Skyfall (2012): Daniel Craig returns for his third James Bond movie to take on Mr. Silva, played by Javier Bardem, who has some not-so-nice intentions for Bond's boss, M. (Judi Dench)
Ok for those that know me, you know that I am a HUGE Bond fan. To this day Goldfinger (1964) is one of my all time favorite movies, and the discovery of the girl painted in gold is one of the best cinematic moments of all time. In my humble opinion, of course. But I'm here to tell you that Skyfall is the best Bond MOVIE to date. Note how movie is in all caps. Why? Because BOND movies and Bond MOVIES are two very different things. A BOND movie follows a very specific and predictable formula: opening action sequence, Bond gets new assignment, Bond gets gadgets from Q branch, Bond meets girl, and so on.These last three movies have all strayed from this established formula, attempting to bring Bond into the 21st century. But this is the first time that a Bond movie has really gotten you to emotionally connect with these well-known characters. I mean really emotionally connect and feel for them. Bond is not the charming invincible guy we've grown accustomed to over the years. Sure he still has his one liners, but he shows a vulnerability here that actually makes you buy that he could be a real human being. As a result, this is not a popcorn flick. This is legitimately the first Bond movie that is not one of these. Which is also why I think this movie will stand the test of time, which most of its predecessors have not been able to do up to this point.
So acting. Holy crap acting. The Bond girls are great here, with Naomie Harris leading the way. But the real star here from the females is Judi Dench. She gets an extended role in this one, and she takes full advantage. She is absolutely brilliant and shows multiple emotions throughout the movie and makes you buy every single one. It only took six movies with her as M for them to realize that they have one of the greatest British actresses in cinema history playing this role. But hey better late than never right? And then there's Javier Bardem. It's been years since a truly menacing Bond villain was on screen in front of us. I'd argue Jonathan Pryce in Tomorrow Never Dies was the last great Bond villain, though some may argue you have to go back even further. But Bardem puts in an incredible performance as Mr. Silva. He's terrifying, menacing, unpredictable, and flamboyant. Very flamboyant. Ya he's gay. There's very little doubt of this to me. Some idiots took offense to this fact, obviously, but I think it really adds to his character. But I would legitimately say watch this movie for Bardem if nothing else. He's that good. Oh and Craig is good too! But he can get a little lost behind Dench and Bardem.
If you don't want to see this movie for Bardem, see it because it is breathtakingly beautiful to look at. I usually will just touch on cinematography, but this time it gets a small plug. Roger Deakins is one of the greatest cinematographers in our history. Yep that's twice I've used that phrase in this review. But if you IMDB his resume you will see what I mean. Like The Shawshank Redemption? Roger Deakins. That shot of Tim Robbins in the rain that is another great moment in cinema history? Ya that was from the mind of Deakins. But this movie is absolutely gorgeous to look at, with beautiful wide shots of the various locations this movie is shot at, including and especially London. I want to live in London now after this movi
Great writing, acting, editing and cinematography all come together perfectly here, creating one of the best movies of 2012. I'd probably rank it second on my list only to Argo personally. Even though I have not seen Silver Linings Playbook. But that should change very very soon. Like immediately after I'm done writing this that's what I'm watching it kind of soon. Honestly I have very few complaints here. I guess it just doesn't resonate with me enough to give it a 10/10. I mean it's emotionally pulling and a damn good movie, but there's just something missing to add it to that very exclusive list of my perfect 10s. (Haha funny joke right?) Still, I strongly STRONGLY recommend it.
The Critique: The best Bond MOVIE to date. An emotionally-pulling action-packed piece of cinema.
The Recommendation: There is something here for everyone. Well maybe if you hate everything British you won't enjoy this as much but that's about it.
The Verdict: 9.5/10 Damn near perfect
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