A Movie Review on Skyfall (2012)
Skyfall is sitting comfortably at the top of the box office right now after grossing nearly $90 million over the weekend, and over $500 million worldwide since its release. As I write this review Skyfall currently holds a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, and is widely being considered as one of the greatest, if THE greatest James Bond film in 50 year old lifespan. The series is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and why not celebrate with the best James Bond of them all. Although I have not seen all of the James Bond films, out of the many that I have seen I can easily consider Skyfall as the best. I'll still always have a soft spot for GoldenEye and Casino Royal, but Skyfall now sits on top of my list.
Casino Royal introduced us to the new face of James Bond, Daniel Craig. He was truly fantastic in that film, and it reinvigorated the 007/James Bond franchise created by Ian Fleming. Quantum of Solace was not as well received and many felt like it was a misstep by the franchise. Daniel Craig still continued to get praise for his portrayal of James Bond. Skyfall was finally released after an MGM bankruptcy put production on hold for a while, but the delay may have only helped to strengthen the movie. Skyfall follows James Bond as he is forced to face off against a new enemy, a man from both his and M's past who threatens to bring M's world crashing down upon her. After MI6 is attacked Bond must track down the mad man responsible before M becomes his next victim.
Sam Mendes, the director of Skyfall, is the perfect choice for this film. The way he delivers this film to us is truly spectacular, and he seems to handle the behind the camera duties to near perfection. I would love to see him return to direct the next James Bond film. The movie looks gorgeous, and its unfortunate that I was unable to see it in IMAX. I understand that the film was not filmed in IMAX, but to see it on the larger screen would have been well worth it. After the already huge success of this movie it should be a given that the next film would be filmed in IMAX format.
Great action scenes are a huge staple of the James Bond/007 series, and Skyfall delivers on that front. The movies opens with a spectacular scene of mayhem involving motorcycles, a train, and an Excavator while Bond chases after a man with an important hard drive. It's a great way to open up the film, and Mendes shows that he clearly knows his way about big action scenes. This initial action scene sets the tone for the rest of the film, and shows us that this film has come out fighting for the top. The middle of the film features some smaller, but still great, action scenes including an scene on an abandoned city island and a shoot out at a government building. The ending action sequence is just, WOW. You'll have to see it for your self. Mendes directs these action scenes with style and finesse, while continuing the brutal and gritty feeling that the Daniel Craig James Bond brings to the fight and action scenes.
Aside from the spectacular action scenes, the movie features an emotional, character driven story that will drive home the fact that this is the best James Bond film yet. This may also be one of the most personal Bond stories told, with M and Bond's past coming back to haunt them. Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem, isn't the greatest Bond villain to ever grace the screen, but he is a formidable enemy to both M and Bond, and brings a sense of personal threat to the film. He wants nothing more than to see M burn. Kudos to the three writers of the movie for weaving a very personal, emotional, and entertaining story that instantly grabs the audience, and doesn't let go.
The acting is superb with Daniel Craig delivering another great performance as Bond. I really feel that he is one of best Bonds, bringing us a gritty realism to the role that the other Bonds didn't. Judi Dench delivers another fantastic performance as M, her sixth time doing so, in a much larger role than the previous films. Ralph Fiennes character of Gareth Mallory comes across as a bit of a [expletive] in the beginning of the film, but his character really rounds outs, and you'll come to like him by the end. Fiennes does a great job with the role, and hopefully we'll see more of him in future films. Another newcomer to the Bond verse is Eve, played by the beautiful Naomie Harris, who works along side Bond numerous times throughout the film. I thought that Ben Whishaw as the new Q was perfect. He completely fits the role of a new and improved Q. It's a shame that we didn't really get to see many gadgets in this film. Hopefully in the next one we do. The only performance I was completely sold on was Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the main villain of the movie. I can't put a finger on it, but something just felt off about his character and performance.
Skyfall is a near-perfect entry into the James Bond series, and easily the best James Bond film to ever be released. I'll even go as far as to say that Skyfall is one of the best movies of the year. Easily top five. It delivers some spectacular action sequences to along side a great, emotional character driven story, with some really great performances by its actors. I couldn't recommend this movie anymore. You must see it.
Directed by Sam Mendes
Starring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Rory Kinnear, and Javier Bardem.
Rated PG-13. Runtime: 143 Minutes