Posted by Rande Iaboni on November 10, 2012 at 11:41 pm
It’s been exactly 4 years since the last James Bond film hit theaters and man is it good to have him back on the big screen. Daniel Craig’s first outing as 007 in ‘Casino Royale’ was nothing short of spectacular, and while ‘Quantum of Solace’ fell somewhat short of that I had high hopes for ‘Skyfall’ (a film you can currently see at Glasgow Cinema) thanks to the impressive cast and talented director. So how did ‘Skyfall’ fare? It was pretty damn great.
While ‘Casino Royale’ still remains my favorite of the Daniel Craig Bond films (and quite possibly all Bond films), ‘Skyfall’ is right up there in storytelling, action, and quality. I won’t bother too much with the actual premise of the film as it is pretty straightforward, the villain obtains top secret information that threatens humanity, Bond must fight the villain (and his numerous henchmen) in order to get it back. Don’t get me wrong, even though this plot is pretty by-the-books when it comes to an action film, it is captivating nonetheless thanks to characters that make us actually care. Most thanks go to the script and of course the tremendous cast.
Daniel Craig is once again a fantastic Bond, bringing to the role believability in both physicality and intelligence. He has the ability to show such great emotion in those crystal blue eyes that even during an intense action sequence you know what he is fighting for. Judi Dench returns as the cold but lovable “M” and while this character has usually been on the sidelines in previous films she plays a very significant role in this one, and Judi Dench even gets to fire a weapon! And despite Craig and Dench shining throughout, it is the villainous Javier Bardem that absolutely steals the show. He is absolutely dynamite in the role of Silva, succeeding in creating a Bond villain that is flamboyant and ridiculously diabolical but never becoming cartoonish. This character was a real treat and I saw a few hints of The Joker from ‘The Dark Knight,’ and I wonder if he was a small inspiration for this role.
Like any Bond film, the action was superb and at times breathtaking. The cinematography was spot on and that all too familiar Bond theme chimed in at just the right moments that would give any 007 fan chills. And fear not for those that feel this franchise is a bit tired, the last 30 minutes or so of the film stray very far from any Bond film in the past. At times it even felt a bit like a ‘Mission Impossible’ film (not a bad thing at all in my opinion), and it was refreshing to have a different climax this time around.
My one and only complaint? There wasn’t really a solid Bond girl, almost a necessity in the series. Both Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe rocked it in their respective feminine roles, but neither were featured nearly enough or had quite enough spark like some others in the past. But it’s a small complaint and one that I’m willing to forgive because technically, Judi Dench was the female lead in this one.
Overall, the way to sum up ‘Skyfall’ is quite simple. Are you a fan of the James Bond series? And I’m not asking if you have enjoyed every single entry to the franchise because let’s face it, some of them have really fallen flat. But if you are a true fan of the character of James Bond and the series when it is at its best then you should absolutely head to the theaters and check this one out. All the elements of a successful 007 film are there and more. SEE IT.