Rating: 3.5/5 stars (Three-and-a-half stars)
Star Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Ben Whishaw.
What’s Good: Javier Bardem as the tantalizing baddie; Bond at his best; some electrifying action.
What’s Bad: The repetitiveness in some parts; some convenient escapes; the forced back story for Bond.
Loo Break: None.
Watch or Not?: Chase sequences, the stiff Brit humour, the ladies swoon into his arms: Bond is back with a nemesis who’s deviously destructive. Don’t miss this one.
Being ‘Bond’ is a double-edged sword. If you miss a beat, you become one of the forgotten MI6 gun slingers. But if you do make the cut, you make history like Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan. Daniel Craig is almost there.
For the familiar and the unfamiliar, Ian Fleming’s Bond is back on the silver screen in its 50th year. Bond (Daniel Craig) is on the chase of an assassin in Istanbul who has hacked the identities of secret agents and relentlessly follows him in a car, motorbike and on a train. In a desperate bid to get the assassin, M (Judi Dench) orders a blind shot in which Bond gets the bullet. Physically and emotionally hurt, Bond lays low as everyone in MI6 assumes him dead.
The villain starts revealing the cover of the secret agents and blows up the MI6 headquarters. This forces Bond out of his early retirement, but the gunshot and his drinking make him more of a liability. Yet, M puts him back on the case and Bond finds himself in Shanghai and London chasing the assassin while enjoying the company of some beautiful ladies (Bérénice Marlohe and Naomie Harris).
Finally, Bond comes face-to-face to his nemesis: the ex-agent Silva (Javier Bardem) who’s an evil genius, psychopath and deliciously devious. Bond manages to capture Silva and presents him before M. The more Silva reveals about himself and his history with M and the MI6, the deeper the plot gets. And Silva will go to any lengths to get back at M.
The rest of the movie reveals more of Bond’s history, Silva’s desperation to get M and more…
Skyfall Review: Script Analysis
Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan revive Ian Fleming’s Bond very well, but there’s something that just doesn’t tick. Bond is suave, sexy, brooding and witty, yet you want him to be subtler and smoother.
The script has enough chases and twists to keep you on the edge of your seat, yet there are times when it gets too convenient. The whole tragic childhood of Bond also seem a bit forced. The Bond girls are just for show. Other characterizations, and the ending, have been well written.
Skyfall Review: Star Performances
Daniel Craig is smooth as James Bond (if only you could not compare him to his excellent predecessors!). Judi Dench is elegant as M. Javier Bardem couldn’t have done better as the oily, crafty and bitter Silva. He brings out the brilliance and an unnatural fiendishness in his character. Naomie Harris and Bérénice Marlohe get little space as the Bond girls. Ben Whishaw is dapper as Q.
Skyfall Review: Direction, Editing & Technical Aspects
Sam Mendes has big boots to fill and almost does so. There are brilliant parts of the movie but also ones that are lazy and make you roll your eyes. The chase sequences, fights and underwater struggle are captivating. Roger Deakins’ cinematography is eye-catching. Stuart Baird’s editing is sharp and Thomas Newman’s music is very good. There are a few smart references to previous movies of the franchise with the stunning Aston Martin DB5. The special effects are superb.
Skyfall Review: The Last Word
Skyfall has everything going for it with the machines, action, baddies, Bond and the ladies. You might be a tad let down if you keep the previous movies as a benchmark though.