Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem.
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
The promotional tie-in with Heineken Lager Beer for this movie has been valued at being (UK) £28 million (= US $45 million). The product placement caused a controversy in the media prior to release, criticism being made for lacking integrity, blatant commercialization with Daniel Craig actually appearing in a Heineken ad and being disrespectful to Bond's traditional drink, the shaken and stirred martini. Producer Michael G. Wilson and actor Daniel Craig defended the financing by indicating that the Bond films cost a lot of money to make and 'Skyfall' could not be completed without this support; that many of the product placements are based around supply of the products with technical support and the fact that James Bond is still seen drinking a Vodka Martini in 'Skyfall'. See more »
When Severine is first seen on the deck of the yacht, she is standing forward of two rather large winches. James walks up and stands beside her. In the next shot after the conversation, they are both standing just aft of those winches. 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 »
Bond 23 and 007 has to literally come back from the dead when a stolen hard-drive makes M (Dench) look bad at a time when a face from her past comes homing into blood thirsty view.
There is one sure fire fact in cinema that nobody can dispute, that of there never ever being a James Bond film that all Bondphiles will agree on. From each corner of the spectrum will come arguments that said Bond film is not gritty enough, not fun enough, not enough sex, not enough action, not enough fantastical stunts and etc etc etc. Well that's fine of course, we all have our peccadilloes we prefer in our Bond movies, but we do live in different times now, the world has changed, and so has Bond. You may not get the ultimate Bond you want, but this is a 21st Century Bond and a new era of 007 is upon us, something which makes Skyfall even the more bolder and braver because it marks the 50th anniversary by blending the old with the new and mostly achieving brilliant results.
Skyfall allows us to bathe in nostalgia whilst also forcing us to re- evaluate just where we are at in terms of our beloved super secret agent. One of the great things about this Bond is that there is a bubbling under current of time's importance delicately perched on each side of James Bond's shoulders. Is he (and M etc) outdated? Or is the future still in need of such operatives/organisations? Director Mendes and his team don't take any of the easy options that were clearly available to them to answer the question, they instead build a film around Bond and M as characters, embrace the traditions of the series and hit us hard in head and heart.
The plot of Skyfall as written is simple, absolutely nailed on it is straight and true to Hollywood conventions, but what fills out the simple plot is a series of Bondian delights, thrills spills and emotionally splintered kills. The stunning pre-credits sequence sees Bond traverse the rooftops of Istanbul on a motorcycle and then fight on top of a speeding train. Only to then find himself expendable. Which leads to Daniel Kleinman's title credits sequence that is filled with ominous portents of death and blood, in turn backed by the wonderfully Bondian of old title song warbled by Adele. It's clear at this point that this Bond movie is nodding to traditional values whilst promising to deliver some emotional pain. And so it proves.
A washed up Bond enters the fray, and he convinces, he's dishevelled, unshaven and unfit, but he's still a tough bastard who can drink hard and stare a scorpion down. He'll be back soon, we know this, and he will be in wonderful physical shape, and loyal to his surrogate mother for sure. Ah, but there's the adversary on the scene now, a villain to finally give Craig's Bond something to fret about. It's Javier Bardem's (perfect) Silva, a cyber terrorist with a shock of blonde hair, a nasty dental trick and a devilish sexiness that unnerves during an interrogation scene; to which Bond cheekily opens up some wink wink possibilities. There is other sexual tension in the film as well, not just a steamy shower scene, but the ongoing banter with Naomie Harris' (excellent) Eve that positively fizzes with smirking innuendo.
But ultimately this comes down to the love between a man and a woman, the kind that is so different to the type that has so often underpinned a Bond movie. Bond will kill or be killed for M, and how marvellous to see a director really able to give Judi Dench the direction she so deserves, and Bond, in Craig's magnetic and gritty hands, responds in kind to deliver a last half hour as good as any in the 50 years of Bond on film. As we know, all turf is Bond's turf, but this time it really is HIS turf, and as a little back story comes seeping out, Bond gets to exorcise some demons whilst kicking considerable ass. Get ready Bondphiles, this has the emotional wallop only seen in the best Bond movies of old.
All the Bondian trappings are still here, exotic locales, gorgeous women, speeding vehicles, fights, stupendous stunts, bizarre lairs and balls out machismo. It's also funny! I myself commented when reviewing Quantum of Solace that it was pretty ace as an action film, but for many it's not Bondian enough, and the truth of the matter is Bond still needs to have a degree of fun, no matter how grim and gritty the storyline is. Thankfully Skyfall is often a blast, with Craig (surely convincing even the most stubborn of dissenters how good a Bond he is) having the confidence and skill to lace his Bond's macho broody instinct with a desert dry wit and shrug of the shoulders nonchalance. Other side of the camera the tech credits are high, with Deakins proving to be one of the aces in the pack. His capturing of vistas, be it a neon city scape or a mountainous valley, are eye delights, his colour tones are beautiful, I promise you, nobody these days does golden browns like Deakins.
It's not the masterpiece that I or gazillions of others hoped for, and it does have flaws (new Q a bit too geeky safe, finale lacks a substantial battle with the villain) and remains simple in plot, but it's Bond's birthday and the birthday boy has been done proud by the makers. It's a new era Bond for sure, but that most definitely isn't a bad thing, it knows its past and it now knows its future and we all still know the name without doubt. 9/10
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