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
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 »
A James Bond film made for the modern era, you'd be hard pressed to find any other film series able to stand the test of time and still feel relevant. When it looks like it's lagging behind the competition of the other spy action thrillers, the makers have taken note and re-invented the mould, making it more real and exciting.
To me, Bond had too much of a rigid formula, the cars, the chases, the girls, the gadgets, the megalomaniac villain's and the spectacular set pieces/stunts. After a while though, the older films seem to suffer from a sense of deja vu. It's a case of been there, done that. The structure of the films have become stale and repetitive. Same plot about a group of criminals/organisation hell bent on world domination/destruction, with a beautiful bond girl in tow, Bond and or Bond girl gets capture, ridiculous car chase or stunts with a million of cheesy one liners. Frankly, I had pretty much given up on the Bond films. They have become predictable and tedious with only the change of location to give the film any sort of distinction.
The plot of Skyfall is unlike previous Bond films, starts with the routine chase resulting in Bond being shot and wounded, believed to be dead by MI6. When an attack on MI6 headquarters manifest through a cyber attack and a bombing at the headquarters, Bond returns to uncover who is behind the assault. Struggling from his gun shot wound, Bond has to prove his fitness mentally and physically through some rigorous tests. Sent back into action without being fully fit, Bond embarks on the mission to expose the mastermind. What Bond discovers is a villain who happens to be ex-agent who has a vendetta against M and will stop at nothing to kill her.
First thing you'll notice is the lack of gadgets and the usually bond girl (there is one of sorts but you'll understand when you watch it). Also with a villain who is suave yet as equally menacing as Hannibal Lector, we have a loose cannon who isn't after the world but revenge. It's spy vs spy and the story is more of a evolution of the characters that inhabit the world of Bond. Nods to older Bond films crop up from dialogue, props and even the classic Austin Martin car makes an appearance. It's a homage as well as a resurrection of well known characters.
What we are given here is a Bond with more layers to him and more emotions. Daniel Craig has moulded a Bond who is more relateable. Signs of physical and emotional weakness shows us a Bond who is no longer a super spy with little or no vulnerability. Other characters are given more screen time and provide an emotion gravitas (We are also introduced to Q, a young model who is still wet behind the ears).
In the hands of Sam Mendes and Director of photography Roger Deakins, there has never been a more beautiful shot Bond film. During Bond's fight with a criminal minion we see only their silhouettes, but the eye is drawn to the beauty of the neon Shanghai backdrop. The reserve can be said for the grime, dour and rainy streets of London which captures our the United Kingdom perfectly.
It's a satisfying and enjoyable film, with plenty of action and a surprising emotional core to the narrative. A great development in characters with seeds being sown to allow for a more relateable and mature story telling and for future characters to come to the fore. Skyfall has made me fall in love with Bond films again so here's hoping there's no more rigid formula and routine mundane narratives of past.
38 of 62 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?