Remember in 2006 when Casino Royale was released – introducing a newer, gruffer, blonder James Bond – and the movie world enthusiastically declared the long-stagnant 007 franchise relevant once again? Remember two measly years later, when the tragically titled Quantum of Solace squandered all that goodwill by essentially carbon-copying the Jason Bourne formula?
If the new trailer for the long-delayed Skyfall is any indicator, Daniel Craig’s third outing on Her Majesty’s Secret Service is aiming to be something of a return to the franchise’s roots. Craig’s Bond – even when getting knocked down and shot at – seems as suave as ever. The action strikes me as sleeker and less gritty, and the prominence of Dame Judi Dench (whose tenure at MI6 is likely nearing its end) hints at a meatier-than-usual presence in a Bond film for a character like M. One staple of the franchise even makes a notable return in the venerable weapons expert “Q” (I’m Not There‘s Ben Wishaw replacing the late Desmond Llwewlyn).
Despite my feelings that this trailer aims to celebrate the return of a more “classic” James Bond, it’s actually the new blood that has me most excited for Skyfall. Though director Sam Mendes is a poster child for directors with diminishing returns – American Beauty and Road to Perdition are great, while Away We Go is a crime against humanity – I still love his visual style and I look forward to seeing how he tackles an action movie canvas. It shouldn’t hurt that Mendes has enlisted frequent collaborator Roger Deakins, one of the better cinematographers working today, to bring some intelligence to the violence. Other notable talents get showcased in this trailer as well, including Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris and Javier Bardem – once again proving how terrifying he can be despite a ridiculous haircut.
The full Skyfall trailer is embedded below (Courtesy of YouTube). Are you looking forward to the next Bond flick?