Saturday, November 10, 2012

Skyfall review

Bond gets shot, he's presumed dead, but he's not, he briefly retires (i.e., bangs a few chicks), a terrorist attack occurs in the MI6 offices, M is targeted, Bond learns of the news, he comes back. He resurrects himself, coming to M's rescue. "Skyfall," the 23rd film of the franchise, is a superbly made Bond film. Exquisitely shot and designed, Sam Mendes really elevates the cinematic qualities that has always been necessary in a Bond film.

Lesser directors often come up short so Mendes deserves a lot of credit here. He also helps make Daniel Craig seem revitalized playing James Bond the third time around. He looks like he's having fun and gives the character the time to seduce and play coy with his female co-leads. There's an old-fashioned feel towards this James Bond film but there's also plenty of fresh faces playing familiar characters: Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny. Judi Dench is always reliable playing M, presumably for the last time. They each bring their own bit of fun and are well-drawn out characters even if Q doesn't get a lot of screen time.

The person responsible for the terrorist attack against the MI6 building as well as the threats against M is Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem. Bardem is an immensely talented actor whom I love to watch on screen, but I was a little cool on Bardem this time around. I'm probably in the minority on this, but while you can tell he has some fun playing this villain, I find Rauol Silva at times feels a bit too campy and I find the way the writers treat him to be a bit too cliche. Does he really have to be imprisoned in some isolated chamber? A place in which at least a half dozen villains in other movies have escaped from. In fact, one of those villains includes Loki from The Avengers... that came out six months ago for crying out loud.

Plus I feel like the film kinda loses its energy right around when we meet Raoul Silva, it leads to quasi-action filled climax in the third act, but I also found the way they set that up to be a bit off as well. Bond leads Raoul and his cronies to a secluded place called Skyfall in Scotland and basically plays "home alone" on them. Rigging the mansion with explosives and other traps for the bad guys to fall victim to. It's just not a very exciting place for a climactic action sequence, in my opinion.

Still, the film is so beautiful to look at. Roger Deakins, the cinematographer, is well-renown for his work in other films and Skyfall might be his best work. The sequences in Shanghai and Macau are just gorgeous and it really adds to the film. Plus overall, Skyfall is really fun and while I have some issues with it, there were a lot of positives from this film that really evened things out. Do yourself a favor and see Skyfall, if you love Bond, you won't be disappointed.

Grade: B+

No comments: