Sensational. Smashing. Superb. Stylish. Stunning. Splendid.
The 23rd James Bond film, starring Daniel Craig as super-spy 007, is all of the above. If you have any doubt that Craig as the latest Bond isn’t a worthy fit Skyfall will shatter it. Skyfall is easily superior to 2008’s good but dragging at times Quantum of Solace and even 2006’s fantastic Casino Royale where Craig debuts as Bond.
Skyfall is a grand mixing of classic aspects of Bond flicks (shaken martini, Aston Martin with ejector seat, & even quips about an “exploding pen”) with the 21st century (the use of YouTube, yes YouTube, by villain Raoul Silva/Tiago Rodriguez- an intensely scary and wonderful Javier Bardem). With train rooftop fights, komodo dragon pit fights, and helicopter-to-ground shootouts, the action is more explosive and James Bond himself is a force to be reckoned with more than ever before.
In Skyfall, 007 is declared dead after M (the always terrific Judi Dench), the head of Bond’s MI6, gives the wrong okay for a field agent (Naomie Harris) to “take the shot” while Bond is fighting with a foe and Bond is hit. But Bond of course isn’t dead, and after a brief “retirement” returns to service when he hears of an attack on MI6. Contingent upon Bond passing a series of physical and mental tests he’s finally “re-Bonded.” When M discovers someone from her past is retaliating against her, Bond’s job is to stop Silva’s madness and save his boss from the villain’s wrath.
Now if you’re wondering what “Skyfall” is exactly- person? place? thing?- you’ll have to see the film, because revealing that would spoil the entire movie. What it is, without saying too much, is a poignant piece of information with great insight to Bond’s mysterious past. Here’s a hint: when the doctor administering Bond’s mental tests gives him the word association to “Skyfall” he says glowering, “Done” and walks out of the room.
The beautiful Bond girls- Berenice Marlohe as the sexy Severine (who doesn’t get enough screen time unfortunately) and Naomie Harris as the flirty but tough agent-turned-secratary Eve Moneypenny- are enjoyable to watch and Skyfall certainly wouldn’t be complete with them.
Another modernized character is Q (short for ‘Quartermaster’) played by an amusing Ben Whishaw. Q is Bond’s go-to-guy for all his cool gizmos such as a gun with Bond’s fingerprints encoded on the trigger that only he can fire and a teeny tiny radio that can lend big help and pick up Bond’s location to send the MI6 cavalry his way.
Skyfall’s director Sam Mendes (who worked with Craig once before in 2002’s Road to Perdition) can rightfully stand next to Terence Young, the director of 007’s first flick, Dr No, as a brilliant Bond director whose work will be a blueprint for future James Bond directors.
One of the greatest scenes of Skyfall is Bond in a Shanghai skyscraper against a beautiful backdrop of moving jellyfish as he fights a bad guy in complete shadow. The entire sequence is quite breathtakingly as it is shot in blue hues. A single shot of Bond standing atop MI6’s rooftop looking out at “his” London near the end of Skyfall is also incredible.
Mendes stylizes many “stand still” scenes in Skyfall where characters appear frozen. The result is a ravishing, painting-esque image. The thrilling and sultry soundtrack by Thomas Newman is fitting for a Bond film, and Adele’s theme song, “Skyfall”, is divine and perfectly passé. Skyfall’s rousing action along with Craig and Bardem’s pleasing performances will give you such a rush. They will make you want to experience the film again right after you’ve seen it. And die-hard Bond fans definitely will.
Daniel Craig has two more runs as James Bond, and he can only surpass his greatness as 007 especially if Sam Mendes returns to direct. With the ample success of Casino Royale and now Skyfall, Craig is in the making to be seen as one of the best Bond’s in history- if not the best (yes, even over original Bond legend Sean Connery). Skyfall has already taken over the U.S. Box Office as the biggest Bond flick in the franchise’s history. Skyfall’s sequel hopefully will drop sooner than later, because there’s no doubt Bond fans (and movie fans in general) are eagerly waiting the next mission and adventures of 007!
Skyfall is now playing nationwide
Check out the trailer for Skyfall: