Skyfall movie review
I apoligize now for the time lapse between my movie reviews, but the past couple of months have been, eventfull, to say the least. But what better way to come back with reviews than with a review of one of the biggest hits of 2012: Skyfall.
Now, I am in no way a James Bond expert, that would be my dad, but I have seen my fair share of James Bond films. My favorite was the remake of Casino Royale that came out a few years ago. I liked it for its much more serious and yet entertaining look at Bond, unfortunately the following film, Quantum of Solace, was a kick in the teeth for the franchise. Now, I am happy to report that Skyfall has not only brought Bond back to glory, but it has brought fresh air to the franchise and shown signs of a whole new world for Bond.
The story, isn't overly complicated, but just what the movie needed. We start the film off with Bond already in a mission, trying to stop a criminal on top of train from escaping with top secret files from the agency Bond works for. Bond's partner in the mission (whose identity I dare not spoil), is atop a perch, ready to shoot the criminal. The problem is that Bond is locked in hand to hand combat with the criminal. Bond's partner does not want to shoot, but their boss, M, tells her to shoot anyway. Bond is shot in the process and the mission is failed. The rest of the film delves into Bond's past before the agency, his relationship with M, the realizations of age and as always, stopping the villain.
Most Bond movie plots are very straightforward, Bond spends time with a girl while trying to stop the villain. Not until Casino Royale did the movies try to really break formula. Skyfall however, is beautifully crafted. It's several small plot threads that come together that make this one amazing story. My favorite part of the plot is the aspect of Bond's age.
After 50 years of Bond movies, not one movie has ever considered the concept that he may be getting too old for this job. Eventually, Bond will get too old, he will have to retire, or die trying to complete the mission. I find this so fascinating because it puts Bond in a much different light. He isnt just a womanizing pig who can kick ass, he is an agent, who serves his country, no matter what the cost, and most likely, he will continue to serve until it kills him or till his body can't physically go on.
Another great aspect of this film is the sense of getting back to basics. The new Q, his gadgets expert, for Bond's new mission just gives him a watch and a fancy gun. That's it, and they even make fun of it, that's the beauty of it. Bond doesn't need all of the fancy toys present in other movies. The message is that he can get the job done with a gun and a watch. It really bumps up Bond's reputation. We even get a classic Bond car back in this movie, and the reveal will make any fan excited.
We also get a look into Bond's past, we are not told the whole story, just brief pieces. Not alot of the movies have done that either. But yet we are hardly told alot, and that's brilliant. Bond's past is still a mystery, but we are shown more and more. Maybe another film will gice us more development of Bond's character like this movie, and i'm all for it.
The cast in this movie is amazing. Once again, Daniel Crag knocks it out of the park as Bond. He is suave, classy and a badass like the Bond's before him, but the arrogance and sexism of the past Bond's are not present here, Crag's Bond is the pinnacle of what this character should be. The scenes of him dealing with his aging skills are also very well done, the emotions that Crag delivers with just facial expressions reall deepens Bond as a character.
The rest of the cast does a very good job, Judi Dench again as M is the perfect choice. She does a very good job of playing this older, yet tough as nails lady who doesn't take crap from anybody. Her relationship with Bond in this movie is powerful and deep stuff that we haven't seen before, and I'm really glad Skyfall looked into this. The new Q played by Ben Whishaw, isn't in the movie too much, but when he is, he is a great fit for a new version of Q. The Bond girl is very forgetable, you won't even remember her name after the first half of the movie. But you know what? I'm sick of the Bond girl stereotype in these movies, and the past 3 Bond movies have been slowing downplaying the presence of a Bond girl character. yes, she was advertised and marketed in the movie, but in a much better fashion in my opinion, because the Bond girl should not be the focus of these movies.
The villain, Silva, played by Javier Bardem, is paced perfectly. He is an ex-agent who worked for M, who suffered a terrible accident on a mission, similar to what Bond went through in the opening. Except Silva wants revenge against the one who betrayed him. His plan is very intelligent and he is a great villain. He doesnt have a silly name, nothing about him is silly. He is a very serious villain, who I think deserved a bit more screen time. Yes, Skyfall's focus was on Bond's chracter development and his relationship with M, but I think Silva deserved a bit more time. He is a great model of what could have happened to Bond had he gone down this path. Silva's character is just another great addition to Bond's character study and it is interesting to see the villain mirror a dark version of our hero. That's very deep for a Bond movie.
Now, the action, is nowhere near as plentiful in prvious films, but there is enough here to keep Bond fans satisified, enough. Not much to talk about in action, until the climax. Explosions, gunfire, good-old Bond action, but in a realistic -ish manner. This movie wasn't about explosions and action, this movie was character based, and it succeeded very well. The intro title sequence is also awesome. Adelle's titular song is perfect for the movie and a great song all together, and goes very well with the images that go with it. Very well done.
I do have one complaint about the movie though. A couple of plot points aren't fully wrapped up or even given proper attention in the end. Some aspects just fell flat, it feels like the script was perfet, but then writers said "crap, we could go another hour, but we gotta wrap this up in 5 minutes." It doesn't hurt the movie, but it's kinda noticable and might leave some scratching their heads.
Overall though, Skyfall may be the best Bond movie I've seen yet. The plot is great, the characters are perfect and the action is perfectly balanced for the type of story being told. I loved going into Bond's character this much and I look forward to seeing more in the next movie. Any Bond fan would be crazy not to see this movie, in fact, practically anybody should see this movie, although obviously it might be a little much for small children. I highly recommend picking up this movie when it comes out on DVD and Blu-Ray later this year.
I give Skyfall a 4.5 out of 5