Random Article


 
Must See..
 

Skyfall Review

 
skyfall_post-650
skyfall_post-650
skyfall_post-650

 
At A Glance...
 

Genre: ,
 
Director:
 
Age Rating: ,
 
Actor: ,
 
Length: 143
 
Release Date: 26th October 2012
 
Studio: MGM
 
Story Line: Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
 
Producer: Barbara Broccoli
 
Composer: Thomas Newman
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
4/ 5


User Rating
1 total rating

 

We liked?


  • Great action & set pieces
  • Bringing Bond back with style
  • Grounded and believable villain
  • Daniel Craig finally takes ownership of Bond
  • Superb show stealing performance by Dench
  • Wonderful Cinematography in places

Not so much?


  • Villain is just not menacing enough
  • Doesn't go far enough in "Bond as a broken weapon" direction
  • Some flat spots in the story and needless injection of Tennyson, Shakespeare etc


Final Fiendish Findings?

All told the package hangs together superbly well. Every performance is superb but Judie Dench steals the show. The new villain is not as outright menacing as he could/should have been but this is a more realistic villain than any other Bond title.

The set pieces are gratifying, well performed, exciting and frequent enough to break up the more serious emotion undertones of the movie. In Skyfall we are finally treated to a new Bond, not just a transitional character. Daniel Craig has taken the character as his own, with an edgier and emotionally accessible Bond. Perhaps the first truly successfully serious Bond since Connery’s earlier work (Dalton tried but the scripts just weren’t there).

Skyfall is a beautifully shot and acted movie – regardless of the Bond franchise. With the addition of the franchise it elevates it to another level offering one of the finest Bond movies for many years and crowning the 50th anniversary beautifully.

0
Posted October 30, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

When a series is coming up on its 23rd outing the last thing you really expect it to be doing is finally getting to know the main character – welcome to Bond’s 50th year of thwarting plots and bedding beauties.

In a scene early in the movie M, the ever incredible Judie Dench, turns to Bond ad says “You know the rules of the game. You’ve been playing it long enough!”. This reminds us of just how long Bond, currently in the care of Daniel Craig, has been with us. After all these years you don’t really expect someone to turn a character you thought you knew well on its head and show you the softer underbelly – well as soft as Bond can be in the circumstances.

Skyfall’s plot is relatively simple in many ways. Bond starts out in Istanbul with his gorgeous female partner Eve. They’re desperately attempting to shut down an assassin who has made off with a hard drive containing a list of all the worlds secret operatives on it (or what Mission Impossible called “The NOC List”. A series of bad calls see Bond dropped by a sniper shot and tumbling off a train in to a river far below. Presumed dead the world moves on without Bond. Until he resurfaces a few months later after an attack hits MI6 and seems to be targeted at M. Bond must now race to face his past, find his place in the future and protect the one constant in his life, M.

With such a weight of pressure from previous movies and the nostalgia of the 50th anniversary Oscar winning director Sam Mendes could easily have bowed to pressure and produced a movie that just hit all the right beats. Where as in fact the only thing that feels run of the mill in the movie happens to be the Adele penned title track, Skyfall. It’s not bad, and it does work well in the theatre but so much of the movie has moved on it just feels a little too much like fan service or channelling Shirley Bassey.

skyfall broken bond

Skyfall presents us with a Bond that is broken. Sure in Casino Royale he was shaken (not stirred!) by the loss of a lover. In the middling at best Quantum of Solace he was a man coming apart but still very much Bond. In Skyfall the providence that being dead has afforded him means he o longer knows who he is without “the job” to turn to. After some serious drinking ad playing chicken with a scorpion Bond returns to his old life. He finds it fractured, his beloved MI6 under attack and taskmaster M’s world is crumbling around her. Lurking in the shadows of M’s home Bond is dishevelled, drunk, unshaven and snarling. After stating “I’ll go stay in a hotel”, Bond is totally un-phased with M’s perfectly timed “Well you’re not bloody staying here!”.

You see although this is a Bond move he must share centre stage with Judie Dench’s M. The character she has portrayed for 7 movies now finally finishes the transition from steel-hearted matriarch to the unlikely mother-figure in Bond’s life. She’s sent scores of agents to die. She order “Just take the bloody shot!” that caused Bond to be knocked from the train at the start of the movie. Despite this Bond would easily give his life to preserve hers.

A former agent that’s taken the other route though is Silva, played by Javier Bardem. Twisted beyond belief by his treatment and abandonment by M; Silva is out for revenge by destroying M and what she has built. One thing you can say for Silva, he knows how to make an entrance. The character is introduced in one of the most lingering and monologue heavy Bond villain introductions ever. As a distant dot in the distance starts to talk and slowly come towards camera you get your first view of Silva in a beautifully shot scene. He is every part as swaggering and cool as Bond. His blonde hair and eyebrows, mixed with the washed out tones of his suit, make him look ghost like in appearance. What should come out is a slightly whiny English or American voice but instead a thick Spanish lilt is heard. Silva is, to my mind, not a great villain. I can concede, however, that he is the best constructed villain in the series. He has real motive and malice. His actions are pure and relatable. This is no “I want you to give me the world!” type of plot this is simply “you wronged me and you shall pay” plot.

It has to be said that the movie is, at more times than not, gorgeously shot. From the neon heavy fight sequence in Shaghai, the afore mentioned Silva monologue, a lantern filled boat ride and the bleak but gorgeous Highlands scenes are all stand out moments. The film is full of natural beauty forged from exquisite lighting and locations.

Action is thick and fast throughout the whole movie. There are moments of true emotional resonance too which was most unexpected from a Bond movie. New actors actors to the franchise bring sterling performances throughout. Ralph Feinnes as the overly hands-on MI6 overseeing bureaucrat is superb and keeps you guessing as to his loyalties. The addition of Albert Finney always make a movie better and new agent Eve (played by Naomi Harris), she that shot bond at the start, is a welcome and rewarding addition to the franchise. Finally the task of replacing Desmon Llewelyn as the definitive Q has never been addressed. This changes in Skyfall with the addition of fresh faced, “You’ve still got spots!” Bond quips, quartermaster Ben Wishaw. He lends an air of modern day geek-chic to the proceedings and Bond deals with it as best he can – with a gruff grimace and a lasting quip.

Skyfall is the third outing for Daniel Craig’s interpretation of James Bond. I’ve had no real feelings either way for Craig’s Bond in the last movies. He was good enough to be different in Casino Royale and inoffensive in Quantum of Solace. It’s here though, in Skyfall, that we truly find Daniel Craig’s Bond. The world worn, broken exterior of a young man that should be in his prime strikes home the life these agents live. At his moderate years Bond could be facing the scrap heap already. Returning from the dead was one thing but he’s not the man he used to be – he can barely do a few chin-ups. Most telling though is that Bond realises the man he used to be never truly existed.

All of this isn’t evident on the screen – this isn’t a deep an meaningful art house movie either. You get Bond, running about, shooting guys and beating up others. You get pretty girls, fast cars (including an old favourite) and ludicrous stunts. You also get a sub story that edges this movie from the realms of the nudge-nudge wink-wink style spy spoofs of old and moves them more towards a Tinker Tailor mentality.

skyfall

Final Thoughts

All told the package hangs together superbly well. Every performance is superb but Judie Dench steals the show. The new villain is not as outright menacing as he could/should have been but this is a more realistic villain than any other Bond title.

The set pieces are gratifying, well performed, exciting and frequent enough to break up the more serious emotion undertones of the movie. In Skyfall we are finally treated to a new Bond, not just a transitional character. Daniel Craig has taken the character as his own, with an edgier and emotionally accessible Bond. Perhaps the first truly successfully serious Bond since Connery’s earlier work (Dalton tried but the scripts just weren’t there).

Skyfall is a beautifully shot and acted movie – regardless of the Bond franchise. With the addition of the franchise it elevates it to another level offering one of the finest Bond movies for many years and crowning the 50th anniversary beautifully.


Zeth

 
Zeth is our EU ninja and Editor in Chief. He's been writing about video games since 2008 when he started on BrutalGamer. He's pretty old and has been a gamer since he played Space Invaders as a young boy in the 80's. His genre tastes lean towards platformers, point-and-click adventure, action-adventure and shooters but he'll turn his hand to anything.