Skyfall – Review
Skyfall is more than just James Bond’s 23rd adventure. It marks the 50th anniversary of the franchise and the end of what I now consider to be “The 007 Origins Trilogy”. Since Casino Royale, we have gotten a lot of back story on what makes James Bond the 007 character that we thought we knew for years. By the end of Skyfall, you are treated to glimpses of Bond’s past and get propelled into his future.
I have said it since Casino Royale that Daniel Craig is the best actor to tackle the role. I am not saying that he should be your favorite, I am just saying he is the best at portraying Ian Fleming’s character. In Skyfall, Craig continues to deliver an incredible version of 007 and it helps that his scripts allow him to add more than just one dimension to the character.
Skyfall follows a similar pattern that we have come to expect from James Bond films. The movie starts with an incredibly exciting and fun pre-title sequence filled with action and loud music. We get some awesome opening titles, which are once again masterfully created by Daniel Kleinman (thank god he is back!) and a song by Adele, which fit perfectly with the tone of the film.
After the main titles is when I found myself to start to get really bored. I enjoyed all of the MI6 intrigue and James Bond trying to get back into the spy game, but once Bond was on the case I did not care. The mission takes 007 to a couple of exotic locals, where he’s blindly following a lead. It is really slow paced and felt like it could have been cut down considerably. During this investigation, Bond meets a woman by the name of Somthing-or-other and she is going to take him to her boss or get captured by him or something, I wasn’t exactly sure of her purpose, but James Bond has sex with her for some reason and then she dies.
After about an hour and fifteen minutes of movie James Bond finally comes face to face with the main villain, a former MI6 agent that goes by the name of Silver. Silver was played by Javier Bardem and as soon as he first showed up the movie took a huge turn for the better. Everything that happens after his arrival is nothing short of amazing. He was creepy, funny and scary all at the same time. I wanted to laugh, but was uncomfortable the whole time. He is probably the best 007 villain since Telly Savalas in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Silver causes all kinds of chaos in the streets of London and the action leads 007 and M to James Bond’s childhood home “Skyfall” where we get a little bit more insight into the backstory of James Bond. They do not give you too much, but enough to see the humanity behind the killing machine.
My favorite scene in the entire film was when James Bond and M were standing in front of an overcast valley discussing the climbing accident that took his parents’ lives (see the picture above).
With the exception of the boring stuff at the beginning of the movie, I found that I liked Skyfall more than the other two 007 movies that Daniel Craig was involved with. I loved seeing the backstory of the new M. I loved seeing the budding relationship with 007 and Q and I fell in love with the new Ms. Moneypenny, even though the movie didn’t trick me for a moment by trying to hide her identity.
Of the 23 movies in the James Bond franchise, I would put this at #2 after On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The last half really made up for the first half.
★ ★ ★ ★½