James Bond is back! After M loses a hard drive containing sensitive information, James Bond is tasked with recovering it, but a figure from M’s past returns and threatens the existence of MI6. I am just going to start off by saying that I’m a huge Bond fan and that my favourite film is On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but Skyfall is very near the top. Not only is it one the best Bond films, but one the best film of the year.
It’s the little things that I found great. One thing is that the Bond theme was being played during the film; something was missed in Casino Royale and the terrible Quantum of Solace. With QOS, I forgot that I was watching a Bond film, but not with Skyfall, everything was in place, Q, the music, the humour, but unfortunately no gun barrel logo for unknown reasons. The last “proper” gun barrel opening was The World is Not Enough on 1999.
Daniel Craig gives his best performance as Bond, giving a performance that contains everything that a Bond performance should contain; he’s cool, lethal, funny and dramatic. Javier Bardem continues the tradition that blonde Bond villains are the best. After Robert Shaw’s Red Grant and Christopher Walken’s Max Zorin, Bardem’s Silva is more than a match for Bond, and like all great villains, he has a gruesome disfigurement.
Unusually for a Bond film, a director was chosen who has his own style, typically for a Bond film, a director doesn’t have as much creative freedom when compared to a regular film as the parameters and conventions have been set in stone for a number of years. But Sam Mendes brings his own style to the table. Even though the film is still a Bond film, Mendes has tweaked the system just enough to make the film fresh and recognisable as a Sam Mendes film.
The supporting cast is top notch as well. Ben Wishaw as the new Q, Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory, Naomie Harris as Eve and Judi Dench is as brilliant as ever as M. However all new cast editions aren’t great. The major issue is Berenice Marlohe as Severine, who isn’t given enough screen-time to have a lasting impact or being at all memorable. She is only in the film to provide Bond with an introduction to Silva.
Overall, the far outweighs the bad. A lot of people thought that the Bond films were dead, but Sam Mendes and co have successfully created a near perfect 21st century Bond film. At the time of writing, the film has grossed near 800 million dollars worldwide which proves that the franchise will be here for another fifty years.