Skyfall – 4.5/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Skyfall – 4.5/5 – Bond films; they are truly a legacy in the film industry.  When it comes to these films, they all have their niche throughout the 50 years of them being on the big screen. There styles change as a different actor has picked up the mantle.  Through the years, we have had many different incarnation of James Bond, everything from the suave to the silly in each performance.  The new bond (Daniel Craig) is no exception.  He has brought something to the role that no one has, especially in this film I am reviewing.  Skyfall, in my opinion, is one of the best films of the year and one of the best Bond films ever directed on screen.

The movie follows the exploits of James Bond (Daniel Craig) as he is set on a mission to capture back a hard drive from a terrorist.  After a sudden shot, and an explicit death, he comes back from the shadows to help save MI6 from destruction by a cyber terrorist who has used the information on the hard drive to attack them.  Along the way, truths of everyone’s past come to the forefront, and Bond must face perils he has never faced before.  Daniel Craig as Bond is by far, one of the best decision made for this film franchise.  Since Casino Royale, he has brought this suave and swagger to the role, which is also combined with grit and sternness in his interaction with everyone on screen.  He inspires both ends of what makes the character ‘James Bond’; the utmost idolization of an English gentleman as well as an agent who can kick ass in a suit.  This movie, unlike the past two, was more character involved and relied heavily on performances to guide the script.  In Daniel Craig as Bond, you see how raw and aging his character has become, as well as resilience when he is brought back from the shadows to fight against a 21st century bad guy.  For all the nuance of being a man of espionage, he also has to rely on wits and support to take out this new form of evil.  When it comes to the main supporting cast, they are all marvelous in their roles.  Judy Dench as M is awe inspiring.  You see her intelligence of the situation as strength, and her connection with Bond is very open and provoking in this movie.  You feel the ‘mother/son’ relationship here as well see what each other means for both in this trying time.  Ben Whishaw plays Q, the techie mastermind of MI6.  He and Craig’s interactions are deep and thoughtful, as their dialogue is comical and serious at the same time.  This helps build up each character as they are both vital to the situation.  You see that Bond needs Q as much as Q needs bond.  Out of all the supporting characters in this movie, Javier Bardem’s Silva is truly the one that that stands out.  He is the villain pulling all the strings in this movie, and he is the embodiment of an evil person.  Bardem brings a fantastical performance to this role, as he brings out a manically and vengeful persona.  He wants revenge on MI6, and he will go to the farthest reaches of the agency past to get it.  He is smooth and stern in his delivery, but also the subtlety of his work marks him as a completely insane individual.  Your hair tingles when he speaks and you fear what he has in mind for Bond and M.  You also have your typical typecast of support, like the Bond girl (Naomie Harris) and government pandering members, but they don’t really stand out.  Ralph Fiennes is also in this film as a character named Malory, but his role felt like more like a plot device then a character.

The direction in this movie is flawlessly dark.  I have heard this throughout the movie blog world, and I have to agree with everyone out there.  This film feels like ‘The Dark Knight’ of the Bond world.  This movie is very thought provoking, and it garners that the audience will have full capsulation of each and every character within this film.  With its dark tone, it adds layer and depth to most of the characters; such as Bond, Silva and M.  There is a likeness and a fault to each character, and you watch as all their stories collide in the climax in a mansion in Scotland.  This movie is less action oriented (Even though it has a few action scenes) and relies more on deep character development and dialogue.  The tone makes you feel for each character, good and bad.  As I said, the direction relies heavily on performance and dialogue, which adds to the overall dark tone of the film.  You have intrigue for each character and feel the means of what they say, and even understand their motives.  All this needs to be noted on the excellent job that the director Sam Mendes does in moving this film with this tone.

The film is beautifully shot.  The usage of cameras zooming in and out brings a breathtaking kind of scope to the film.  From the beginning scenes in Istanbul to the highlands of Scotland, you are taking in by the cinematography, as the scenery envelopes the feel of the film.  You feel breathless and want to see more of this world.  Another good usage of this scope is that it brings emotion to the silence.  When there are silent scenes, you feel the passion in the solace.  You see the pureness in the color and the emotions in each character.  The score is also another soothing sensation.  The music makes you feel that the dramatic is dramatic, and the moments of peril or truly momentous and heartfelt.  You are remarkably brought to feel the tone through the music and camera work, which is a compliment to the crew of this film.

Overall, this movie shines on all fronts.  Great characters, soothing and dark tone in direction, wonderful cinematography and outstanding score.  With a few stumbling moments with side characters, nothing else detracts from this deeply, thought provoking Bond Film.  I recommend this movie for any fans of Bond, and a good outing for a weekend.


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