Skyfall

Being an avid James Bond fan (and massive Sean Connery fan) since my early teens, I am always curious when a new Bond film is released. Unfortunately, our culture nowadays puts such high expectations on everything that when a film in a series is not the best film ever made, the series as a whole seems to get all the trash talk. This was the case with Quantum of Solace. Because QoS was not up to par with public standards (or even my standards, for that matter), many people seemed to be not-so-excited about another Bond film premiering this year.

Luckily, Skyfall shattered the expectations of so many pessimists. What people fail to realize is that the James Bond series as a whole has had many disappointments, but at the same time, it has recovered tremendously with some outstanding and legendary Bond stories (e.g., Diamonds Are Forever saving us from George Lazenby, Goldeneye saving us from Timothy Dalton, Casino Royale saving us from Die Another Day).

Let’s talk about the talent involved in this film before we get to the film itself. First of all, Daniel Craig (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Cowboys & Aliens). It’s no doubt that Craig is a great Bond. He seems to bring a darker and more realistic “flavor” of Bond, with an emotional instability and vulnerability never before seen with the character. However, this Bond flavor is definitely not my favorite. While it is more realistic and Craig does it well, it lacks the traditional “calm and cool” Bond who can get out of every situation with a sexy smile and a quirky one-liner. Again, done well, but not my favorite.

Javier Bardem, on the other hand, has now been added to the list of iconic Bond villains, which is something the Daniel Craig Bond films have been missing. Bardem (Eat Pray Love, Biutiful) plays Silva, the creepy but brilliant (and don’t forget psychotic) computer genius and former MI6 agent (don’t worry, I didn’t spoil anything) hell-bent on revenge. Bardem has once again succeeded tremendously in making his mark onscreen as a creepy and memorable villain.

Of course we have the usual and incredible talent of Dame Judy Dench (the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, J. Edgar) as M. And the ever sexy, snarky, and superfluous Bond girl or two thrown in. Naomie Harris (Street Kings) plays one of those girls, but the slight twist at the end offers a little more excitement than any recent Bond girl has brought to the franchise. Another new and great talent to the Bond films is Ben Whishaw (the Tempest) playing Q, bringing a young and hip(ster) feel to the part. All of these roles were filled quite nicely and added more to the impressive talent of Skyfall’s cast.

Okay, so, on to the movie.

As we have seen in the past two Bond films, Bond is still trying to fit into his role as a fairly new 00 agent. Again, DC does a stand up job of bringing a vulnerable and not-quite-so bulletproof Bond to the mix. One thing I love about this film is that there’s so much mystery in the plot. Not in a murder-mystery/detective novel sense, but in the sense that you are not sure about what’s going to happen to a certain character, how important a specific event is, or at times even who the real bad guy is. I love how director Sam Mendes (JarheadAmerican Beauty) reveals the villain and what he is capable of doing. Of course, the moment eventually comes in which you know exactly what he is capable of, and then there’s the mystery of how to defeat him. These are things that I love about my favorite Bond films!

With the versatility of Mendes, you can’t help but be so impressed with his ability to capture the high intensity and deep drama of one film. For all of the James Bond fans looking for action, there are plenty of explosions, as there should be in any Bond film. For any Bond fans who like drama, there are plenty of emotional and dark moments in the film as well.

The ending of Skyfall brings back an incredibly classic and nostalgic feel to this Bond film. I won’t reveal any spoilers (that’s not my style), but I will tell you that if you are a classic Bond fan, you will definitely enjoy the nuances of the film’s closing sequence.

Overall, I thought Skyfall was great. Such a good throwback to classic Bond elements (including Adele’s quintessentially Bond title song, which  you can read my review of here). If you have not yet seen it because you’re still trying to recover from Quantum of Solace fallout, this new film is quite the cure. I can once again confidently look forward to the future of Bond.

OVERALL RATING: 8

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Posted on November 21, 2012, in Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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