Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall_62

Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama

Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem

Synopsis: Following a terrorist attack on MI6, Bond must track down the perpetrator who seems to know an awful lot about M’s past.

So far, I have reviewed two other Bond movies for this blog: A View to a Kill and Tomorrow Never Dies. Both are good Bond films in their own way. A View to a Kill is perhaps the campiest Bond movie to date and Tomorrow Never Dies has Michelle Yeoh firing a gun while screaming “Hiiiyyyahh!!!” I readily admit, however, that both are not, objectively speaking, the best Bond films. In fact, they don’t even rank near the top. For the sake of variety, I decided to review a Bond film that most would agree is objectively decent, one that balances style with substance. One that does not feature Madonna.

MadonnaShudder

I remember when Skyfall came out and it was all anyone could talk about. It’s easy to see why. This film has all the hallmarks of classic Bond: style, exotic locales, fast cars, sexy women, and people being killed by dangerous animals. At the same time, Skyfall felt like a step forward. Although it had all the things that made Bond films great in the past, it introduced a whole new range of things to get excited about, namely breath-taking cinematography and a window into the past of two central characters.

On the cinematography front, this is another notch to add to Roger Deakins’ belt. The man can simply do no wrong when it comes to cinematography. There are so many examples of cinematographic brilliance in this movie it’s really difficult to narrow down my favourite shots. If I had to choose, however, I would say that the two moments that stood out for me were the fight scene in the Shanghai skyscraper and the scene in the Scottish highlands. The cinematography gives Skyfall such a sleek and polished look. It’s rare to see an action film that marries style and substance but when an action film does do that it results in a remarkable end product that manages to tantalise both the adrenaline whore and aesthete within me. It’s like receiving double the pleasure…like being on the receiving end of a rusty trombone.

Rusty TromboneI didn’t think it would be wise to include a picture of an actual rusty trombone…

The depth added to Bond and M was also greatly appreciated in this film. I won’t mention any detailed spoilers. It’s simply enough to say that we learn more about the characters’ pasts. This is the sort of information that is glossed over in other Bond films. Although the lack of character history never really bothered me, it was a nice touch to give the characters a background that shows them to be more human and sympathetic. It makes the ending of Skyfall a lot more emotional and strangely cathartic, two things you don’t expect in a film about a man who kills people for money and bangs a lot of poon-tang along the way.

High-lights:

  • The feeling that this is a more modern and complex Bond film.
  • Stylish cinematography.
  • Perfect level of eroticism. The scene with the straight razor comes to mind. I want to go to a traditional barber and get a proper shave like that. I think it would be quite an erotic experience if done correctly…and if it’s done by someone hot.
  • Komodo dragons!? That’s new for a bond film.
  • Sexy-adorable Ben Wishaw.

Downers:

  • Too much product placement and sometimes it’s introduced in a really clumsy way.
  • Not enough Daniel Craig nudity.
  • He has sex with a woman who just admitted that she was a victim of the sex trade…completely inappropriate.

Summary:

Skyfall offers a lot to potential viewers. Fans of classic Bond will not be disappointed as all the hallmarks of the brand still feature in this movie. However, a greater depth and style is added so Bond-sceptics/phobes will still be able to find something to appreciate and enjoy. I don’t know how the next Bond film will be able to top this one but I have high hopes.

9/10

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7 Comments

Filed under Action/Adventure, Drama, Great

7 responses to “Skyfall (2012)

  1. It got us back to the basics with James Bond, and thankfully, it was still a fun time. Good review.

  2. Abbi

    Our first difference of opinion… I thought this was a total snorefest.

  3. I was utterly in love with this movie. It’s definitely one I want to buy on Blu-Ray because of the gorgeous cinematography. I only hope I can get the same effect I did when I saw it in theaters. I liked how Skyfall was the first Bond film I felt to be a good mix of old and new. The other Craig films tried to distance themselves from the other Bond films, especially the Brosnan era, but Skyfall really embraced its Bond roots while also being a solid modern action movie in general.

    • You’re right about Craig’s other movie’s distancing themselves. At the time, I think it was a smart movie after the Die Another Day invisible car fiasco. However, it felt right to do a Bond film that got back in touch with the series’ roots and Skyfall was the Bond movie I think every Bond fan needed.

  4. Great review, and this was a fantastic outing! Stunning movie. I agree though, the sex scene was seriously inappropriate!

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