The film thankfully chooses not to carry on from the (I'll admit, confusing) storyline of Quantum Of Solace and begins a new chapter into the saga. Where MI6 is under significant threat from the 'bad guys' and M is in a vulnerable state from being assassinated, which of course introduces to James Bond to rectify the sticky situation.
Sam Mendes steps up to direct this one and he does an excellent job, the film is jammed with twists and turns of action, many scenes where you think "Really...that can't happen?" then you wake up and remember "Oh yes he can...it's JAMES BOND!". The action sequences are breathtaking, I always admire how the films stick to the organic method of shooting all the action for real, making the audience really feel the heart of all the crash and bangs.
Javier Bardem as the evil villain, 'Silva' fitted the role perfectly with a slight camp edge, and brought back the film to how they should be. A simple cat and mouse storyline with the 'good guy' and 'bad guy' having a fit to the death. I wouldn't be embarrassed to put 'Silva' on a 'Top 10 James Bond Villians Of All Time', he could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with the best villains from previous films, he had the look of the classic Bond villain, 'Jaws'.
Mendes chooses to bring back Q into the mix, unfortunately this is not John Cleese, which is a shame. The young and talented Ben Whishaw takes on the role. However despite the immediate disappointment, this does open the book for some comical scenes with James and Q, which is definitely missed with Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace. You have to include Bond getting confused with the gadgets, and Q explaining his geeky ways.
Of course you can't miss out the other major components to complete the Bond package, the Austin Martin DB5. Yes it is back in all it's glory and still looks beautiful on screen. I was very glad to see the Austin back, and like Q opened up some more comical dialogue between Bond and M, which was enjoyable to see again.
The second half of the film is set in the heart of London, with Bond on the chase for Silva to stop him in his tracks of killing M. I was delighted to see all these chases around the beating heart of London, in the underground tubes and around other landmarks. It was a relief to see England getting the majority of airtime in the film, after all, Bond is an English character. All Bond films just have to include scenes of London. After London the film climaxes in Scotland, which I thought was the most impressive sequences of camera work, Mendes made Scotland look beautiful through the camera lens.
The film flies through the simple story ticking all the James Bond boxes as mentioned previously, finishing off with you leaving the cinema feeling satisfied to being British and wanting to go back and watch all the previous films from start to finish.