Long overdue, Skyfall has finally hit our cinemas and in true James Bond style. There may have been quite a few sceptics, myself being one of them, regarding Daniel Craig’s third outing as Bond, but let us get one thing straight, Skyfall is certainly no Quantum of Solace. Compared to Casino Royale, Skyfall sits next to, if not above, the acclaimed modern-day Bond take. Some critics have even taken it as far as saying “The best Bond film ever”. My depth of 007 film knowledge is a little sketchy and disordered therefore I cannot say such a bold statement, but what I will say is this; Skyfall is one of this year’s best blockbusters.
After an intense chase through some Eastern European rooftops and ally ways, the iconic abstract introduction commences. As British singer Adele belts out the passionate soundtrack, we experience the traditional silhouetted figures and 007 being overwhelmed by unworthy henchman. Much like the past introduction credits, pictures and objects signify locations and reflections to what will happen without fully giving away plot details. I can’t say it was my favourite Bond credit sequence yet looking back on it after the film had ended allowed me to fully appreciate everything that went into the creation.
James Bond’s loyalty to Mi6 and ‘M’ is at the center of this story. After coming back from the dead (not a spoiler by the way), James must work with familiar allies and fresh faces in the attempt to discover where and how the spy agencies computers have been compromised. New supporting cast members include Ralph Fiennes working as a high-ranking employee beside ‘M’; Naomie Harris as a suspended field agent acting as a love interest and helper; Bérénice Marlohe playing the seductive damsel in distress, Severine, and last of all the impressive Ben Whishaw as Q, keeping Bond up to date with all the latest gadgets.
Aside from the marvellous support cast, Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Javier Bardem all play an incredible main part. The trio are at this film’s core and rightly so. Judi Dench graces our screen yet again as the head of Mi6, persisting in a strong and serious manner. Craig as James Bond manages to hit the tone correct although his character feels less vulnerable as in previous films, as if he is an untouchable figure saving the world day by day. The main attraction, and the character that fascinates me most, is Javier Bardem’s Silva. Silva is Skyfall’s antagonist and an ex-agent. There were similarities between Silva and Heath Ledger’s Joker at times, which for any actor is an accomplishment. His quirky persona and unexpected undertakings really enables you to delve into such a well portrayed Bond villain.
With so many positives, sometimes the negatives are unintentionally forgotten. Skyfall does have few negatives. Still, they are worth mentioning. The main problem I found is that video effects are relied upon far too often. There are times of excruciating green screens during chases and some horribly rendered helicopters. Surely they could afford real ones? This is James Bond, not Call of Duty! Trying to blank these blunders during the two hours is difficult, but the severity of the problem is hardly compromises the overall quality. To further cause dismay to those of you whom have yet to see this, the structure of the movie is very linear. By this I mean there aren’t times where you’ll be thinking about what one character is up to off screen. It’s very straight forward and up front. Some may prefer this style, I felt it was too safe.
Skyfall proves that 007 is back and fighting fit. Sam Mendes has added another masterpiece under his belt along with one of my favourites, American Beauty. Bond 24 is already in pre-pre production with a suspected release date of late 2014. I see no possibility of it topping Skyfall but I’m certain the standards aren’t likely to slip and the franchise will remain on top form.