.  Mr. Craig has finally lightened up a bit from the stoic, seriousness of Casino Royale and QoS.  You can almost see him winking at the camera.  Thank goodness, as he has signed on for at least two more turns.

I am hard-pressed to find anything I did not like about Skyfall.  Even Adele’s theme song was reminiscent of the best of them.  The previous theme was another less than memorable aspect.  Perhaps the gun barrel OPENING the show would be nice instead of closing it?

We Squeeze To Please

1995’s James Bond offering, Goldeneye, introduced Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007.  His road to the role is a long, detailed journey that I will not elaborate upon.  The plot concerns the efforts of the Russian mafia to control the world’s electronic circuits with the use of a high tech satellite named Goldeneye.  This would lead to a financial meltdown on a global scale.

However, as with most Bond films, the plot takes second seat to the tried and true devices seen in the best of the series.  The pre-title sequence shows 007 taking a 720 foot plunge from atop a dam (which still holds the world’s record for the highest bungee jump from a fixed structure).  Later while driving a large armored tank, Bond chases villains through the streets of St. Petersburg.

The femme fatale, played by Famke Janssen, disposes of her victims in a rather crushing manner.  Some of the most memorable character names are attributed to roles from the spy series.  Goldfinger gave us Pussy Galore; the rather forgettable Moonraker introduced Dr. Holly Goodhead; the title character of Octopussy; not to be out done, Xenia Onatopp appears in Goldeneye.

The film was also significant for two other important reasons.  It was the first to be produced following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Goldeneye also introduced Dame Judi Dench as the first female “M”, head of the British Secret Service.  She is extremely quick in establishing her position and making it known that she sees Bond as a “sexist, misogynist dinosaur” and a “relic of the Cold War.”

While not the best of the series, Goldeneye does have several bits of necessary Bond lore to make it an important segment in the continuing franchise.  It does have enough action to keep the viewer entertained and that is the most important part of any 007 film.