As anyone who follows me on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, or podcast would know, I’m a huge James Bond fan. It probably hasn’t gone unnoticed to you all that my thoughts for Skyfall have been positive, but minimal in order to better explain them here. I will first use my normal model for evaluating movies before summarizing extra thoughts at the end.
The cast was pitch perfect in the film. Aside from having the return of Craig and Dame Dench (both of whom were fantastic) the movie was made particularly fantastic with Javier Bardem as the main villain. Bardem’s character was one of the nastiest and craziest villains we’ve seen to date, outpacing many of the franchises other villains. While being just one and done, the fallout from his actions will still be felt into the future. Both the character of Eve and Sevarene are pretty fantastic. While the latter ends up being a 15 minute Bond girl, Eve evolves into much more than that. However spoilers prevent me from going further. Ralph Fiennes also joins the cast as a rather redeemable government busy body. The actions of the movie however transform him from a douchey upper management man into one of the films better heroes. Once again, spoilers prevent me form explaining (see the damn movie). However the character that stole the show (in my opinion) was the young Ben Wishaw as the new Agent Q. While offering many of the more humorous points in the movie, he establishes himself as a main stay cast member who can serve a much greater purpose than just designing jackets.
The plot is paced very well and manages to fit a whole lot into the film. While the film does feel long, it never feels slow or boring. Instead you are thrilled with every twist and turn of the movie, as it waits to share some if its darker secrets towards the end of the film. The plot also is a brilliant narrative for the relevance of not only James Bond, but spies in this “Brave New World”.
While I was displeased by the fact that most of the movie Bond was unarmed, the fight sequences were indeed thrilling. James proves that he’s still a dangerous and capable fighter even without a gun, showing an intellect we haven’t seen a Bond possess in years. Additionally, some of the more thrilling sequences (the last thirty minutes) are suspenseful and keep you on your toes as the foreshadowing of the entire movie comes to a head. The action is intense and almost scary, with the aftermath of the penultimate fighting hitting the audience hard. This movie also proves to be a bit of a nail biter, on more than one occasion.
The movie does a masterful job at referencing 50 years of history. As we see old cars, updated gadgets, familiar settings, and a joke or two. This movie definitely feels like a 50th anniversary movie, and that is a very good thing.
While not being based off of a book, Skyfall feels like an Ian Flemming story cut loose. It does all of the characters justice, introduces a villain who feels very Flemming-esque and delivers an intricate and moving plot that follows established Bond formula. However, this movie holds nothing back, and goes further with the characters and plot than Flemming ever could. Once again, I regretfully can’t share a piece of brilliance due to major spoilers.
In comparison to the 22 preceding Bond films, this movie scores very well. Though you will have to wait until issue 10 of Ravingnerd Presents (due tomorrow) to find out where exactly the movie falls.
Favorite part of the movie: My favorite part of the movie is the final scene. I can’t explain it due to immense spoilers, but if you love Bond, and are familiar with the franchise, then the final scene will blow your mind and make you squeal like a school girl.
Least favorite part of the movie: The movie severely hurts my personal beliefs of James Bond. Within the movie universe, it has always felt as if James Bond is attached to the 007. That the agent who is promoted to 007 will take on the name James Bond, almost as if to carry on the mantle. This movie hurts that thought process quite severely.
Skyfall earns a definite 9 on a scale of 1-10. It is easily my favorite movie of the year, and is Bond at his absolute best. Very few Bond films would be able to score a rating such as this, proving why Skyfall is a must see for any fan of the franchise.
While long and eventful, Skyfall feels like a relaunch of the franchise, while being Craig’s third, it feels as if it could easily have been his first. This movie makes major steps at not only promoting the franchise in the future, but irreversibly altering the franchise ushering in an unprecedented new status quo for the Bond universe in more than one way. Skyfall quickly erases the train wreck that was Quantum of Solace.
Until the next time, witness the sky fall.