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'Skyfall' Starring Daniel Craig and Directed By Sam Mendes

The 23rd James Bond film directed by Sam Mendes

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007 is Back to Fix The "Bond"!

  • Nov 11, 2012
The James Bond series (movie franchise) have stood tall for 50 years, survived the switch between various actors (Sean Connery being one of them) and now with this 23rd installment, the filmmakers are poised to wrap up the what some saw as a ‘reboot’ with Daniel Craig’s 3rd performance in the lead character. “Casino Royale” was fantastic and breathed new life into the “Bond identity”. While Quantum of Solace “ was indeed flawed, it was still better than other films in the genre during that year. “Skyfall” closes several loose ends, re-introduces two recurring characters in the series and even adds a significant dimension to Bond and M’s relationship.

                          Daniel Craig as James Bond in "Skyfall."

On a mission in Turkey, Bond (Daniel Craig) is hot on the trail of a mercenary to recover a computer hard drive that contains the NATO operatives out in the field. Assisted by an agent named Eve (Naomie Harris), the resulting skirmish results with Bond being shot and believed to be dead. M’s (Judi Dench) command is now being scrutinized by Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) because of the loss of the drive. This loss causes some agents’ lives, some whose covers are blown and their lives become in danger as a result. Bond who had taken advantage of his supposed ‘death’ to retire, returns to London. Despite being injured, Bond is sent out back to the field by M and this takes him on a collision course with a former MI-6 operative Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem). Silva was one of the best, and he now intends to use all his skills to outmaneuver Bond and take revenge on M.

                       Naomie Harris in "Skyfall."

                       Daniel Craig as James Bond in "Skyfall."

                      Daniel Craig as James Bond in "Skyfall."

Director Sam Mendes’ “Skyfall” was a pretty simple plot when you look at it from its core. It is all about a former agent turned rogue, who then turns on his creators with the current ‘best’ (if a little damaged) taking a stand to stop him. What the film does quite well is the fact that while the core mechanics of the plot were doubtlessly simple, the execution, the flow of the film, and the way it establishes the stakes were done quite well. The screenplay played on its strengths and does it remarkably. It establishes a relationship between M, Bond and Silva, which gave it the right narrative impact and dictated its flow. Silva was not just your ‘standard’ 007 bad guy; this is a man obsessed and angered at the very system that has created him and Bond.

In some ways, the script makes the ‘villain’ much more, as it tries to establish some sympathy for Silva in themes of loyalty, honor and betrayal. Bardem was the right man for the role, as he was creepy, sadistic, ruthless and cold. They were qualities that gave his character the needed visceral punch. The direction also makes a connection as to what orders are, and the risks behind the job. Putting the relationship between M and Bond as a close parallel to what happened in the past makes for some intricacies in the plot. Bond could just as easily end up as Silva, but he was a different person. Mendes and company was able to define the stakes and the characters as a unit which made for its suspenseful screenplay. It was also nice to see a little of Bond’s past (hence the title “Skyfall“), and his roots, something that was lightly touched on in previous Bond movies but never fully explored. “Skyfall” did some things that weren’t done before which made it a significant part of the series.

                       Ben Whishaw as Q and Daniel Craig as James Bond in "Skyfall."

                      Javier Bardem in "Skyfall."

                      Daniel Craig and Berenice Marlohe in "Skyfall."

From the beginning of the film, the direction hardly loses a step. Each played a part in the development of the previous one, as the film moved at a pace that was quick, and yet didn’t fail to instill some dramatic elements in the plot’s development. As with any Bond film, close calls, hits, explosions, gunfire and stunts were involved in the action sequences. The direction was able to have its viewers become attached to what they were watching on screen. The action scenes were also nicely placed and spaced, that it did not lose momentum. The film also made some jabs to generate nostalgia as one of 007’s more famous super-cars made a re-appearance. Bond and Silva sought to maneuver and outsmart the other, the purity of the action scenes made the film much more exciting and suspenseful. As with most of Craig’s films as 007, the film stays raw and rough, the gadgetry used weren’t outrageous, and stayed within the realms of realism. I also enjoyed the last act where someone with the far superior-advanced weaponry was faced with something a little more ‘dated’, with cunning and wits behind them.

                          Ralph Fiennes in "Skyfall."

“Skyfall” is a film that may be one of the best of the series. It developed the plot well and it even added some layers to its characters. True, I wasn’t too keen with the new ‘Q’ (Ben Whishaw) but it had enough surprises, subtle humor, credible performances and action to immerse me in the film. It even made for some ‘fan service’ as it served up the usual staples of the 007 franchise; hot, enigmatic “Bond women” (yay, Benerice Marlohe!) and with the return of the character, Miss Moneypenny. Remember, action and intrigue are what defines “James Bond 007” and “Skyfall” has plenty to spare.

Highly Recommended! [4 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

                    Judi Dench in "Skyfall."

Poster art for "Skyfall."  Poster art for "Skyfall."

007 is Back to Fix The 007 is Back to Fix The

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November 13, 2012
I did enjoy the other two so I will be seeing this eventually.
November 13, 2012
Craig may be one of the better "Bonds" in my opinion.
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Quick Tip by . October 29, 2012
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