This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
  1. It’s time to break out the vodka martinis (or Vesper) because Bond is back! Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) directs the 23rd installment in the franchise an even 50 years (that’s half a century, folks) after Sean Connery brought the suave super spy to life on the big screen in the Terence Young directed Dr. No. Skyfall is the third film starring Daniel Craig as the familiar MI6 agent but he is the 6th leading man to embody this iconic operative in his 50 year big screen life (during which he has aged considerably well).

    Skyfall opens with Bond in the midst of a dangerous mission in which he is pursuing a bad guy to retrieve some list that is briefly mentioned. Obviously you find out more about this list later, but you don’t need to know about it yet. You just need to bask in the adrenaline rush of the foot chase, car chase, fistfight, and subsequent SHOCKER of a twist right before Adele serenades us into a trippy, yet beautiful, credit sequence that certainly doesn’t disappoint. This wild opening sets the stage very well for the action packed and gorgeous film that is to follow.

    I could talk about the plot, but I want to spare you the spoilers, so I won’t. What I will mention is why this is quite possibly the best Bond film ever made. The plot has a little to do with it because it is a taut, well-crafted thriller when it doesn’t even have to be. People want to see Skyfall because they like Bond… or they are middle aged women who want to see Daniel Craig shirtless. The plot ultimately doesn’t matter as long as it has enough style to give it a distinctly Bond flavor. The problem I had with Quantum of Solace (2008) is that I didn’t taste much Bond in there. It could’ve been any action star in that film. Skyfall, though, is a return to what is distinctly Bond:  fancy locations, well-pressed suits, classically beautiful cars, martinis, and (of course) relationships with women that get physically intimate at an unbelievable rate. Oh yea, and there’s a considerable amount of international espionage.

    Another thing that is required in a Bond film is a visual style which Sam Mendes brings in buckets. One very noticeable stylistic trick is the use of a lot of silhouettes. Mendes backlighs his main characters with various things including fire, a spotlight from a helicopter, and even a big digital video of jellyfish… and it’s awesome. Some may argue that it gets played out with how often he uses this visual tactic, but I love it. And I’m sure the actors love it because it makes them look bada**.

    Ultimately, this film wouldn’t be any better than the 22 before it, but it resurrects Bond as a character in that we finally get some backstory on him and he actually has some weaknesses (you know, other than those for fast women and Vesper martinis). Seeing Bond’s vulnerability allows us to connect with him more and even have some sympathy for him. It makes him more human.

    Finally, I would be remiss to not mention Javier Bardem (the scary-as-hell bad guy in No Country For Old Men) as former MI6 operative turned villain, Silva. He is awesome! He reminds me of Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight. He isn’t quite as good, but he’s close. The way he carries himself, his laugh, how he interacts with his thugs, and his general presence is very Joker-esque but he won’t make you laugh like the Joker does. He is certainly quirky enough to be memorable, though, and it helps that he is brutally violent, highly intelligent, and has a propensity for the use of explosives.

    In case you haven’t read this article and just skipped to the end, I’ll sum it up for you:  Skyfall is good so you should see it. And I want to leave you with an interesting fact that I read in an article by John Petkovic from “The Plain Dealer” in Ohio:  Skyfall marks the first ever Bond film in which he actually drinks a beer… Heineken to be exact (a product placement that is rumored to have been worth 45 million dollars). Crazy, right?

    Nolan’s Grade:  A

    Follow Nolan on Twitter

    ‘Like’ Nolan on Facebook

Leave a Reply