Review: Skyfall

James Bond is back! In more ways than one, this statement holds true. You see because of the financial struggles of MGM, and we haven’t had a James Bond film since Quantum of Solace in 2008. I mean needless to say, four years is a long time to wait to get that bad taste out of our mouths. Last year, a press conference was held to introduce the world to the cast and crew of Skyfall, which was to be directed by Academy Award winning director Sam Mendes (American Beauty). With a cast that is top-notch and an amazing crew, does this all add up to a great Bond movie?

The answer is yes, yes, and hell yes. Skyfall is not only the best Bond movie I have ever seen, but also it’s maybe one of the best movies of the year. What makes Daniel Craig’s portrayal of James Bond so great is that he has made the world of Bond more realistic and more human. Craig’s Bond predecessors were seen as an invulnerable superspy, someone who cannot be broken and cannot be stopped. In Skyfall, this won’t be the case. Bond becomes broken and battered, and overall becomes human. This doesn’t mean Bond is changing; Skyfall does a great job combining the hardedge Bond with some of the classic Bond. Watching the movie I couldn’t help but get that old school, classic Bond vibe. Even Adele’s hypnotic Skyfall theme, has that vibe as well. Throughout the movie, you will find classic Bond moments and easter eggs seamlessly integrated into the story. I found myself geeking out to the return of Q, and the return of the ’62 Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger. There are other easter eggs, but I wouldn’t want to rob you guys of finding them yourselves. Skyfall is also a game-changer for the next round of movies. Without spoiling anything, there are a lot of moments that will change the landscape of the next Bond movies.

That is one sexy Aston Martin DB5

The acting in the movie is as good as it gets. Both Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem steal the show here. Daniel Craig gives a great performance as Bond, and it seems as if he’s finally getting Bond. The wit, the charm, and the one-liners, Craig seems to seamlessly integrate that into his hardedge Bond. This is something that was lacking in his previous efforts as Bond. Add to this the painful and emotional moments that he goes through just add to the layers that Craig puts on Bond. Across from Craig is Javier Bardem’s Silva. Silva is a psychotic character, obsessed with killing M, with a tendency for over-the-top behavior. Bardem is really great at playing the villain; at times I felt that fear that he was going to kill the some of the main characters I loved in the movie. A same feeling I got while watching The Joker in The Dark Knight. It was just a great performance, period.

The cinematography and lighting for Skyfall is one of the best I’ve seen in a movie for quite a while. I can’t remember the last time a movie made me go “Wow” at a shot or sequence. There were so many great shots, that it’s hard for me to say which one is my favorite. The use of silhouettes is also used very well in the film here. Deakins plays with the silhouettes of the characters, and with it comes an even better sequence than if it were shot regularly. I would have to give it to cinematographer, Roger Deakins, as he helped big time to the enjoyment I had in Skyfall.

One of the many great shots in the movie.

Overall, Skyfall is one of the best Bond movies I’ve ever seen. PERIOD. The feeling I had at the end of the movie was something I hadn’t felt since The Avengers. I wanted to go see this movie again, and I wanted to do it right away. Don’t get me wrong I’m going to see this movie again, and I will see it in IMAX again. Seeing the movie in a legit IMAX screen is an absolute must. The film on screen took about 90% of the screen, which gave quite an in-your-face experience.

Grade: A+

Mark Pacis

Self-proclaimed “Human IMDb” and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you’ll probably ever meet.

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