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Movie Review: Skyfall (spoilers possible)

November 23, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Sometimes the old ways are still the best ways.”

This is a theme running throughout Skyfall, the latest Bond installment from director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition).

A partial list of why this was a perfect mixture to create one of the best Bond films in the 007 arsenal:

  • Daniel Craig – James Bond
  • Judi Dench – M
  • Ralph Fiennes – Gareth Mallory
  • Naomie Harris – Eve
  • Javier Bardem – Silva
  • Roger Deakins (cinematographer: True Grit, No Country for Old Men, pretty much every Coen Brothers movie ever made, Dead Man Walking)

Deakins is a master craftsman. Every scene was beautifully constructed. Mendes really knocked it out of the park overall also, which goes without saying.

The film’s synopsis:

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.

The costs really do end up being especially personal for Bond in this film. Craig’s Bond is a master at his game, but when things go wrong he’s vulnerable – his body is not able to bounce back the way it used to. As one character says, “It’s a young man’s game”. And it is, but again, sometimes the old ways are still the best ways. Craig proves that he’s just getting better, and his Bond is fitting more and more like a very nice glove.

If you’ve seen No Country for Old Men, you know that Javier Bardem plays psychotic oh so very well. After all, it did win him the Academy Award. He’s back to that formula in this, with a bit of homoeroticism thrown in (Bond’s response in one scene in particular is such a WIN).  As a sociopath on par with Heath Ledger’s Joker, Bardem chews up the scenery every time he opens his mouth.

Dench is back as M, who faces being forced into retirement and watching her beloved MI6 become an object of scrutiny. The weight of the world is on her shoulders, and every scene she has reminds the audience of this fact. Dench delivers a powerful performance through and through.

I really don’t want to give any spoilers here, so I’ll leave you with this: when you go see this movie, pay very close attention to just about every scene, if you are a Bond fan from way back. Rewards are numerous.

I may need to go see this movie again real soon. A+++.

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