Skyfall

Brilliantly shot, wonderfully acted, and highly entertaining, Skyfall delivers the best Bond of the Craig era. The success of the movie lies with the great performances, in particular with Javier Bardem as Silva. The action scenes are big and impressive creating a fun and thrilling ride. With subtle cues and callbacks Skyfall keeps the tradition of Bond alive, while still deviating from the familiar path.

Until last week I was only vaguely familiar with the 007 series. Of course I could pick out famous quotes and nods through various pop culture references but other than that I wasn’t that well versed in the history and tradition of James Bond. It made the task of reviewing Skyfall a bit daunting, but still exciting. With over fifty years of James Bond to sift through, there were numerous ways to approach it, but ultimately I decided to start with Daniel Craig’s Bond.

 

Before Skyfall, I was beginning to think that I just wasn’t into the secret agent’s films. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace didn’t do much for me, and left me a little underwhelmed. The action was great, I liked Craig’s take James Bond well enough, but overall nothing really gripped me. Skyfall on the other hand had me hooked from start to finish. The action was superb, the character arcs fulfilling, and humor sprinkled nicely throughout the film. Even with the movie sitting at 2 and half hours, I found myself wishing that the fun ride could keep going.

A hero is only as good as their villain and that’s where Skyfall succeeds over Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Silva, played by Javier Bardem, is menacing, flamboyant, and straight up creepy. The thing I liked about this villain was that he made things personal and it gave the film a better sense of urgency.  The other villains, although evil in their own ways, never felt like a real threat to Bond, which didn’t make them as interesting for me. Silva on the other hand had history with the MI6 agency, which provided great parallels between Silva and Bond as well as depth to the conflict. The dialogue between Silva and Bond is extremely entertaining and shows just how much you love to hate Bardem’s character. Although some of Silva’s “masterful plans” follow familiar arcs (See The Dark Knight, The Avengers), the performance by Bardem is more than enough to overlook it. Overall, the cast was well done and added a lot of great additions. Ben Wishaw in particular was one of my favorites in the film and worked really well along side Daniel Craig’s Bond. Wishaw’s performances in Cloud Atlas, as well as Skyfall have been spectacular and I really can’t wait to see him in bigger roles.

Visually Skyfall is the best out of Craig Trilogy. The scenes in Shanghai were gorgeous and featured some great cinematography. There’s a scene where Bond takes on an enemy in front of a giant flashing billboard providing an awesome fight scene comprised of only silhouettes. I’m still scratching my head at the inclusion of a scene in Shanghai where Bond comes across some computer-generated reptiles. It looked extremely rough, and could have used a little more polish. It was minor, but still big enough to be a distraction.

With over fifty years of Bond it’s got to be hard to please everybody. The thing that was nice about Skyfall was that it seemed to balance the subtle cues and callbacks, as well as deviating from the familiar path. As a relative newcomer to the series it was a great way to solidify my interest in James Bond.

The climatic scene of the movie features a lot of impressive action pieces, which was set among beautiful nighttime scenery. The final scenes contained such high energy that I must admit I was a little disappointed with the fact that the climax seemed to lose a little bit of that momentum. The way certain characters were handled could have been done a little better. However, the movie wraps things up nicely and paves the way for Daniel Craig to continue his take on James Bond.

Brilliantly shot, wonderfully acted, and highly entertaining, Skyfall delivers the best Bond of the Craig era. The success of the movie lies with the great performances, in particular with Javier Bardem as Silva. The action scenes are big and impressive creating a fun and thrilling ride. With subtle cues and callbacks Skyfall keeps the tradition of Bond alive, while still deviating from the familiar path.

Interested in writing reviews or news posts for Thinking Cinematic? Contact me at rrsolis@me.com! You can also send your guest reviews there too!

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Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
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Email: Rrsolis@me.com

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2 responses to “Skyfall

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of February 11th | Thinking Cinematic

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