Finally. A Daniel Craig/James Bond film I really loved! Skyfall is the best of at least the first three Bond films Craig has been in (I haven’t watched Spectre yet). Skyfall is rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking. It was released in 2012, and won two Academy Awards: Best Original Song written by Adele and Paul Epworth, and Best Sound Editing. Skyfall is the opening song sung by Adele.
I felt like I was back in a classic Bond film, with the technology and cinematography updated a bit of course, but with a solid story this time. I can’t find fault really with any of it. There is an opening chase scene, but it is not obnoxious. Another agent, Eve (Naomie Harris), takes aim at the man she and Bond are chasing, and the bullet strikes Bond instead. Bond takes a plunge into the river and is presumed dead.
Meanwhile, a terrorist attack inexplicably targets MI6 Headquarters in London. M (Judi Dench) seems to be the main target for whoever is trying to destroy her and her staff. Bond resurfaces, just in time to hunt for the terrorist who knows far too much about MI6, and is thus suspected to be a former operative. Arriving on the scene is Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, who questions how M is handling the hunt for the terrorist group.
During the film, we are introduced to Q (Ben Wishaw) the purveyor of fancy cars and hidden weapons to Bond. We also meet other characters who are classic to the story of British intelligence. See for yourself. We see iconic trademarks of the Bond story sprinkled in amongst the action, details that were welcome and made me smile. If you are a James Bond fan and have seen previous films through the years, you will pick up on and be delighted by these tidbits. There’s a bit of humor throughout, a convincing back-story, and excellent direction by Sam Mendes.
The cinematography is stellar, and the locations grand. Just what a good spy story should provide. We go to Shanghai and Macau with Bond in pursuit of Patrice (Ola Rapace) hoping to get information about the terrorist he works for.
A villain needs to have an eccentric personality, yet not be so demented that we can’t relate to him. Silva (Javier Bardem) is that villain, a good foil for Bond, and a very worthy opponent. Bardem was relatively fresh off his Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actor for the 2007 film No Country for Old Men when Skyfall was filmed. The role of Silva was superbly cast, and I can’t imagine watching anyone but Bardem play the very threatening and crazy villain. He and Bond play off each other very well, and it makes the whole film work.
Have you seen Skyfall? What did you think of it? Next time, my review of the final (to date) Daniel Craig Bond film, Spectre.