December 3, 2012
As Good As Casino Royale
Like a great chef interpreting a popular, old recipe for the first time and bringing something special out of it, Director Sam Mendes takes the Bond formula and adds a depth of quality to Skyfall that will surprise most people. A Bond film that follows the basic Bond formula *and* holds the attention of the viewer for the full 2 hours and 23 minutes is no easy feat.
If there's one sequence that serves as a summary of what Mendes adds to the Bond recipe, it's a duo of tracking shots that opens the film's third act, where a helicopter-mounted camera follows Bond's car along an isolated, wintry road into Scotland, looking down from the sky. It's like an imprimatur of quality, brief, effective and beautiful, with no pretension.
Mendes and his cast and crew show people how truly good a Bond film can be, and this raises the bar for the "minimal acceptable standard" of film making for every Bond film to follow. Let's hope the owners of the franchise take note.
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