Bond is back, in a smashing action packed movie, with a focused story and menacing villain. Don your tux, grab your “shaken, not stirred” martini and fall from the sky into this review…
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
I’m literally sitting here giddy as a school girl, after having witnessed a fantastic Bond film. Skyfall washes away any sort of foul taste from the last effort, Quantum of Solace and serves up a delicious treat. The film has it’s fair share of action, exciting story and nods to previous Bond efforts. The direction from Sam Mendes is tight and the cinematography by Roger Deakins is lovely. Bond might not be globe trotting as much as the previous efforts, but what we do get (Shanghai, Turkey and London to name a few places) are beautifully shot, with several striking scenes. One of the highlights being the hand to hand fight in a skyscraper, amid the brightly lit neon skies of Shanghai. I can’t really go to far into the story behind Skyfall without spoiling it, but just let me be known, that Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan did a great job at establishing a nicely grounded tale and if you’re fan of back story on much loved characters, you’ll be very pleased with this one.
Daniel Craig returns to bring us a battle hardened and aged Bond, an obvious nod to the extended delay in shooting this film and Craig’s own aging. He’s scarred, battered and just all around beaten. You might say he’s washed up, but when duty calls, there’s no stopping him getting back into the action and back he is. Of course, you can’t have Bond without M and Judi Dench, has a much enjoyed extended role this time around and pulls in a great performance. Having the film being a little more focused around her character was an interesting choice and worked brilliantly. The villain of this piece, is the scene stealing Javier Bardem, as Silva. He’s creepy and insane, but for good reasons I won’t get into here. He’s also a brilliant, intelligent man and a perfect match for Bond. If I have one complaint, I wish he was in the movie a little more, as I liked his role that much. Fans of the old ways will be pleased to know that Ben Whishaw, as Bond’s new Quartermaster, Q, is a step in the right direction. He’s no Desmond Llewelyn, but these are different times and we can’t be stuck in the past. The scenes between him and Bond work nicely and offer up some humor, but never over the top or unnecessary. The film might not be gadget laden, but what we do get is cool (sadly, no jetpack). Rounding out the cast, is Ralph Fiennes, as Gareth Mallory. I wasn’t too sure on his character at first, but as the movie progressed and his true colours came through, I started to warm up tremendously to him. Someone else that turned out to be a nice surprise, was Naomie Harris, as Eve, a field op who works great along side Bond. She’s sexy, smart and someone I would love to say Good morning to everyday. Bérénice Marlohe, as Sévérine, is also very sexy, but unfortunately her character was really just a crux to move the story along. That’s not to say she’s bad, but was just a little underused, in my opinion.
Fans of David Arnold’s work on the Bond series, might be a little taken aback by the change of composer (Thomas Newman) and change of style. Personally, I thought it worked great for a movie like Skyfall, that is trying to be different. A mix of orchestral and synthesizer, the music will have you head nodding and your heart racing. Also, be happy to know that the Bond theme is injected more into the movie, with bits and pieces playing here and there, leading up to the full piece during a great scene, which of course I won’t spoil. As for the main title song Skyfall, sung by Adele, it harkens back to the old days of Bond and after watching the movie, the lyrics make much more sense. Also, the credits sequence that is tied along with it, is pure eye candy. If you haven’t heard it already, which would be surprising seeing how it’s being played several times an hour on the radio, wait until watching the movie to hear it, as the effect is much more striking.
I can’t stress enough at how amazing this movie was. Is it a perfect 5 out of 5? No, unfortunately not, as I do wish a few characters were used a little better and some of the CGI took me out of the film (it really isn’t that bad). With those being small problems and with this movie having by far the best ending ever in a Bond movie, Skyfall certainty ranks up as one of the best Bond movies ever made and one that is closest to the James Bond, Ian Fleming envisioned 60 years ago. If you haven’t seen Skyfall yet, you need to ditch whatever you’re doing, be it sneaking into a villain’s lair or gathering “information” from a beautiful femme fatale and watch this movie now. As Mallory would say, don’t cock it up by not heeding my words.