Skyfall is the newest James Bond installment, directed by Sam Mendes, based on the Ian Fleming characters and written for screen by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. After a failed mission, Bond disappears and is believed dead, until he shows up in M's house, after a bomb attack in the MI6 headquarters. The film follows Bond's efforts to keep M safe, but also to reconnect with a secret agent lifestyle he no longer wants.
I must say I was impressed with Skyfall, I was expecting worse, for some reason. There are few flaws to it, and mostly everything ties up together in a very sleek, action-packed and dramatic way, that works very well on screen. I think one of the strongest points of the movie was definitely the script, in my opinion. Firstly, I loved the fact that we got to see a vulnerable side of Bond- he is human, after all, and Skyfall proved that in more than one occasion. Secondly, I admired the fact that, this time around, the females were not omnipresent or didn't form the obligatory storyline- there was no unnecessary love story, something that usually downgrades or takes the focus out of the Bond franchise's scripts. I also liked the M storyline and the fact that it wasn't an action-based plot, with bombs and unheard of gadgets- it was based on characters, relationships and feelings, and it had meaning and reason. One last thing I will mention, script-wise, is the introduction to Ben Wishaw's Q, but also Fiennes' upcoming presence in the Bond franchise- they don't have too much to do in Skyfall, and their presence wasn't that noticeable, but I think we can expect more from them in the future films.
The script also provided very interesting characters and I loved the fact that we could see a clear development of them, in a good or bad way. It's not often you see Bond in a vulnerable state, miserable and drunk, and you also don't usually see M react in an emotional way. Both Daniel Craig and Judi Dench gave wonderful performances and I think they helped rise Skyfall to another level. The villain, played by Javier Bardem, was in accordance to the story and provided exactly what it was needed- a deranged, intelligent, with seemingly logical reasons, but most definitely a mad person, who is capable of the worst and who doesn't fear away of anything. Bardem was spot on for his character, although his hair made me chuckle the first time I saw him on screen; but that really doesn't matter and certainly, it doesn't take away the fact that he can play a villain like no one else can.
From a filmmaking point of view, it was very well done. The direction and cinematography suited the secret agent world and there were some standout scenes that were a delight to watch: the sneaking up on the mercenary in Shanghai, the deserted town part, and my favorite, the sunset/night scenes in Scotland- those were fantastically done. I enjoyed the action scenes and I thought they were beautifully executed, without the usual exaggeration in this types of situations, plus the score helped set the tone and make things move in a much more dynamic and appealing way. Adele's theme was the perfect match for the opening sequence, and it was much better than I originally thought and heard- her voice and the dramatic sound of it definitely suits this type of movie. The sets and costumes were great, and London being in the spotlight was a highlight for me- I loved seeing some of the tube stations and places in town, but a touch of melancholy hit me, as well: I miss it so much!
I came into the theater expecting a good popcorn movie and I ended up enjoying myself much more than I thought. It isn't top 10 for 2012 material, but it sure is a great movie that I highly recommend you see in cinemas. I hope you will enjoy Skyfall as much as I did!
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