Ror Reviews: SKYFALL
So yeah, Bond. It's not that I hate the movies, they just never really held my attention. As a kid I found them entertaining more often than not, but as I got older the shtick just wore thin. Bond shags a couple of chicks, spouts a few one liners, uses gadgets, beats the bad guys - ad infinitum. I know for most fans this is all part of the appeal, and the movies are fun, I was just never able to see them as proper, engrossing stories.
The 23rd outing for Commander James Bond has been met with rave reviews, and is being hailed by many critics as the best Bond movie yet. Does it live up to the hype? Click for a review from a non-007 fan..
Until Casino Royale that is.
Daniel Craig's first outing as 007 was and remains my favorite Bond movie by a fair margin. It managed to pull off being an edge of the seat action flick, and also get under the skin of the characters at the same time, giving us protagonists we could actually care about beyond waiting to see how they managed to escape the next perilous predicament. I was so excited for what the future held for this new take on Bond - and then Quantum Of Solace came along and bored the pants off me again. So I was understandably cautious about Skyfall, even with one of my favorite directors at the helm.
But I am pleased to report that my concerns, for the most part, were uncalled for. Skyfall is ALMOST a return to the intense, character based action of Casino Royale, but Sam Mendes also throws a few old-school Bond-isms in there too. Now while this will no doubt delight longtime fans, I found myself rolling me eyes I'm afraid. Not at everything, I actually ended up enjoying some of the lighter moments - the ones that didn't feel forced anyway - and the movie can be quite funny at times.
I'm not going to get into the plot too much, but the movie begins with a terrific action set piece, that leads to probably my favorite Bond opening credits yet, accompanied by Adele's excellent theme song. Then it's pretty much business as usual (tuxes, cars, chicks..large reptile that Bond can use as a stepping stone) until Javier Bardem's villain makes his grand entrance, and then business really picks up.
I think it's fair to say that Silva is the best Bond Villain yet - he's definitely my favorite. Bardem plays it camp, and some may feel he overdoes it a bit but for me his character is a welcome jolt to a movie that was starting to get a bit tiresome. If I have any complaints it's that he is not in it enough, and without getting too spoilery, we are robbed of a proper showdown between he and Bond. And what about Bond? Daniel Craig is great, as always. Even in Quantum Of Solace he impressed me, and here - with much better material to work with - he's a joy to watch. Naomie Harris is decent, but doesn't get enough to do, and the gorgeous and talented Berenice Marlohe is completely wasted - the focus of a particularly misogynistic "Bond" moment that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. But the real "Bond girl" here is actually Dame Judi Dench's M, and her extended screentime and scenes with Craig are highlights of the movie. Ralph Fiennes is as welcome a sight as ever, although his character feels a little shoe-horned in, and don't get me started on Albert Finney's tough old codger that pops up at the end! Apparently he was standing in the shadows of an old house with a shotgun for 30 years waiting to spout rubbish one-liners.
If you are a big fan anyway, Skyfall may very well become your new favorite Bond movie. It's exciting, cool and compelling, with a sense of fun (camp?) that will surely please most viewers. It's just behind Casino Royale for me, but then I am a miserable Bond hating git after all!
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