My goal is to use five English terms throughout this review. If you’re a viewer from the UK, please grade my usage of these terms in the comments. I try to be politically correct whenever I can. Skyfall is the most recent installment in the 007 franchise, and it’s unlike any Bond film we’ve seen before. To put it simply, anybody who dislikes this film is a Muppet. The three key points to this movie are the plot, acting, and visuals.
Bond films typically follow the same formula. It is as follows.
Attractive female costar + hot car + series of fights that lead up to James vs. Bad Guy = Bond film. Skyfall, however, is built upon a whole different equation. There was a complexity to this story that doesn’t exist in any other Bond film. Casino Royale dabbled in water of Bond’s roots, but this film dives right into it. We learn more about 007 as the story progresses, and the conflict is centered around M’s past. The fuel of this conflict is Silva, the newest bad guy in the James Bond franchise. I personally loved La Chiffre from Casino Royale, as his bleeding eye and asthma instantly drew me in. Nonetheless, Silva convinced me more. He has got to be the strangest and most scheming villain in Bond history. He stole every scene he was in.
As soon as the camera caught a close-up of his face, a woman in the audience said, “He’s ugly.” And that he is. He is nasty in so many ways, and such a great character.
The plot of this film has a handful of ridiculously suspenseful scenes where I was so on edge I wanted to throw my popcorn in the air to diffuse the tension. But I didn’t, because I was glued to my seat. There were moments of over the top tension. Since when do you say that about a Bond film? Exactly: Never. Like I said, the formula of this film and its sequence of events is completely fresh, and it brought you closer to all of the characters.
The acting in this film is outstanding. Everybody did a fantastic job. Daniel Craig played Bond with ease, showing his vulnerable side at some moments in the film. The new Q is, to my surprise, perfect for the role. I speculated that he would be rubbish, but I was terribly mistaken. He plays off of Bond very well, and his wit and humor added more enjoyment to the film.
His age was addressed, which I liked. They didn’t simply serve us a new Q. They made light of his youth and let us know that Q would be able to hold his own. Judi Dench as M was also spectacular, more involved in this film than in the previous ones. She really shined as M this time around, and I really connected with her. I previously saw her as a cold bearer of bad news, but here, I see her as a very intelligent woman. Her banter with Bond is golden. In fact, it is the humor and snappy dialogue that keeps this film feeling slick and Bond-like.
Throughout all of this character development and utilization, there are plenty of subtle nods at the older Bond movies, and they are hilarious. The makers of the film did a great job advancing the story while also inserting a few ounces of nostalgia here and there. This Bond film sustained its dark tone despite the welcomed humor scattered throughout.
Lastly, I want to address the visuals. Literally every scene in this movie looked stunning. Every set-piece is beautiful to look at. Everything looked polished and visually stunning. Again, since when could you say this about a Bond film? Exactly: Never.
Die Another Day in particular looked great, no doubt about that, but this movie just looked spectacular. On the topic of visuals I have to also make a remark about the music. It fit the film perfectly, and I cannot complain about it at all. The opening credits, featuring Adele’s ‘Skyfall,’ looked as great as it sounded. 007 movies always start off with great credit sequences, but this is beyond what we have seen before. Adele outdid herself on the theme, and the people responsible for the visuals should be given a nice long holiday.
If you couldn’t tell by my praise, this film is a Filet. Being enthusiastic about Bond is nothing new, but Skyfall surpasses every other Bond film, and is definitely the best 007 movie made to date. Go see Skyfall at your local cinema. If you live in Kansas and do not have a theater anywhere near you, rent a helicopter and fly to the nearest theater. It will be well worth it. Cheerio!
Have you seen this movie yet? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for reading!