Movie Review – Skyfall

WARNING: Spoilers. There are small plot giveaways in this review.



IMDB Rating: 8.1/10 (126,583 votes)

Director: Sam Mendes

The poster for Skyfall.

A Skyfall poster variant.

One day, I was lying on my couch without a care in the world, scrolling through a program on my Mac called “Front Row”. After scrolling through some average films on the “Movie Trailers” section, like “That’s My Boy”, I came to a new one. One I hadn’t seen checked out yet. Skyfall. Hmm, peculiar. I clicked on the link and on came the trailer.

New James Bond film. Awesome.

That was 8 months ago. Now, I’ve seen the real thing. And I loved it.

This movie, unlike the last 2 Bond films (Casino Royale & Quantum of Solace), regained it sense of trademark Bond humour. CR and QoS were very serious films in comparison to the earlier Bond pics. This time around, they took a different approach. Make it funnier. Turned out, that was a good call. This movie made me laugh a few times; well, laugh isn’t really the right word. It was more of a chuckle. After all, people die frequently in Bond films. At least in the new ones they do.

In a lot of Bond films, the story progresses through 3 main characters. For example, in You’ll Only Live Twice (my favourite Bond film of ALL-TIME), the story goes from Aki, to Tiger Tanaka, to Blofeld, with Henderson playing a smaller role in it all. In Skyfall, it goes from Patrice, to Severine, and then to Raoul Silva.

The opening credit sequence is probably the best in Bond history. It’s just so well done. The song by Adele is such a great song. I’m not in the least bit surprised, as well, because Adele co-wrote it. It’s kind of hard to describe, so I should just let you watch it. I hope you don’t mind the link I put in being Italian, by the way, but it doesn’t change anything.

The music was really really good in this film. I’ve been told by my Dad (an expert on the subject) that Thomas Newman doesn’t do many action films, but he did a great job in setting the mood of the film and keeping the pace up all the way through. That’s the thing, though. He didn’t write many slow paced pieces, or soft pieces. It was all loud and room-filling, which is how a new Bond film should be. It’s not how the old ones are, but after all, it’s a new age of Bond.

A still of the opening chase in Skyfall.

The only problems with this film came in the opening scene, which I actually thought was pretty damn good for the most part. It was a vintage Bond chase. But it did have a few minor faults:

– The direction was too jagged. Too shaky. It hurt my eyes a little bit. I think it was just a case of too many shots.

– James Bond gets shot around the upper left pectoral/left shoulder blade. That would have bloody hurt, right? Even for the superhuman James Bond? Surely. Well, it had no effect on Bond. He was climbing up cranes and doing all this crazy stuff with a bullet stuck in his shoulder. How?

– Something very rare happens. Bond misses a shot. Multiple shots, actually. That is so unlike Bond. The only explanation is that Bond was out of sorts, but he wasn’t. He looked alright when he was driving up stairs with on a bike. He was running okay. So why was he missing his shots?

What I loved about this movie was, as mentioned before, it’s tendency to go back to the roots of the Bond movies, while staying fresh and modern at the same time. This is perfectly portrayed by the return of the Aston Martin. It was an 1965 Aston Martin DB5, to be precise. And it was bloody beautiful. I felt goosebumps when I saw that car on screen. What a great addition, and idea.

Daniel Craig standing in front of the sexy 1965 Aston Martin DB5.

The new Q is great. A few too little gadgets for my liking, but I did find the “radio” bit well done. Bond movies are known for their crazy gadgets, though. Nevertheless, Ben Wishaw did a good job in a hard role to play. Q – that’s a tough gig. He added a little bit of humour, which I really enjoyed, and is really very Q-esque. But in my opinion, no one can out-Q the original Q, Desmond Llewelyn. He is the master. Gee, I said Q a heap in that paragraph. Introducing the new Q…

Javier Bardem makes a bloody good villain, that’s for sure. I went to see this movie with a few friends, and all they would talk about after the movie was how good the villain was. And they were right. Bardem played the crazy Raoul Silva, a former MI6 agent who had connections with M, but was, in his words, “betrayed” by M and became hell-bent on revenge. His sarcastic yet deadly wit made this character among the best Bond villains. There have been countless good ones, and Silva is now in elite company.

A still of Javier Bardem in Skyfall.

Although some don’t like him as Bond, I love Daniel Craig. He fits. He just does. Only few men can play James Bond, and Craig has, in my eyes, proven himself to be one of them. He’s got it all; kick-ass fighting skills, a ripped body, undeniably good moves with the ladies (probably the most important one), agility in close-quarters combat, expert marksmanship, and a good set of hands to drive with. How can you go wrong?

Judi Dench is amazing in Skyfall. Truly amazing. She plays the whole “ruthless spy boss who knows the rules of the game” thing so well, yet somehow she manages to carry with her the line “think on your sins” with her throughout the movie. Then there’s Eve – a field agent who does something terrible, and retires from the field to work at a desk. I won’t give anything away, but she turns out to be someone a lot of people recognize. And finally, there’s the beautiful Berenice Marlohe, who is the main Bond girl in the movie. She does a very good job, too. She’s a mysterious one, but good-looking nonetheless.

All in all, this movie was beautiful. Beautifully made, beautifully written, and beautifully Bond. The fight scenes were so Bond-esque, as were the chases, the humour, and the women. This movie combined old with new. An innovator, if you will.

007 lives on.


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A few links.

An article from Forbes on the Aston Martin DB5 from Skyfall. Very interesting.

Some interviews with the stars of Skyfall.


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