Bond

Countdown to Spectre: Skyfall (2012)

This is the next installment in my look back to the James Bond 007 series in anticipation for the new installment, Spectre coming out on November 6th. If you are interested in any of my earlier installments, click here.

When James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) latest mission does not go according to plan, it leads to an unfortunate turn of events where undercover agents around the world are exposed, and MI6 is attacked, forcing M (Judi Dench) to relocate the agency. With the assistance of field agent Eve (Naomie Harris), Bond must take to the shadows to follow the trail of Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a man from M’s past who wants to settle an old score.

So this is the last Bond film for my retrospective. I was intending on having this done before Spectre was released a few days ago but life happened. This film is Daniel Craig’s last Bond film so far (again supposed to have finished this before Spectre) and there is a good chance that he’ll come back for more (but that’s a conversation for my Spectre review). Craig’s Bond films so far have not exactly been consistent with Casino Royale having a good story and some good action and Quantum of Solace having good action and no story. The film starts off we an exciting pre-credits scene where we see Bond and Eve on a case and of course it doesn’t end well (like most Bond films go). This led to a pretty good opening credit sequence featuring the film’s theme, also called Skyfall by Adele, is definitely one of the best themes of all time and deservedly won the Oscar for Best Original Song. The plot is here is simple enough as Bond and MI6 try to stop Silva from exposing undercover agents and exacting his revenge on M. The film did have some solid action throughout. The action was both exciting and well shot which accentuated the effects and the fight choreography which were also well done. What I liked a lot about Casino Royale was how the plot was advanced by smart, well-written dialogue instead of empty. almost cartoonish action from previous Bond films. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of action but I’m also a big fan of good quiet parts too. I found this film had a good balance of both. It’s important to be pointed out here that (spoiler alert) this is the last film for Judi Dench’s M. I always thought she was a great actress and the Bond series’ best M (no disrespect to Bernard Lee) and she really got to show why here. She was definitely front and center in the plot. She had a great performance here and her scenes with Craig’s Bond were great as well. Since the series is still in a reboot phase (which makes Quantum of Solace feel even weirder), they decided to reintroduce more old characters, most notably Q (Ben Whishaw), who has been missing the last two films. I didn’t mind that he was much younger than Desmond Llewelyn’s Q and his quick, dry wit helped him fit nicely in the role. Craig was great here as well and he just continues to prove why he is the best modern Bond. Bardem’s Silva is definitely one of the best Bond villains of all time. His performance was able to capture a chilling, evil,  and menacing force. The film is a little on the long side because of pointless scenes but that is a minor complaint in an otherwise excellent film. Overall. this is everything a Bond girl should be. Unfortunately it’s taken this long for production values to catch up.

Score: 9/10

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Next: Spectre

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