"Skyfall" Movie Review
The idea of Sam Mendes, the director who gave us some thought-provoking films such as “American Beauty,” “Revolutionary Road,” and the criminally-underseen “Away We Go,” crafting a Bond movie raises some pertinent questions like can he pull it off?
I’m happy to report that not only did Mendes pull it off, he created one of the best Bond movies in recent memory. The director created a perfect balance of action and drama to helm “Skyfall,” the 23rd James Bond adventure.
From the exciting opening scene to the poignant final moments, this is the Bond movie we’ve all been waiting for. Heartfelt, engrossing, and completely captivating, “Skyfall” is a shining addition to the exemplary franchise.
Daniel Craig returns as Special Agent 007 and gives his best Bond performance to date. The actor is more relaxed in his role without losing any of his charm or hardened edge. The “Skyfall” plot relies heavily on Craig for his Bond is right where he belongs, front and center.
The plot is surprisingly simple and easy to follow with a running theme about Bond’s loyalty to M (the excellent Judi Dench). The film begins in Istanbul where Bond’s mission is to keep a computer hard drive from falling into the wrong hands.
Everything goes awry, of course, and Bond falls into the river and is presumed to be dead. Months later, the British government is upset with M16 for losing the hard drive and tells M that she will be allowed to retire. Challenging her authority is Mallory (Ralph Fiennes making his Bond debut), the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.
If “Casino Royale” was a return to Bond roots and “Quantum of Solace” was just a serviceable sequel, then “Skyfall” is a reboot of some sorts where emphasis is put into creating well-rounded characters. Indeed, characterization is given the same gravitas as the well-produced action scenes.
Javier Bardem, playing the well-conceived villain, Silva, nearly stole the show. The actor, who won an Oscar for his villainous turn in “No Country for Old Men,” embraces the inner core of his character and gives it a little bit of camp that is synonymous with many memorable Bond antiheroes.
Not to be outdone is Dench, returning for her seventh turn as M. Her character and her relationship with Bond is the heart of “Skyfall” and Dench strikes an affecting chemistry with Craig. The actress also embodies M’s tribulation – her past is finally catching up with her.
“Skyfall” welcomes back screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (“Casino Royale,” “Quantum of Solace”) but I’m giving credit to the addition of Oscar-winner John Logan (“Hugo,” “Rango”) to the Bond writing family. If Purvis and Wade know how to write action, Logan excels in fleshing out the characters.
The look of the film has a somber quality that signals the film’s tone, while the music and pacing help make “Skyfall” one of the year’s best action films. The final act of the movie may not equal the momentum of the first two, but the acting and directing make this an unforgettable experience. “Skyfall” is a fitting movie to come out during James Bond’s 50th anniversary.
Country: United States
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