Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skyfall Review

Director/Studio/Author: Sam Mendes/Twentieth Century Fox/John Logan
American release date: November 9, 2012
Format, Genre and length: Theatre/Action Adventure/143 minutes
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: R
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Someone has broken into the most secret files of MI6 and stolen a very important list which, if released, would compromise a great many agents—a list of agents who have infiltrated and are spying on certain terrorist groups around the world. Bond must get that list, or else. But when he finds himself grappling with the thief on top of a train that is about to enter a tunnel, an order from M to a field agent on the ground below sends Bond plummeting to what appears to be certain death in the waters below.


Assuming Bond is dead, M has problems of her own, starting with new boss Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), who gives her two months to tie things up and take her well-deserved retirement. Out with the old, in with the new. And the fact that someone has hacked into her private files is most disturbing, someone who keeps asking if she’s ready to atone for her sins. Perhaps someone from her past?

Bond returns (of course he’s not dead, what kind of Bond film would that be?) after learning of a terrorist assault on MI6. One that was not calculated to kill M, but to be a message to her. Their relationship is rocky—he can’t forget the sound of her voice saying, “Take the shot.” Although he does find it in his heart to forgive the lovely agent who made the shot. James’ physical condition is of concern as well, as he learns when he is forced to re-test in order to be let back out into the field, and his shooting skills suck, and his stamina isn’t what it used to be.

When M releases Bond for duty, he is sent to Shanghai, after the man who stole the list. His pursuit leads him to a casino in Macau, and a frightened woman who wants the mastermind of the plot to die—if James can survive to do it. They both end up as hostages of Silva (a blond Javier Bardem), a former agent from M’s days in Hong Kong.

And then, of course, the plot thickens.


I loved every minute of this film. I didn’t even realize it was almost 2 ½ hours long until after I left the theater, riveted on the screen and unmindful of the passage of time. There is no doubt in my mind (if there ever was any, which I don’t think there was) that Daniel Craig is the best Bond and this is the best Bond film ever.

One of the things that makes Craig the best is his performance. He makes James real, not just another pretty face (although he is that too). He gives him depth and fleshes him out in a way that no one else ever has (sorry, Sean Connery, you’re my second favorite Bond, though).

In Skyfall, we’re dealing with issues and themes that are never really touched on in the other films, such as the fact that James is getting older (as is, of course, M). In the other films, it’s like they want to pretend that he’s ageless, when we know better, so it’s refreshing to see it mentioned, and see that James is not invincible—he’s just damn good at what he does. The inevitable changing of the guard comes into play too, which is what generally happens when new management comes in, and even M is not immune to being taken out of the picture.

The new Q is young and computer savvy, and he’s also afraid of flying, a great foil against the older, more mature Bond, who looks at him at their first meeting like, are you kidding me? I hope to see more of this Q in future, and I suspect we will. It was also great to see Albert Finney, as an old acquaintance of Bond’s.

What can I say about Javier Bardem? Most awesome, sexiest villain ever. And for those of you enjoy such things (for example me) there is a scene with the most deliciously homo-erotic content between Silva and Bond. And some of the best lines.

Bond to Silva after an exchange filled with innuendo and double entendres: “What makes you think it’s my first time?”

Priceless, I tell you, priceless!

Plenty of action, hot men, beautiful women, intrigue… you name it, Skyfall’s got it. Including a glimpse into Mr. Bond’s mysterious past, and questions that are answered. The movie starts with the obligatory chase scene that is a hallmark of the series. Twists and turns you won’t see coming, and things I won’t give away.

I loved every minute of this film, and can’t wait to see it again! Daniel Craig is James Bond. I can’t wait for the next installment, and it can’t come too soon for me!

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