As mentioned Skyfall is the lasted Bond film starring Daniel Craig. It’s his third movie after the awesome Casino Royale and the less than awesome Quantum of Solace. The film likely would have come out earlier however MGM, the studio behind the Bind films, went bankrupt in 2010 and with their financial situation dubious at best they opted to delay production on the film. Once everything was sorted it seemed the film would be coming out to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Dr. No, the first 007 film from 1962.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this flick but that means little, especially when you just watched the previous two films and are even more nitpicky than you normally might be.
Full review after the jump.
[WARNING: There is at least one outstanding spoiler in this review. Just be careful when reading.]
|Can't you just feel that sexual tension?|
In keeping with the newly formed tradition we’ll first talk about the film’s theme song. Unlike the last two movies this one actually shares its name with the title and is named “Skyfall.” Performed by Adele it completely lacks the Hard Rock style of the previous two theme songs. However, like much of this movie, the song is very reminiscent of classic Bond but with a modern flavor that greatly separates it. This song is beautiful, hauntingly so. It starts out in a way that isn’t very impressive but it has a slow build that, by end of it, becomes an emotional ear worm that stays with you in many different ways. I love this them, more so than the last two surely. I’m not sure I can say it’s the best but I may be willing to throw my vote towards it if it came to that.
|I don't know who this "Adele" person is but I'm giving props|
So what does that mean for the film? A giant tone shift from the last two movies. The brutal, stripped down nature of Casino Royale? The dumbed down action of Quantum of Solace? Also gone. Instead we get a nostalgic picture that pays respects to the classic films. If I recall I said that the previous film suffered because it tried to mix elements of current Bond films with classic Bond films but now I realize that they just didn’t do it well. Because Skyfall nails it. It’s a tribute to some of the most iconic parts of the James Bond Franchise but, like Casino Royale, manages to avoid the campiness and silliness often associated with them. It has gadgets, it has even reestablishes the character “Q”, but it never felt cheesy. In fact it actually felt somewhat refreshing to see some of those older aspects returned.
|More of this, please|
Ahem. Anyway Craig’s Bond is mostly intact from the previous films in that he’s still the stoic badass who doesn’t have time to make too many quips (but still does from time to time and they’re never terribly stupid). He seems more mature, which makes sense if we think of the previous two films as the movies that turn him into the James Bond we know and love. Judy Dench is at her best here as M but that mainly happens because the plot really revolves around here. Dench is one of the best living actors so it’s no surprise that she can handle her character essentially become the secondary lead as opposed to a supporting one. The character was handled so well and with such grace. I don’t want to get into it too much but then the film was over I closed my eyes and nodded at a job well done by the writers. I also enjoyed Naomie Harris as Eve and Ben Whishaw’s Q and look forward to seeing them in future films (And hopefully Eve’s role isn’t as diminished as the film sort of sets up for).
The best thing about his film though has to be the character Raoul Silva played by Javier Bardem. After two villains who were less than inspiring we finally get a bad guy that feels like a proper bad guy. Silva is the most dangerous combination of brilliant, insane and determined. He’s not unlike The Joker in The Dark Knight in this regarded and, just like that film, it’s greatly appreciated. Silva isn’t trying to make money and he’s not trying to buy some damn water; he’s out to settle a personal score and he gives exactly zero shits how much collateral damage he creates. He’s also memorable from his attitude to his clearly unhinged mind to his, ahem, hidden features that we don’t get to see right away. He is a villain that we’ll be talking about both because of the character himself and the terrific performance. He is probably the best Bond villain in decades.
|Pictured: Basically the Joker|
The worst part in the lack of Bond Girl. Well unless you consider M to be the Bond Girl…which I do. But there’s no one in the role that Vesper Lynd and Camille Montes filled previously. Yeah, there was a shit ton of media attention centered around Bérénice Marlohe as the new Bond girl but her character is only relevant to the plot in that she helps Bond meet Silva and also has sex with Bond. Soon after that she [SPOILER ALERT] is killed off even before the halfway point of the film and NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN! She isn’t important to the story in any meaningful way other than to make sure Bond gets laid. She’s Strawberry Fields except she’s French. As I mentioned M seems more like the Bond Girl of this movie since she crucial to the plot and its resolution. Hell, Eve would have made a fine candidate if she had joined Bond in the final showdown at least. Nope!
|Really? That car? Okay, whatever guys|
I give Skyfall 4 out of 5 Adorable Pandas.
-Daniel Craig is still awesome as James Bond
-The plot is captivating
-Great use of the new and the old
-All plot threads from the previous movies are ignored
-Lacks a proper Bond Girl
-Occasionally dips too far into nostalgia