In truth, there is barely enough story here to make a film.
While it is a pity that the story wasn't told with more visual finesse, this is trivial compared to our real-world problems. It takes a good movie to put that into perspective.
The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.
Through painfully honest and emotional moments, the movie becomes irresistibly relatable
To me, this has the feel of old school James Bond. It goes back to the days of Connery, full of class and style. By far, one of Craig's best. If amongst his brooding demeanor, he brings a certain vulnerability to the role. It also brings a classy ending to a lifelong movie history relationship.
This is truly the pinnacle of Bond films. Although perhaps not the best opening action sequence overall, it succeeds in introducing the tone of the film-- one that fits perfectly with the narrative. It also introduces Naomie Harris who is a welcome addition to this revamped cast. And maybe the animation sequence doesn't tell the best story, but it's so clever, and when matched with Adele's titular song, it is definitely the best theme.Early on Daniel Craig briefly sports a scruffy look. He doesn't come close to passing the physical. The psychological examination is clever. All of this and more builds on the approach Sam Mendes beautifully takes this film. And it's all backed behind a stellar cast. Ben Whishaw plays one of my favorite (if not favorite actually) characters in the young and arrogant techno Q, and of course adding Ralph Fiennes into the mix is awesome. This also marks the best narrative given to Judi Dench as the aging M (although give Judi Dench credit because she looks great for however many decades old she is).If you didn't know it was coming, I had to save Javier Bardem for last. He is a powerhouse actor who became familiar to American audiences with his villainous turn in No Country for Old Men (I'd describe his character as the combination of Joker and Two Face from The Dark Knight). Also shout out to his starring role in Alejandro Inarritu's foreign film Biutiful. And if you need any more evidence of his quality acting, look no further than his malignant and sophisticated role in this film. His introduction and monologue is memorable, his actions are remorseless, and unlike Christoph Waltz's antagonist in the sequel, the execution of his plan is smart and scary. Easily the best villain of this series.Something I haven't really discussed much from the other films but that is so vital to the success of this film is the cinematography. The film lost out to Life of Pi at the Oscars, but the shots of Shanghai-- in particular the silent action scene in the skyscraper is one of my favorites of any film-- are such a gorgeous combination of colors bursting from the dark surroundings (hmm, even a bit like the tone of the film).This movie is the perfect blend of old and new Bond. Throw on top a great character-driven story, and not only is this my favorite film of Daniel Craig's series, it's my favorite Bond film (admittedly, I need to re-watch many of the classics, especially with Sean Connery). And not only is it my favorite Bond film, it's just a tremendous film on its own. Multiple scenes always pop out as memorable, and the climax is simply fantastic. Even if you haven't seen Casino Royale, or any Bond film for that matter, I can't stress enough that to anybody and everybody I give a high recommendation to go watch Skyfall.
You can find this review and dozens of others at gillipediamoviereviews.blogspot.com
Skyfall celebrates a long running franchise that spans 50 years and staples itself as one of the best so far. After the misfire that was Quantum of Solace, Bond is back in a form we haven't quite seen before. Director Sam Mendes anchors a brilliant script and adds meaning to what was previously a character without much layers. Mendes doesn't shy away from giving us a splendid variation of visual flairs, making this Bond the most aesthetic yet. This time around we see 007 face his own vulnerabilities after having been accidentally shot down by his own team. Bond retires the life of espionage, inducing himself in alcohol, with no purpose, only to be brought back by a mysterious hacker who has targeted MI6, more precisely, M herself. After a rigorous regime to get James back in shape, the agent is back as he tracks down this new threat. Enter the villain. With a superb one shot introduction, we meet Javier Bardem's Silva, a blond haired, weirdly camp and psychotic-in-a-fun way villain that delivers right from the start with a monologue that couldn't be better written for him to chew off. Him and Bond bounce back and forth like a pro tennis match, each trying to gage the other, Silva sometimes sexually. This is where protagonist meets antagonist in a perfect symbiosis. The action remains thrilling, relying in more realistic sequences rather than bombastic set pieces often seen in the Pierce Brosnan era. One sequence especially serves as Bond's best hand to hand combat. The Bond girl here is Judi Dench, as she owns the role one last time. She is as much a Bond girl as he is M's guy. The relationship between Bond and M almost mirrors one of a lost son and a mother without one. All in all, Skyfall delivers in almost all fronts. Sam Mendes has crafted a beautiful, intelligent and relevant film that brings James Bond back as one of the most iconic spies of all time.
For twenty-something films, Bond movies have always followed the same "Bond formula" (although who can blame them, it's mostly enticing and satisfying to watch: see Casino Royale). But not anymore. This is the first Bond film that captures everything a Bond film should have - the amazing score, spy action, feats of impossibility, classy and luxurious settings, a criminal mastermind, near apocalyptic scenarios...etc. yet doesn't feel at all cliché. For the first time, the tables have been turned against Bond from the very beginning: he is getting older, his abilities have deteriorated, and he is no longer equipped with futuristic gadgets we're all so used to. From there, the plot develops as a typical Bond film... or so it seems... until things really start escalating. Without spoiling much, I'll just say that the plot takes many turns that immediately sucks viewers in. Unlike many other mediocre bond films, the plot in this leaves viewers engaged and invested in the story. Moving beyond the plot, the characters in this film are also portrayed perfectly. Although some may think it's a bit cliché - a classy womanizing spy, a badass criminal mastermind, a beautiful and seductive damsel, this is a Bond film after all. And these characters are all so very classy, leaving viewers incredibly satisfied upon viewing. But what makes this film a true masterpiece is the cinematography. From the first scene to the end, the tone and environmental shifts create a surreal and artistic experience. Many shots are incredibly artistic, with amazing background contrasts, focus usage, closeups that capture the grandeur of a exemplary Bond film. Finally, the colors and tones of this film paint a truly unique experience, where the many shifts between cold and warm colors accompany the rise and fall in plot points, generating suspense and emotion to the film.It doesn't matter if you usually watch Bond films or not, I'd recommend this film to anyone who remotely likes action and suspense. The cinematography and plot are both atypical of Bond films yet excel spectacularly in the spy film genre.