James Bond descends into mystery as he tries to stop a mysterious organization from eliminating a country's most valuable resource. All the while, he still tries to seek revenge over the death of his love.
When Bond's latest assignment goes gravely wrong and agents around the world are exposed, MI6 is attacked forcing M to relocate the agency. These events cause her authority and position to be challenged by Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. With MI6 now compromised from both inside and out, M is left with one ally she can trust: Bond. 007 takes to the shadows - aided only by field agent, Eve (Naomie Harris) - following a trail to the mysterious Silva (Javier Bardem), whose lethal and hidden motives have yet to reveal themselves. Written by
When Q delivers the Walther PPK & passport to Bond in the National Gallery in London, the painting behind him is Joseph Wright of Derby's 'An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (1768)', featuring a natural philosopher - a forerunner to a modern scientist - demonstrating an experiment to curious onlookers. This fits Q's role as scientific research/development for SIS/MI6 and 007. See more »
Mallory puts down a brandy bottle when he first meets M. When she leaves the bottle has been turned. See more »
Bond's traditional shot towards the camera, seen through the barrel of a gun, is placed at the end of this film rather than the beginning. After the blood stops dripping, the James Bond 50th Anniversary logo appears with the words "James Bond will return," below it. See more »
James Bond of the 21st century has been reinvented from the fun energetic yet cheesy spy franchise with the 60s spirit to a hard-edged and dramatic action thriller series with Daniel Craig's steely interpretation of 007 bringing the character closer to Ian Fleming's original vision. Craig's first outing as Bond, Casino Royale, was a tremendous resurgence that was action-packed and thrilling and a terrific film in its own right. Quantum of Solace, which followed in 2008, was a bloated and messy and often boring film that tried to do the same as its predecessor with the realistic approach but lacked the restrained quality to it to make it work. Due to MGM's bankruptcy issues, it took four years for a new Bond film to be released. With Craig reprising the role for the third time and accomplished director Sam Mendes helming the picture, Skyfall surpasses the previous Craig pictures as well as all other Bond titles. It is one of the strongest entries and may be my favourite Bond film.
During a mission in Istanbul, Bond is accidentally shot and is presumed dead by MI6. A few years later, M is under pressure from the Intelligence and Security Committee when undercover MI6 agents turn up dead and the head offices are destroyed in a terrorist attack. Bond, having used his missing person case to retire from MI6, learns of the attack and returns to London out of hiding. Despite failing the psychological and physical tests to put him back in shape, he is accepted by M to continue working in the field and is sent to Shanghai to investigate a terrorist who may have something to do with the attacks in London and have a connection to Bond's previous mission.
What makes Skyfall succeed as a Bond film is that it portrays Bond at his most vulnerable. Typically, Bond is played as the typical womanizing macho man who always saves the day and gets the girl. Typically, Sean Connery and Roger Moore's films displayed the glamorous side to the spy and showed off how seemingly invincible and untouchable the spy was. On Her Majesty's Service (one of the most underrated Bond films) and Casino Royale are a few of the Bond films that showed otherwise. Skyfall does a good job of exploring Bond's struggle with his duties and uneasy relationship with MI6 as well as touching on his past without giving away too much about him to ruin his enigmatic personage. Daniel Craig delivers a strong performance as Bond once again. Though he is labelled as being a serious and unfunny Bond, he does display some moments of dry humour in the film that work and he isn't a blank slate as some Bond purists claim him to be.
The story to Skyfall is not the traditional Bond story. Most Bond films concern with world domination plots and megalomaniac villains but Skyfall's story is more of a Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy plot with Bond elements thrown in. The antagonist Silva also differs from the traditional Bond villain. Silva is driven more by a personal vendetta than childish dreams of ruling the world. His plot is simply revenge and retribution. However, the character is a compelling and somewhat sympathetic bad guy. Javier Bardem manages to convey the character's tragedy very well whilst also being creepy and uncomfortable. Judi Dench is given a lot to work with as M and the relationship between her and Bond is given some needed emotional connection. M's character is also essential to the story whereas in prior films he/she was simply there to provide background info for Bond's mission.
Action wise, Skyfall delivers all the updated gritty action expected in a 21st century Bond film. Whilst some action scenes do feel Bond-esque in their approach, they are mostly restrained and kept very middle level. Mendes has proved that he can direct action in prior films such as Road to Perdition and Jarhead and this tops them. The cinematography from Roger Deakins is also terrific and really captures the gritty look of the picture.
Skyfall is a tremendous entry in the Bond canon and definitely ranks amongst the best in the series. With its rich story, compelling characterization and terrific direction from Sam Mendes, this is the Bond film I've been wanting to see for a long time. Even those who are not Bond fans can find something to enjoy in this thrilling and brash picture.
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