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James Bond 2012 | 143 min | PG-13 | 2.39:1



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

User reviews

6 user reviews

Movie appeal




Theatrical release date

 09 November, 2012
 26 October, 2012

Country of origin

 United Kingdom

Technical aspects


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Overview Preview Cast & crew User reviews News Forum

Screenshots from Skyfall Blu-ray

Skyfall Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, November 7, 2012

The first shot of “Skyfall” is an unfocused image of James Bond approaching the camera. It’s a disorienting view, almost alien in appearance, yet it serves a perfectly appropriate purpose for the spy series as it struts into its 50th year of existence, displaying the character as the stranger that was left at the climax of 2008’s abysmal entry, “Quantum of Solace.” As actor Daniel Craig walks into view, we finally see Bond as he should be: suave, secure, and ready for action. “Skyfall” is a glorious return to form for a franchise that’s struggled to develop its identity since its beefy star took over in 2006, feeling ready to take on traditional 007 attributes while advancing the latest Bond’s firm position as a blunt instrument in a triumphantly rock ‘em, sock ‘em big screen extravaganza.

During a botched operation to retrieve a secret hard drive containing the identities of undercover MI6 agents stationed around the world, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is accidentally shot by fellow operative Eve (Naomie Harris) and presumed dead. During his three-month absence, retreating to a corner of the world to drink himself into submission, MI6 is attacked, with villain Silva (Javier Bardem) out to destroy an organization that betrayed him a long time ago, a violation the monster holds M (Judi Dench) personally accountable for. Backed by insuperable computer hacking skills, Silva launches a sinister campaign to expose MI6’s darkest secrets, working his way from a remote island to the heart of London. Bond, returning to duty a broken man nursing a painful bullet wound, heads off to tangle with Silva, traveling to Shanghai and Macau, bedding the terrorist’s confidant Severine (an effectively unsettled Berenice Marlohe) in the process. With M’s life in danger, Bond transforms into protection mode, scouring London for any signs of Silva, while Intelligence and Security Chairman Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) struggles to grasp the severity of the situation, pressuring M about her methods while her top agent scrambles to wage war against a clever, demented enemy.

The director for “Skyfall” is Sam Mendes, an Academy Award-winner tasked with bringing Bond back to his senses after the cloud of confusion that choked the life out of Marc Forster’s “Quantum of Solace.” Inching Bond back to his traditional superspy role seems to be the primary mission of “Skyfall,” which offers a secure screenplay that successfully balances the need to please franchise fans and its own creative momentum, with Mendes consistently juggling the two speeds of the effort with exceptional skill. The latest 007 quest features a light dusting of quips to help lighten the severe mood, introduces Bond to a new Q (played by Ben Whishaw) and his technical genius (and distaste for gadgets), and shakes away most of the demons that’ve plagued the character since he lost lover Vesper Lynd in 2006’s “Casino Royale.” It certainly isn’t a sunny jaunt for the iconic agent, but there’s a palpable commitment to restoring a bit of the old Bond charm that has served the series so well throughout the decades, allowing Craig to loosen up and enjoy the view for a few moments before he’s back jumping on baddies like a crazed pit bull.

What’s new to “Skyfall” is an outrageous stylishness, as Mendes and master cinematographer Roger Deakins (“No Country for Old Men”) construct a series of glowing environments for Bond to march through, including a gorgeously golden Macau casino that’s a particular favorite visual in a movie constantly on the prowl for precise lighting and memorable locations. It’s the best looking 007 outing of the last 25 years. And no pretty picture is above destruction, finding “Skyfall” in the mood for fistfights and shootouts, with sensibly photographed mayhem that’s teeming with marvelous stuntwork to keep the senses engaged. The opening showdown in Istanbul is a particular highlight, following Bond as he storms after the hard drive thieves, chasing the trigger-happy goons on foot, motorcycles (the wheeled pursuit occurring over residential rooftops), and on top of a train, where our hero employs construction equipment to defend himself when all hope seems lost. Now there’s an introduction, and a smoothly edited, smartly staged one at that.

Interestingly, another slight deviation to the “Skyfall” event is the lack of a true Bond Woman, with Eve’s role as a tentative agent eyeing a secure desk job more about playing to the fanbase, while the character of Severine is employed as an instrument used to sniff out Silva’s location, finding the hanky panky shared between Bond and the terrified woman more about fleeting sex appeal than establishing an emotional anchor for the brooding agent. Actually, the true Bond Woman of the feature is M, the reluctantly maternal figure to Bond who places enormous trust in his skills, even lying to the wounded, rattled man to get him back into business. M plays a very important role in “Skyfall,” allowing Dench to articulate a few striking moments of despair as Silva tears her organization apart.

As an antagonist born from a failed suicide attempt with a cyanide capsule, Silva is a deranged monster who bears a striking resemblance to Julian Assange, with the script using WikiLeaks as inspiration to mastermind global chaos as secret agents are exposed on YouTube for the world to see. It’s a seductive performance from Bardem (Silva would rather kiss kiss, bang bang Bond than execute him), but also one of impressive theatricality, sustaining an operatic quality to the baddie’s reign of terror, which eventually settles inside MI6’s London backyard. The techy qualities of Silva aren’t overly fussed over, holding to viruses and impenetrable encryptions. Mendes is more interested in the villain’s personal vendetta than his master plan of hard drive exposure. The script provides the basics in motivation, Bardem supplies the thespian fireworks in the tradition of the best Bond villains.

“Skyfall” cracks open 007 to discover his professional timidity after his shooting, along with an inspection of a broken childhood and mournful time at his family’s Scottish estate, which comes to supply the setting for the film’s extended climax, finding retaliation efforts aided by gamekeeper Kincade (a welcome Albert Finney). The ongoing psychological study is present in the picture, yet its potency is wearing thin, a point the production is beginning to realize. Although it’s hardly a Roger Moore-style romp, “Skyfall” does openly long for a simpler time for the franchise, working diligently to return the character to “classic” form with a distinct Craig squint. It’s an enticing offer, especially if directors as gifted as Mendes are around to keep Bond busy with the world’s woes. “Skyfall” is the best of Craig’s adventures; a superbly mounted, clear-headed adventure with enough delicious oddity and exhilaration to help forget there ever was a “Quantum of Solace.”

Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris
Director: Sam Mendes

» See full cast & crew

Skyfall, Forum Discussions

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Skyfall Box Office Thread 68 Jan 19, 2013

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