Josh Wilding Reviews: SKYFALL
While Casino Royale did a great job of reintroducing James Bond to a modern audience, Skyfall feels like the movie we should have had from the very start. That's by no means a statement which is meant to take anything away from either that film or the mostly enjoyable follow-up (Quantum of Solace), but rather than avoiding the well-known parts of the James Bond mythos that fans love so much, Sam Mendes embraces and re-imagines them in a way which makes them feel relevant again (take 'Q' for example). In fact, it doesn't seem at all unfair to say that the director has created a film which will receive at least some sort of buzz come awards season. Finding a perfect blend of action, humour and the somewhat campy elements which make the character so unique, Mendes' work here is outstanding. As a fan of Ian Fleming's novels, I can definitively say that Skyfall is THE best representation of them yet, although there's still plenty on offer here for those of you who just love the movies.
You've already read the take of a non-Bond fan here on CBM, but how did a hardcore fan of Ian Fleming's novels find Sam Mendes' Skyfall? Well, you can find out after the jump! [WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD]
A much needed injection of humour means that Daniel Craig is able to bring more personality to Bond than ever before. The material he's given to work with in John Logan's superb screenplay allows him to cover an awful lot of bases, and an unexpected trip into 007's past offers us the most revealing and personal glimpse into the character yet. Judi Dench's M is also more fleshed out in her seventh appearance as the head of MI6, and her story is both powerful and extremely emotional, as the bond between her and, er, Bond naturally progresses from the last two instalments. It's Javier Bardem as the unhinged and downright frightening Silver who really steals the show however. The scene in which we are first introduced to him (cleverly shot in a single take) is chilling stuff, as is the way he plays with Bond both during and afterwards. He has an incredible screen presence here and is the kind of villain that a franchise like this so desperately needs. The cast is also fleshed out with brilliant supporting performances from Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney and Ben Whishaw.
It's hard to find any major flaws with Skyfall. The action is top-notch, with a thrilling opening, hugely impressive set pieces throughout, and an ending which is up there with the likes of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises in terms of sheer edge of your seat excitement and emotional pay-off. Sam Mendes and John Logan are a real dream team, and one can only hope that they're reunited for the next Bond film or at least some other project in the near future. The decision to set most of the film in Britain also separates it from the pack, especially as the previous instalments in the franchise and the likes of The Bourne Legacy have taken us to enough exotic locations that they're all beginning to look the same! Seeing Bond in London makes this feel as uniquely British as you would hope and expect, and actually makes the foreign lands we are taken to seem all the more unique and refreshing. Throw in a top notch score, a wonderful opening credits sequence with Adele's 'Skyfall' and excellent special effects, and you're in for a hell of a ride. And oh man, that ending...if you're a Bond fan, you will most definitely be left with a huge grin on your face!
Skyfall is not only the best Bond movie of all-time, but one of the best films to be released this year. For new and old fans alike, this is truly a must-see. Superb.
Daniel Craig is back as James Bond 007 in Skyfall, the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time. In Skyfall, Bond’s loyalty to M (Judi Dench) is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Daniel Craig as James Bond
Javier Bardem as ?????
Judi Dench as M
Ralph Fiennes as ?????
Albert Finney as ?????
Naomie Harris as Eve
Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine
Ben Whishaw as Q
RELEASE DATE: October 26th, 2012 (UK) November 9th, 2012 (US)
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