Monday, November 12, 2012
Movie Review: Skyfall
In many ways this film felt much more akin to Casino Royal in it's pacing and scope.
Just as Casino Royale was a reintroduction to Bond and was a more personal story about James Bond, Sky Fall's focus is mainly on M and MI6.
Throughout the movie we are told that the old ways of doing things are outdated....no need for exploding pens when we can get the same results from a few clicks of a mouse....
For me the theme of Skyfall was the old school vs technology which brings us to Istanbul Turkey where Bond is tasked with retrieving a hard drive that contains the identities of undercover MI6 agents throughout the world from an assassin.
In Skyfall M (Judi Dench) faces harsh criticism from Gareth Mallory, (Ralph Fiennes) the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee for the the loss of the hard drive, costing the lives of multiple operatives, the attack on MI6 HQ as well as her continued support for the cloak and dagger shadowy espionage operations.
This time around Bond isn't uncovering a sinister plot by an evil organization to control natural resources or something so grandiose, no, this time the threat is much closer to home. The villain is a former MI6 agent Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) who's target is M. Bond returns to active duty after hearing about the attacks on MI6 and it is apparent he has lost his edge.
This theme isn't new and was done well in Live Free or Die Hard, in fact the motives of both films villains; Thomas Gabriel and Raoul Silva are revenge against their former employers via hacking their systems are almost identical.
I really enjoyed Skyfall, I understand there are many people who don't like Daniel Craig as James Bond, and that's fine you can keep your invisible cars, laser wrist watches and witty one liners, I prefer my flawed Bond that'll kill his enemies with his hands just as easily as his Walther PPK.
One of the great things about Skyfall is we see the continued evolution of Daniel Craig's Bond in Skyfall, he's not as brash as he was in Casino Royal, but when pushed he will resort to use what ever means necessary to complete the mission including his apparent fondness for construction vehicles.
By far Skyfall is one of the most beautiful Bond movies to watch, the sets are a delight to behold such as the vibrant neon colors in the Shanghai scene, the ferry boat ride in Macau, to the unforgettable scene of the Skyfall estate burning in the night sky.
Skyfall is as much about Bond as it is about M, Judi Dench has a significantly increased amount of screen time in Skyfall compared to the previous 6 Bond films she's been in. This is due to her character being the epi-center of the controversy and Raoul Silva's motive for his actions.
I liked Bardem's character, he was defiantly a more threatening villain than Dominic Greene from Quantum of Solace. Of the three Craig Bond films to date I still prefer Le Chiffre over all.
I enjoyed the dialog between Bond and Silva on the deserted island base, it was reminiscent of the torture scene in Casino Royale. And when Bond told Silva it wasn't his first time while sitting in the chair I laughed out loud....my wife missed the reference:/
The story became even more enjoyable after Bond apprehends Silva and brings him back for interrogation and discovers the truth about his identity and relationship to M. From this point on the story becomes very fascinating as Bond has to be thinking "Am I just another pawn to M like Silva?" So now M finds herself cornered by Parliament, Silva, and possibly the loyalty of Bond! And Silva realizes this and plays into Bonds insecurities.
Skyfall is a beautiful film and a great Bond movie, definitely worth the cost of seeing at the movie theater! This movie is definately one worth getting on Blu Ray when it comes out. Great Story, Good Villain, Gorgeous sets, Fantastic performance by Judi Dench, Daniel Craig continues to impress as 007, Strong Supporting cast....everyone feels necessary and well developed regardless of screen time.