Friday, November 9, 2012

James Bond "Skyfall" Review (Some Spoilers)

It’s the 50th anniversary of James Bond movies and the 23rd movie in the storied franchise has now graced local movie screens.  Skyfall is Daniel Craigs’s 3rd turn as the most celebrated spy in history and the fans have been hungry for another movie since the sub-par Quantum of Solace.  I promptly headed to one of the many movie theaters in my area with childlike excitement for my 50th anniversary celebration of watching Skyfall and losing myself in the world of James Bond.  Waiting with anticipation to seeing all the stuff you expect in a Bond film and expecting a great story.

Skyfall, to me, felt like a Connery Bond movie with a modern day edge to it.  From start to finish this movie was rock solid.  Lots of action to keep the die hards happy and just the right amount comedy to keep things light at times.   The story was pretty strong also.  It was an interesting story and one of the strongest in the franchise’s history.  What was good about the story was that it didn’t rely on cheap antics.  It was straight storytelling and lets the action play out and wasn’t forced.  

Skyfall deals with a lot of different aspects of James Bond’s character. First we see him struggle to regain his form after being shot and left for dead for three months.  It was strange to see James Bond as a drunken beach bum and moping around and then when he returns seeing him out of shape and not sharp with the gun.  Then there is the aspect of his family home in Scotland and the death of his parents.  This interested me as it was never touch upon before.  I thought this was really good and gives us more of an insight into James Bond and who he was.

The thing that got me was that the Bond girl was not really a factor in Skyfall.  In fact both Eve and Sévérine had little to do and little screen time.  Which in this movie worked out fine as M was given a much bigger role. It was good to see Judi Dench have a bigger part and actually do something besides giving Bond his orders.  The story for the most part centers on her and why Raoul Silva wanted her dead.  It is a really good part of the story and helps in building up to the main climax of the movie.

The main baddie of the movie is played really well by Javier Bardem.  His portrayal of Silva was very creepy.  Silva was one of the Bond villains you will not forget.  He had that thing that makes him memorable. The way he was crazy and the way he presented himself made you fear him as a cold and calculating revenge driven psychopath.  I could see this character in one of the early movies.  In fact Skyfall just had that feel of a traditional Bond film from the early Connery era.

Speaking of that Connery era feel it was good to see in Skyfall a nod to the past.  I liked seeing the return of Q and the gadgets he supplied.  Getting a Walther PPK 9mm that is tuned to ones palm print is pretty cool.  Plus a treat for all fans out there we get an Aston Martin from Goldfinger.  There are other subtle nods but I will not give those up you just need to keep your eyes open for. 

Skyfall worked for so many reasons.  The producers took Bond in a different way that worked on all different levels.  Skyfall had lots of great moments and gives the fans missing characters that are reintroduced into the canon and given a facelift themselves..  Lots of familiarity with what fans of the Bond movies have come to expect and expanded upon.  Skyfall isn’t just an action film overloaded with action but a smart and exciting movie that doesn’t dumb down to its audience.  If you are a fan of James Bond you are going to love this film.  Skyfall is one of the best James Bond movies of all time and one hell of a ride that I must get on again.

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