Skyfall Film Review

The longest-running film franchise of all time celebrates their 50th Anniversary in style with Skyfall, the twenty-third installment in the James Bond film series. Daniel Craig marks his third performance as James Bond (a.k.a. Agent 007) as Ben Wishaw debuts as gadget guru Q (a.k.a. Quartermaster). Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) helms this film and all the underlying themes amid

Audiences get a great mix of surprises, new elements, and familiar fundamentals like the exotic international locations, overt sexual overtones and, of course, the gear, which for Bond personally is surprisingly simple. Unique weapons like a stinging machine pistol make an impression as well as several vehicles including helicopters, construction equipment, motor-bikes plus the classic James Bond car (silver-birch Aston Martin DB5), Jaguars, Range Rovers, Audi A5 B8, and Mercedes. The globetrotting locations including Istanbul, Shanghai, Scotland, and, of course, London.

John Logan shares screenwriting duties with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade as this screenwriting trio extends the previous Bond installment, Quantum of Solace, from a 106 minute running time (the shortest James Bond film on record) to approximately 142 minutes, the second longest after Craig’s other Bond outing Casino Royale. Character development parallels intense action with stand out sequences including moments where events occurring two different areas combine into a potent film formula.

Craig (Road to Perdition, Munich, Layer Cake) continually advances Bond’s bravado filled characteristics as he faces Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), who makes a fantastic villain named Raoul Silva. Bardem’s unforgettable introductory scene immediately establishes their contrast, which lays the groundwork for a perspective detached from compassion and obsessed with tenacious cyberterrorist plan to complete at all costs.

Dame Judi Dench returns in her seventh appearance as Bond’s smart, steely superior M, who holds a stronger relationship with her dangerously talented subordinate than the two Bond girls – Naomie Harris (28 Days Later, Pirates of the Caribbean) as British agent named Eve and Berenice Marlohe as Severine.

Eve portrays a realistic field agent experience while Severine’s passionate path advances the plot. Tonia Sotiropoulou also appears with Craig in an early standout scene – one of the best composed film scenes in the series. Rory Kinnear returns as M’s colleague Tanner while Ralph Fiennes plays Mallory. Albert Finney plays Kincade near the film’s nostalgic and revealing end.

The inventive action sequences are top-notch as 007 film veteran Gary Powell handles the stunts and keeps a strong family tradition dating back to his father’s work doubling for Sean Connery. Mendes’ impressive style gets strong support from outstanding crew members like cinematographer Roger Deakins and editor Stuart Baird.

First-time Bond film composer Thomas Newman provides a powerful musical score with all the familiar themes as Adele sings the title song “Skyfall”, the first James Bond theme to debut in the Top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

This highly recommended Bond installment has memorable dialogue, great action, and dynamic scenarios plus viewers with prior knowledge of the series enjoy many bonus elements. Rated PG-13 for intense violent sequences, action and some sexual content. Now playing in theaters and IMAX theater – a first for this film series.

Categories: Reviews


3 replies

  1. I have heard that the film starts off as possibly the best Bond ever but loses some focus as it goes along and ends as only ‘one of the best’. Thoughts?

  2. Haven’t seen it yet–maybe it’s time to introduce my son Joseph to the joys of James Bond this weekend–but I will say in advance that Craig is my favorite Bond after Connery. He has a grittiness that I just love. Timothy Dalton (oft overlooked) had some of that in his second Bond movie, “License to Kill”, but I think it was both a little too soon for audiences to embrace, and they married it to some of that Roger Moore goofy humor, and it was an uncomfortable combo. (And don’t get me started on Pierce Brosnan. “Goldeneye” was good–how wrong can you go with Sean Bean, Famke Jenssen, Dame Judi in her first go-round as “M”, not to mention Alan Cummings, Robbie Coltrane, and a great pair of scenes with Joe Don Baker?–but the rest of them? Meh. At best.)

    Very much looking forward to it. You might also read Andrew O’Hehir’s review in Salon.

  3. I will likely avoid this one since I think Daniel Craig is possibly the blandest Bond ever with the least charm and charisma. His “grittiness” instead strikes me as a “lack of charm” leaving the character sadly one dimensional. I have found his Bond movies to be terribly sterile and I have no reson to expect better of Skyfall. That said, I find that I really am enjoying the new theme song from Adele.