1917 (dir. Sam Mendes, 2020) – Two soldiers are assigned on a mission against time to deliver a message that will stop their army from walking into a fatal trap.
War is hell, and 1917 takes no time to spiral into the centre of the inferno. An unbroken take soon fences us in with Lance Corporal Schofield (George McKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) in their race against time into no man’s land.
They look for cover, disoriented and exposed in the open. Just minutes ago, they had been idle on the field awaiting orders that never came. Now, they are within kill shot of unseen enemies, armed with a weapon each and no means of communications.
They have no reinforcement, but each other. The only refuge they have is in shallow trenches, strewn with bodies, their rot wafting through the stale air. All they can do is keep running, all to deliver an urgent message that could save 1,600 soldiers, including Blake’s own brother.
Continue reading Movie Review: 1917 (2020)
Spectre (dir. Sam Mendes, 2015) – M’s cryptic message sends Bond on a rogue mission to uncover the covert and dangerous plans of a mysterious organisation Spectre.
Although well-acted and unfailingly slick, Spectre never quite delivers its promised depth.
Bond can get away with excess, and he was never going to make an entrance without theatrics. Elegant and fitting for the franchise’s histrionics, a stylised four-minute continuous take sees him marching through the elaborate Day of the Dead parade in Mexico City.
The opening sets up intrigue and expectations for action, as Bond scans the throngs of masked strangers with a mysterious woman at his side. When they arrive at the hotel, he reveals his true target – an assassin with ties to the titular criminal organisation. Leaping onto the window ledge, 007 runs rogue into fatal danger, leaving the woman behind.
We never see her again.
Continue reading Movie Review: Spectre (2015)
Skyfall (dir. Sam Mendes, 2012) – MI6 loses its star agent and an important disk. M gets wound up when a cyber terrorist attack gets personal.
Stunning visuals and high-octane action ensure Skyfall‘s easy triumph over the abysmal Quantum of Solace, though weak characters and plot bungle the streak.
Twenty-two films later, and here we are again. 007 jumps on a moving train and tackles an old spy movie cliché – a lost disk containing the secret identities of global agents.
Easily the most visually stunning and action-fuelled new Bond movie, Skyfall effortlessly surpasses Quantum of Solace as director Sam Mendes brings his revitalising vision to the franchise. But even with an exquisite opening fitting for a Bond movie, the repetition of an old formula begins to show.
Setting off the tired dominoes is M (Judi Dench). The Head of MI6 raises the stakes when her decision inadvertently ‘kills’ James Bond (Daniel Craig), just as he gets close to retrieving the disk.
Continue reading Movie Review: Skyfall (2012)