Sony's Skyfall: A Different Kind of Bond Film

The victories of yesterday become the losses of today.

Skyfall is a 2012 spy film directed by Sam Mendes, written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan, produced by Eon Productions, MGM Pictures, and Columbia Pictures, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film is based on various James Bond stories by Ian Fleming. The film stars Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. It was nominated for and won Best Original Song and Best Sound Editing. Otherwise, it was nominated for Best Original Score, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Cinematography. This is the twenty-third film in the 007 series, the third in the Daniel Craig era. It was preceded by Quantum of Solace and succeeded by Spectre.


"007, reporting for duty." -James Bond

Plot


After a mission goes horribly wrong, James Bond is presumed dead. Bond hides out and uses his fake death as a chance to get away from the danger of MI6, but back at home, things have begun to go haywire without 007. MI6 loses a list of undercover agents and they are exposed to the world. Bond decides to return, and M sends him to track down their mysterious enemy...who may be closer to MI6 than they realize.


Positive Aspects


First thing that I've got on this is the villain. Raoul Silva is a very intimidating and scary. He is played to perfection by Javier Bardem. He is really a thrilling villain and lives up to classic Bond villain status, like Blofeld or Goldfinger.


The action is also pretty cool. The Shanghai fight is the standout, but the beginning and ending sequences are both very exciting. The final sequence is very intense and exciting. They made it seem almost like a Bond version of Home Alone.


Daniel Craig is great in this, as usual. Judi Dench is good, too. Javier Bardem is, by far, the standout. He is menacing and charming at the same time, except when he takes half of his mouth out. He is one of the best things about this film.


I also liked that this film felt like it had stakes. The characters that we knew and loved were actually in danger. Silva wants to kill M, and you know that it is very possible that he will. The stakes are what makes this film different than the other Bond films. In the other films, Bond saves everybody and the villain always loses.


Another thing about this film is the mystery and suspense. This is one of the more thrilling Bond films, and that is partly because of the stakes, but there is a tension build-up throughout the film. After Silva escapes from MI6, the suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the rest of the film. The script is written this way, and it gives the audience an amazing thrill throughout.


I also thought that the other characters introduced were good. I thought that the classic characters that were introduced for the first time in the Daniel Craig era of Bond (Miss Moneypenny and Q) were very enjoyable. I also liked Kincade. I thought that they were nice additions to this era of James Bond.


Negative Aspects


First off, the story can be a bit confusing at certain points. The opening sequence seems like Bond gets shot twice, but the rest of the movie plays out as though he was only shot once. The list of agents isn't really explained well, which starts out as a central plot point and then Bond recovers it and it just disappears, as though it had nothing to do with the actual plot.


The second thing is the use of Ralph Fiennes character, Gareth Mallory. He feels out of place in the film. It feels like he is there to replace M, but they had to build up his character first. Ralph Fiennes isn't the best, either. He's just kind of bland. No personality, no special character traits. He's just there as the person that is going to replace M.


Final thing is M's death. It's a very weird scene that I think wasn't executed particularly well. M and Kincade are walking down the tunnel and you see that she's been shot in the side of her stomach. She seems tired, but it doesn't look or seem fatal until she collapses. You don't actually see her go down after she gets shot. She definitely doesn't get shot by Silva, just one of his henchmen. It just feels like it could've been a much more emotional scene if she actually went down and Silva was the one who killed her.


Final Score


Overall, this is a very fun and successful installment in the 007 franchise. Despite a lame character and an underwhelming death scene for a great character, the action, story and villain push this movie forward.


This film gets a Savory rating. Age range is 9+.


SWEET N' SOUR SCALE

Sweet (Great)

Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)


"Skyfall"


Fun Factor: 8/10

Acting: 8.5/10

Story: 7/10

Characters: 8/10

Quality: 8/10


WHERE TO WATCH

Paramount+: Available with subscription

Amazon Prime Video: Available for free with premium subscription

Apple TV+: Available for rent


Directed by Sam Mendes


Released on November 9, 2012


Rated PG-13 for moderate violence, disturbing themes and behavior, thematic elements


2 hours and 23 minutes


Daniel Craig as James Bond

Judi Dench as M

Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva

Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory

Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny

Michael Whishaw as Q

Albert Finney as Kincade

Bérénice Marlohe as Severine