As the first single-world title since Goldeneye, the only Bond to retain the same actor after a four year long gap, and the representation of the 50th anniversary of MGM's flagship franchise...does Skyfall deliver, or does Adele let it crumble? It has a LOT (and I mean a helluva lot) to make up for after the horrendous Quantum of Solace.
I enjoyed some of Skyfall, but overall I felt deflated and occasionally a bit bored. There's more subtext here than usual, but the plot weighs down the action too much.
After a list of undercover agents is stolen (it is never explained how as the movie jumps in after the story has already started) Bond goes off in pursuit of the culprit and is accidentally gunned down by his colleague during a scrap aboard a train moving over a massive viaduct. M believes him dead and is due to be hauled over the coals for analogue incompetence in a digital age. But Bond knows he lives twice and guesses he'll die another day. He's broken and beaten-down, though he insists he's good enough for another shot at catching the baddie.
And so enters Javier Bardem as Silva, a charismatic ex-agent (it's never made clear if he was a double-oh) who lives for revenge. He IS a great villain and is wonderful to watch, bringing an unusual amount of sadness and empathy to the role. He wants to get back at M for selling him out. As Bond does everything in his power to protect her they come across as siblings fighting for mother's attention and approval. It gives the film an emotional heart that Bond doesn't usually have.
I feel that this is undone by such ludicrous development and bad scripting as Silva goes about executing a years-in-development plan that relies on way too much contrivance. Where on Earth does Silva get his endless supply of goons? Does he put an ad in the paper?
Wanted: Henchman for revenge plot. Must be willing to dress the part (no uniform provided) and die for me. Meets national minimum wage. You can have a gun if you want.
And, for that matter, where does he get his supplies, equipment, helicopters? For a man living as a ghost he sure is connected. Yes, I know I am pedantically picking apart an action movie plot, but Skyfall promotes itself as more serious and a return to form. The aforementioned complaints feel like leftover elements from the Bronson era, and I do feel like it is high time to fire Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. With this fresh start they should have brought in stronger writers, or perhaps just employ a single writer for consistency.
Bérénice Marlohe and Naomi Harris pop in as the Bond girls but neither are really given anything to do, the former having about 10 lines of dialogue. And with the franchise adapting to modern sensibilities it feels a bit corny having Bond jump into bed (or in this case shower) with a girl he met five minutes earlier. He's a bit too detached from them for their presence to have any impact on the plot.
There are many attempts to give this entry a better continuity with previous movies, and while I really like this, it feels a little (just a little) fanboy-ish. Am I the only one who thinks that the Aston Martin (in all of it's lovely gray-ishness) is an ugly-as-sin automobile? Or that the Walther PPK is a wimpy-as-hell gun? I've seen potato guns that look more intimidating. Also, the film explores Bond's roots and history more so then ever before, but the big revelation about M's past that has been teased in the pre-release hype is thoroughly non-existent. Judi Dench does get a lot more to do this time around and really does become the emotional core of the Oedipal fracas between Bond and Silva.
Roger Deakin shoots the entire film in IMAX and it looks L-O-V-E-L-Y. Every scene has its own unique aesthetic and atmospheric production design. Really, really good work there. All done digitally, obviously, and while it's gorgeous for this 50th anniversary adventure, I hope it doesn't become standard practice. 35mm may be the past, but I hope it sticks around for the future.
David Arnold is gone. In his place is Thomas Newman, who unfortunately scores the film with no decent melodies and rarely even uses the Bond theme or even the melody from the title song. How I miss John Barry. There is a fare amount of globe-trotting, including Turkey, China, Macau, and the Scottish highlands. However, too much of this cuts back to mundane London. Stuart Baird (having seemingly abandoned his career as a director) cuts it altogether expertly, but he can't add excitement to scenes that have been written so flatly.
I've always felt that Bond movies are defined by the second unit and stunt co-ordination. With the action reserved for short bursts in Skyfall it allows Sam Mendes a chance to put his own stamp on the film. This is both good and bad. Turning a Bond in a character study is a bold chance to take, but they should have turned up the action more. I like gritty, realistic stunts and choreography, but Bond isn't really the franchise for it. There is a sweet spot in-between invisible cars and fist-fighting and I am not sure that Skyfall has found it.
It's not the darkest or angriest Bond adventure (that honor goes to Licence to Kill), but it sure is most atmospheric and downbeat. Let's hope that next time around they deliver more spectacle and excitement.
I was very excited about see'ing this film, the build up was great, i did enjoy the film immensly.
I would say its in line with the Bournes and modern action films, as in we lost the traditional bond gadgets and a lot of the old school bond ideals - such as the womanising and sexism.
Continuing with the reboot of Casino Royal, modern, realistic and like a blunt weapon instead of the haphazard wild shooting of the previous ventures.
There are some great nods to the older films, such as the car and walking on the back of reptiles whch was nice.
All of the actors played their respective parts well, some great new additions, though Q was a bit of a geek, and i miss the old git from before.
I did feel that this being the 50th anniversary the studio decided to incorporate every location on earth, which seemed odd, Bond goes to one country for 10 minutes, then another, and another and so, untill he is back in the UK.
Definatelt recommended though. watch it on the bod screen, the final act is awesome. even if it goes from day to night within seconds...
Skyfall in IMAX was a blast. You should all know, however, that this movie was not originally shot with IMAX cameras, it was converted after the fact. The result was still amazing though. While not as crystal clear as movies actually shot on IMAX, we still get to see 26% more of the original captured footage. The IMAX experience of Skyfall was definitely worth it, with the huge picture and extremely loud and immersive surround sound.
From all the reviews out there already, I was expecting this Bond to go a little deeper emotionally, psychologically, and historically into Bond and M's back-stories. You do get a little new material as far as the characters are concerned though. Instead, we get a really good action movie. I appreciated that Skyfall had a slower, more in-control pace unlike Quantum of Solace which, while enjoyable, was just action scene after action scene. The action in Skyfall ranges from fast and chaotic to slow and jazzy like an old school spy movie. I did notice that there was a serious lack of shakey camera movement. For several of the fights you can actually tell who is hitting who and what kind of moves they are doing. It was refreshing.
The cinematography was beautiful and took advantage of all the filming locations. The surround sound was exciting. And the music had its own touch while throwing in deliciously generous bouts of the original Bond music. There are several nods to older Bond movies that were fun to discover and at the same time the movie fits in perfect with Craig's other two outings as 007 with his same character continuing to grow and learn.
The main bad guy wasn't too scary in my opinion. His quirks almost make you like him. He is definitely evil, but I was never really afraid of him. He did an amazing job and was a different take, so that was nice.
Last but not least, how is this movie content/parental concern-wise? It deserved the PG-13 rating it received. Going into Skyfall I was a bit nervous about all the sex scenes and opening music sequence that Bond movies always have. The sex scenes were basically what you see in the trailers with just a few more seconds of footage. The opening musical credit sequence also was not that bad, you definitely don't see as much as in other Bond movies. There were a few outlines of obviously naked women, but they were brief and not that detailed.
As Far as violence is concerned, it was PG-13 spy violence with lots of gunshots and punching and explosions etc. Nothing too graphic here. (No naked torture scenes like in Casino Royale).
And there was one "F-word" which was actually not that clearly uttered. Other than that, the rest of the swearing was far below normal PG-13 par.
Thanks for reading, now go enjoy another awesome Bond movie!
Skyfall IS Bond at his best. I am puzzled by the reviewer who said he was bored because the plot weighed down the action. Are you kidding me? Not to be unkind, but the fact that there IS a real story makes this Bond film even better. The action is incredible when it happens but the story here is so much better than even Casino Royale. This Bond has heart and all of the characters are well delivered. I won't give any spoilers, but Skyfall truly gives us depth like no Bond ever has.
Daniel Craig obviously got into this story and script better than his first two and I do think he is the best Bond. While the filmmaking that we see these days was not the style in the early years of Bond, you can argue that Sam Mendes and crew did their best to bring everyone into the 21st century with a story that everyone can believe. I thought Quantum of Solace was good, just rushed. Skyfall should not disappoint anyone and I hope Mendes does come back for Bond 24.
If you like Bond, you will walk away from Skyfall saying "WOW." It is the BEST BOND!
The first thing I noticed about Skyfall was the vast amount of talent involved. With apologies to Sean Connery, Daniel Craig gives the best acting performances of any Bond. It's not that he's a better actor than Connery, but he's asked to play the role with a lot more realism, and that works well for me.
Other actors of note are even better than Craig: Judi Dench is wonderful as M, Javier Bardem is over the top and hilarious as Silva, and Ralph Fiennes appears as Gareth Mallory. It's rare that Oscar winners and nominees have so many key roles in an action movie.
In addition to the acting talent, Sam Mendes (American Beauty) directs, Thomas Newman (10 Oscar nominations) is responsible for the score, and Roger Deakins (9 Oscar nominations) does his usual excellent job with the cinematography.
While I enjoyed Quantum of Solace, it was definitely flawed. It was too short, so everything felt rushed. It was also rather unbalanced, with five major chase scenes in the first 30 minutes, and an abundance of quick cuts and shaky-cam. Skyfall has a couple of major chase scenes, but the action never eclipses the overall story.
The plot is pretty simple. A computer hard drive has been stolen, and it contains the identities and missions of MI6 agents. M's computer is hacked and she is informed that the identities of five agents will be released each week. It becomes clear that the knowledge originated from MI6, or from someone with intimate knowledge of the organization.
Bond is injured and believed to be dead after an accident early in the movie, but he turns up alive when he feels that his services are needed. However, he's clearly not completely healthy. Is he fit for duty? Is age catching up with him? Would it be dangerous to allow him to resume duty while he is recovering? I like that Bond is portrayed as vulnerable. He can be hurt, and he can make mistakes.
Craig's Bond is a different beast from any that have come before. He's colder and tougher, and the campy humor is gone. That's not to say that the humor is completely absent, it's just smarter and funnier. Many of the best lines are possible because of the relationship between Bond and M. Check out the word association scene for an example.
Most of the expected elements are present. The movie visits China, Turkey, England and Scotland. There's obviously a new Bond girl, but she's in fewer scenes than you might expect. The music, action sequences and humor all add to the familiar feel. There's even a few references to previous Bond movies, and fans will love the inspired inclusion of an old piece of machinery.
The movie also continues to establish characters that we have come to know and love from previous entries in the franchise, but I'll let you make those discoveries for yourself.
After 23 movies and 50 years, the Bond franchise is alive and well. Many critics are suggesting that Skyfall is the best Bond movie to date. They may be right, but I can't decide between Skyfall and Casino Royale. Skyfall wouldn't work as well without the relationships and story arc established in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. The three Craig movies don't quite have the depth of the Bourne movies, but the gap is miniscule.
Skyfall will appeal to fans of Bond, spy movies, and action movies. I only hope that Craig's next two appearances as Bond are up to this standard.
Hey Orndorf! To each his own. Quantum of Solace isn't as bad as you say it is. I agree with your review of Skyfall but your slamming of Quantum is not cool. It wasn't that bad and it gets better with each viewing. Contrasting Bond from that film to the new film is what makes Bond's vulnerabilities palpable in Skyfall.