Get out your PPKs and martinis, we're reviewing Skyfall!
When a list of every agent in the field gets out of MI6's hands, there's only one agent who can hope to get it back, James Bond. But is he too old and out of date for the job?
Sometimes you wonder if a movie really is as good as everyone says, or if they've all just drank the koolaid. It's especially hard to believe that this is the "Best Bond movie ever" after the crapfest that was Quantum of Solace(I STILL don't know how many Solaces are in a Quantum!)., but bloody hell is Skyfall really good. It's surprising how good it is. It isn't just action movie good, it's movie movie good.
It's odd to think my favorite part of a James Bond movie isn't an over-the-top action shot, but instead a quiet scene of a man walking down a corridor and talking. But there it is. Skyfall is shot in such a beautiful meaningful way you'll wonder if you haven't walked into the wrong theater...in the wrong century. The cinematography can be really slow and eloquent or it can be a blur of moving images. What I'm saying is it feels like a spy movie filled with intrigue and suspense, not just action. Which is weird considering movies today, and especially considering the last 2 Bond films with their RAAGH BOND SMASH modern action Bond.
Not to say that there isn't a buttload of great action. There's car chases, contract killing, hand-to-hand-to-lizard fighting, gun battles, high-speed train chases, and major destruction to metropolitan areas. The opening action sequences is a great action-stuffed set-piece and perfect for setting up the rest of the movie. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's the best James Bond movie(not having that discussion here) but I will say they finally brought Bond back to his glory days.
That's another separation between the previous Quantum of Solace and even Casino Royale; this actually feels like a James Bond movie. Daniel Craig's brutish Bond has finally come into his own, sneaking, flirting, and quiping wiht the best of Bonds. They have a ton of callbacks to previous Bond films and they've finally brought the series back to its roots.
The story is engaging and while it has a fairly simple plot, it'll keep you guessing. What's absolutely brilliant is how much this is a real movie and not just a Big Dumb Action Movie. They give its characters interesting motivations, let Bond grow as a character without breaking him too much, and make the story a relevant metaphor to the Bond franchise. In the movie, Bond has been doing this for a while, and people are starting to think maybe he's not cut out for the spy-game anymore. In fact, with the surge of cyberterrorism, maybe the whole spy-game is out of date. It perfectly mirrors how the Bond movies have been struggling to find their place in the not-so-cold war, less chauvinistic modern world, and even how these modern Daniel Craig Bond films have been to show the audience that they still matter, and can still get the job done. It's pretty amazing.
Javier Bardem plays an incredibly creepy villain as Silva, though playing a villain has been easy for him since No Country for Old Men(I still would never want to meet him in a dark alley). Although, now that I watched MovieBob's review, I can't unsee how similar he is to The Dark Knight's Joker. Naomie Harris as Eve is fun and flirty, and I'm glad to see her in the series. Ralph Fiennes as Mallory is a welcomed addition, but remember guys, he's not Lord Voldermort. NO GUYS HE HAS A NOSE THIS TIME STOP LOOKING AT HIM LIKE THAT. Ben Whishaw is very funny as Q and I can imagine a lot of Tumblr users are going to go gaga over him for being the smart funny cute guy. Judi Dench is still the hardest acting woman in this movie, and a certified badass.
I love Adelle's opening song, and while the opening credits are good(and the name 'Skyfall' actually makes sense in the movie), it's not better than the Casino Royale opening credits(which are basically a graphic designer's wet dream). There are naked girls floating around and it is very pretty and super reminiscent of the classic openings, but you can't tell me it's as good. Stop it.
THE GOOD: Great action, great meaningful cinematography, fun, lots of Bond references, great fight sequences, shirtless Daniel Craig, good opening song, creepy bad guy, overall great movie
THE BAD: Bad guy kind of reminiscent of the Joker, opening credits aren't great
THE VERDICT: $$$$$ See it! Multiple times! Then add it to your Bond collection right next to Casino Royale! No, no that was the last one, quiet.
MOVIES LIKE IT: Any other great James Bond movie.
ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: James Bond is sneaking up to an assassin in a completly glass building at night. They play with reflections of shimmering billboard advertisements just outside. It's incredbily tense and beautifully shot. You'd think it's a low-budget art film, and then they start fighting.