I’m just going to get to the point. If you liked the last two Daniel Craig Bond films, then you are going to love this one. If you are a Bond fan at all, really, Skyfall will not disappoint. It’s classic Bond. It’s narrative is tighter than Quantum of Solace and brings back a bit more of the humor while still honoring the darkness in Bond and the sense of betrayal he has come to feel.
It starts out with the, now obligatory, chase scene I’ve come to relish over these last three films. It’s not quite as stylized as the Parkour sequence in Casino Royal, and it goes a bit more over the top than the previous films but the payoff is so worth it. The result (and this isn’t a spoiler as it’s clearly seen in the trailer) is Bond’s presumed death and subsequent resurrection. MI6 is in serious trouble, M is being forced to retire, secret agents everywhere are being picked off one by one, and Bond has been hitting the bottle just a little too hard trying to make it okay that he’s making everyone believe that he’s dead. However, Bond’s desire to stay dead is trumped by his desire for justice (or possibly revenge). And he’s finally going to meet his match… a rogue agent from M’s days in Hong Kong, the best of the best at the time. Javier Bardem is a great villain and makes some extremely interesting choices with this character. It’s unnerving at first but as the film goes on it makes more and more sense. He’s unlike any villain I have ever seen and he should be given a great deal of credit for helping keep the Bond films feel fresh.
Director Sam Mendes‘ (American Beauty, Road To Perdition) more dramatic style compliments veteran Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade’s balancing act of action, mystery and humor. The film is super tight and doesn’t feel nearly as long as it’s 143 minute run time. A lot of people have been saying Skyfall feels heavily influenced by Nolan’s The Dark Knight. I agree with these people. The narrative, style and especially character development have a great deal in common with The Dark Knight, and Mendes even admitted in an interview that it was no accident.
There are so many other little things in Skyfall that make it a gem, and one that pays homage to the original Bond films. But you are going to have to see it for yourself because giving it away would ruin all the revealing moments. Let’s just say Ralph Fiennes is more than he appears, Bond’s new quartemaster (Q), Ben Whishaw (Layer Cake, Perfume: The Story of a Murder), is an amazing choice, several mysteries from Bond’s past are brought to light and it’s oh. so. satisfying. Overall it may or may not be better than Casino Royal, but I’ll have a great time watching them both over and over again trying to figure it out.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget the new Bond girls!
See the official trailer below: