As long as I can remember, James Bond films have been a staple to my movie experience. Naturally with a franchise that’s celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, most people my age can make this claim as well.
When someone thinks about James Bond films what mostly comes to mind is Action, violence, Killing, cool cars, Sex, and awesome unrealistic gadgets.
Skyfall was a little different, but in a good way.
Skyfall opens up with the idea that this is this missing Hard Drive that pretty much contains the list of all the identities of MI6’s spy network (very much like the first Mission Impossible film and the NOC List)and with a very exciting chase and fight later, James Bond (Daniel Craig) gets “killed in action” and his body goes missing.
What Skyfall did right, was its overall plot. You have this wonderful villain, Mr. Silva (Javiar Bardem), who pretty much does everything that the villains from the first Mission Impossible film, several previous James Bond films, and Die Hard 4 do, but they don’t focus on any of it. Its like all of his skill and terror is merely an afterthought on his quest to seek revenge on M(Judi Dench). At one point it felt like I was watching The Dark Knight’s Joker (Heath Ledger) playing a Bond villain.
The film continues to incorporate the modern age with the villains use of YouTube to distribute several names from the decoded MI6 secret identity list, but with the use of modern technology they don’t go overboard into the realm of the unrealistic.
This film included several of Bond films past favorite characters. One of which that was added to the mix was Q (Ben Whishaw), MI6’s new “Quartermaster” for Bond, who instead of giving James a fancy laser watch or an exploding pen (they even joked about that) he gives him a DNA encoded gun, which by far makes for the coolest and most realistic gadget that the character Q has ever given James Bond. But this time around, Q shows off his true intelligence with actual hands on work, when hes instructed to hack and decode several devices and his ability to create a false data trail like it was nothing, which by far has made this version of Q my favorite one yet.
The big mystery of the film to me was the title, Skyfall. Briefly touched upon at the near beginning of the film while Bond is being questioned by a polygraph (as seen in the previews) the reference seemed to be a complete enigma throughout the entire film right up until the final showdown.
But above all of the wonderful aspects of this film was the inclusion of a real back story for James Bond, which has yet to really been fleshed out. In the film you see more of the relationship between James Bond and M, which seems to imply that he found her as more of a mother figure after he was orphaned as a child, and she seemed to reciprocate those maternal feelings for him. They also included the names of James‘ parents, ending once and for all the long argued debate that “James Bond” is a code name (its not, its really his name).
While Skyfall is not my absolute favorite James Bond film (Casino Royale takes that one), its by far one of its all time best. The idea that its a simple revenge story is something that felt like more of a breath of fresh air for the franchise, and I cant wait to see where the next film takes us.
Skyfall A 4.5/5
Bottom line: Go see it in theaters, its worth the price of admission, its by far one of the best Bond films yet.