James Bond movies are all about tone.
They need to be smart, stylish action thrillers with a twist of humour. The way the action, thriller and humour ingredients are mixed determines what kind of Bond film you are going to get. It is a bit like mixing a Bond cocktail.
A lot of humour and you end up with Roger Moore, invisible cars and hover gondolas; a drier twist of humour takes you into classic Sean Connery Bond territory, but get too dry and you end up with Quantum of Solace or License to Kill. There is another secret ingredient that must be used very sparingly - camp. It is that particularly British ingredient that is sprinkled lightly over the classic Bonds. It's like the olive in the vodka martini.
A successful Bond film pulls off the tricky task of balancing that tone.The new Bond film, Skyfall, totally nails it.
It understands how to perfectly balance those ingredients and create the perfect Bond cocktail.
I think there is much to discuss with Skyfall, but here are just a few early thoughts.
It is exciting, fun and very entertaining. It respects and understands the Bond heritage, but takes it to some cool new places. It is at once surprising, but familiar.
It finds a perfect balance between creating a tone and atmosphere reminiscent of the Connery-era Bond films, but makes it feel subtly modern and relevant.
The cast bring a lot of fun. Daniel Craig has relaxed into the role at last, dropping the Zoolander pout and enjoying himself, Judi Dench is as classy and compelling as ever and Javier Bardem creates a beautifully warped and arch villain.
It is also a very British Bond. We have Scotland, a camp villain, the London underground, the rooftops of Whitehall, references to Northern Ireland, Judi Dench reading a Tennyson poem, the National Gallery and a cracked British Bulldog figurine.
In short, Skyfall is a blast that easily holds its own with some of the best Bond movies. But I can't wait to see what you all think. So much to discuss. Comment below and I will blog some more next week.
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