The iconic super spy James Bond has been through a lot over the years. Many actors have played the part, some were up to snuff and some embraced the role. Everyone has their favorite Bonds and their own opinions on which is the best movie but we can all agree that all of them are some of the best spy movies around. Bond sells, anytime a Bond movie comes out it does great. Men went to be Bond, and women want to be with Bond. He is a polarizing figure that everyone knows and loves. Skyfall on the other hand rings in the fiftieth anniversary of Bond. It also marks the third movie with Daniel Craig stepping into the suit and tie with his signature PP7 sidearm. For all intensive purposes, this is my favorite Bond movie to date. Granted, I have not seen all of them but in terms of story this was for certain the deepest I have seen and featured a villain that was the perfect antagonist for 007. This Bond film is set with terrific action sequences, which we have come to expect with Craig in the part, but above all else the scenes were shot beautifully by Sam Mendes and the script was superb.
The film starts in a similar fashion to the previous films with Craig in the role of James Bond. He is chasing a terrorist of sorts throughout a foreign country. It is an engaging scene and truly impressive in terms of cinematography. However, it all ends rather unfortunately for Bond. Bond has to jump on to a train (literally) to chase down the thief who stole a list containing the identities of every M16 agent. Bond fights the agent while aboard the train and his partner on the mission, Eve (Naomie Harris), has a shot on the target but waits for confirmation by M. Eve explains it isn't a clean shot, but M doesn't care as the safety of all M16 agents far outweighs the safety of just one agent. Eve takes the shot and hits Bond which sends him down a steep fall from high up in the sky. M16 presumes he is dead, but if Bond were to die in the opening sequence then it wouldn't be too much of a movie now would it. Bond takes him early retirement on a beach and we are treated to seeing him having fun with the local women and playing his odds in drinking games at the bar. Meanwhile in London, M struggles to pick up the pieces from the failed mission and even more so when M16 is attacked. The attack becomes world wide news, which Bond gets wind of and decides to get back into the game.
Bond comes back to a world of espionage that begs the question, how much is a trigger man like himself needed in the new world of cyber terrorism? It is a legitimate question when you take into consideration that this new, faceless villain is attacking through technology which is something completely out of Bond's element. It is a completely different game that he is walking into and out of shape. M explains how it is protocol for an agent that has left and come back to be run through mental and physical evaluations. He fails on just about every test yet, M knows the man and is a bit loyal to him. She sends him out on the mission to find this new faceless villain, starting with the man that stole the list from them. Before then he meets the new Q (Ben Whishaw). Q surprises Bond seeing how he is for starters, a guy and not a woman. This sets him in his element as he can track down a man with a face rather easily and as he travels down that path it eventually leads him to his true mark.
The new villain, Silva (Javier Bardem), is cut from the same cloth as Bond. In his opening scene he is introduced in a beautiful way thanks to great camera work by Sam Mendes and his cinematographer. Silva in a lot of ways functions as a big brother to Bond as he was once M's favorite agent long ago. His outlook on everything changed drastically when he felt that M had cast him to the wolves and effectively betraying him in the worst possible way. He attempts to show Bond the error of M's ways and effectively bring him to his cause. Some will ultimately make the comparison of Silva and Bond's connection to that of the connection that Batman and the Joker had from The Dark Knight. However, this is simply different as it takes place in a universe that is much different. The two are brutal and highly effective killers but due to circumstances, Bond had not been corrupted like Silva. Where Silva was different then Bond was in his mind. Silva is an incredibly intelligent man thanks to his proficiency with a computer and also in understanding on how the M16 would respond to the crisis he presented them with. This forces Bond to think on his feet, albeit, wounded feet.
Hands down this is the best Bond film starring Daniel Craig and at the very least one of the very best Bond movies of all time. Craig delivers a specular performance in the role as he fights with himself constantly over his depression and overall boredom with his job. It is a much more complex Bond that Craig handles very well. The biggest surprise of this film would be that it doesn't really have a Bond girl in the sense that will all have grown accustomed to. When you really think about it objectively, the Bond girl in this film is M. M is the one character that brings him back into the fold and the one person he is constantly fighting for throughout the entire movie. He doesn't say it, he doesn't show it but he truly looks up to her like she is his mother. Javier Bardem to no surprise is fantastic in the role of Silva. It is natural for everyone to cling to a well portrayed villain more then a film's hero such as previous iconic villains in the past (Heath Ledger's Joker, being the first to come to mind) and that is also the case here. Bardem immediately rises the level of the film with his presence on screen and chemistry with Craig. Sam Mendes did a terrific job of directing on this film and had many truly impressive shots. All in all, it is a terrific movie and currently ranks as one of the best of the year. More importantly, it for sure ranks as one of the best Bond movies of all time so I think that alone should spring you to the theaters to go and enjoy it.
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