As James Bond (Daniel Craig) chases a particularly powerful villain (and shadows from his past), the British intelligence community is about to change in a way that deeply worries M (Ralph Fiennes)… The 24th Bond flick connects with the previous three, and on a deeper level with one of the most classic ingredients of Sean Connery’s era, the appearance of a global crime organization. Longest in the franchise yet, the filmmakers nevertheless keep it very lively and exciting throughout, with good action scenes, a terrific villain (his introductory scene is effective) and an explosive climax in London. As in Craig’s other 007 films, the story is persuasively grounded in real-world politics without losing its sense of imagination.
2015-U.S.-Britain. 148 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson. Directed by Sam Mendes. Screenplay: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth. Cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema. Song: “Writing’s on the Wall” (performed by Sam Smith). Cast: Daniel Craig (James Bond), Christoph Waltz (Franz Oberhauser), Léa Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista… Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Jesper Christensen, Judi Dench.
Trivia: Gary Oldman was allegedly considered as Oberhauser. Followed by No Time to Die (2021).
Oscar: Best Original Song. Golden Globe: Best Original Song.
Last word: “I was begging [Mendes]. Begging him. They offered him loads of money, of course, but I was also begging him to do it. They wanted to make the movie very quickly at first and he said he couldn’t. He just didn’t have time. He had three theatre productions he was working on. How he fucking does it I have no idea. And they were saying: we have to get moving on the script and he was, like: ‘No, I can’t do it.’ […] It became a proper friendship on this new movie. I felt massively supported by him, in a different way. He had my back and I certainly had his.” (Craig, Time Out)