Skyfall Review

After setbacks after setbacks it would seem that we wouldn't get a James Bond for a long time. Thankfully things were taken of and Bond is back for another mission. This time things are a little more different and more personal. Should you see Skyfall? Or just wait for the sky to literally fall to see it?

Story - 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. That is the synopsis for the film. Dare I say that this is the best James Bond film in a very long time. Don't get me wrong "Casino Royale" is a classic and I'm probably one of the few that enjoyed Quantum Of Solace. However Skyfall is a welcome back to James Bond. All the ingredients of a Bond film is in this one. The Bond girls, the exotic locations, the amazing music and Q is back in this one. 

The story is very well put together, it takes all the elements of Bond and sets it into a more realistic world. There is still big set pieces for action fans, but don't expect any lasers trying to destroy Bond's crown jewels. As Q puts it when he gives Bond the gadgets "We're you expecting an exploding pen?" This James Bond story is a little different because it's not really about Bond. This story is actually more about his superior M played by Judi Dench. As stated in the synopsis M past has come back to haunt her and in a major way.  MI6 loses precious computer data that contains a list of undercover agents. In order to retrieve it M sends Bond and another agent Eve to retrieve it. Unfortunately Bond is shot during the mission and appears to fall to his death. I won't go into more details here for the sake of spoilers. What makes Skyfall such a great Bond film and film in general is the characters. The plot is good, but it's the interacting with Bond and the world that grabs you and won't let you go. 

Judi Dench's M is unlike you seen in the Craig Bond films. She is more ruthless and cutthroat with her decision making. She is driven to one goal and that's to find who stole the list no matter what, even if it means the lost of a couple of agents. When Bond enters back on the scene he is not the same. I love how this movie humanizes Bond even more than "Casino Royale." Bond has choices to make and each choice has a consequence. Each choice Bond will have to live with and for once it's nice to see James Bond vulnerable. We're use to seeing Bond witty, strong and a total badass. However Skyfall we see Bond struggling with missions, struggling with his relationship with M and struggling with keeping himself together. In addition to M's and Bond's great written personal stories, it won't be a Bond film without the villain and Javier Bardem's "Silva" is one hell of a Bond villain. He's smart, one step ahead of Bond and MI6 and is very ruthless. The ties that he has with M makes the movie more of a thriller when he enters the scene. He's a traditional Bond villain but with a more realistic touch and it works. 

Acting - Daniel Craig James Bond is progressing into the James Bond we all know and love. Craig gives another stellar performance as Bond. His cold stare, but emotional facial expression only adds to great job he's done. As a more humanized Bond we see more expressions of regret, doubt and even concern which you will enjoy. Judi Dench as M is her best performance as the character. Getting more back-story and more of a focal point gives Dench more acting range. Her performance is solid and at times a little scary when she is giving orders. When she said "Take the bloody shot." I literally got chills at the look on her face and tone of her voice. It was like a mother telling you to go sit it down. Javier Bardem's as Bond's villain is phenomenal. His performance as Silva is menacing and sophisticated  He appears like a calm guy that you would never think was a killer until he actually starts the killing. It's one of the best performances for a villain this year, maybe the best. Silva steals almost every scene that he is in. I just wish he had a little bit more screen time. Other two performances that I must mention is Ben Whishaw as Q, and Naomie Harris as Eve. Ben Whishaw is wonderful playing a more younger and modern day Q. Another character that I wish had more screen time, his chemistry with Daniel Craig was spot on.  Naomi Harris as Eve is great, she gets enough time for her character be developed and for you to invest in her. A special revealing about her will make Bond fans smile. 

Music & Film-Making - The music is amazing! Adele's opening theme "Skyfall" is a great addition to the Bond series. The song does what a lot of movie theme songs don't do. The song talks about the events or inspired by the actual movie. Thomas Newman composition is spot on. The music is more intense and connects more with the audience. The soundtrack stays true to the Bond franchise with the use of horns, strings and piano. Sam Mendes is someone I hope gets signed for the remainder of Craig's Bond films. You can tell from his direction that he cares about this franchise. He made sure to put story first and set pieces second. The style of story telling is very unique from his choice of shots and cinematography. This a beautiful made movie.

Final Thoughts - Skyfall is probably the best James Bond film. It all has all the Bond elements but with a touch of realism and emotion. The movie is intense, edge on your seat. If Casino Royale was like a Batman Begins for Bond, consider this Bond's Dark Knight. This is truly a must see movie.

                                          Final Grade