Film Review: 007: Skyfall (2012)
Craig finds his inner bond at ‘Skyfall,’ 5/5 stars
Carl J. Bachus | Collegio Reporter
Aside from Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes, Ian Fleming’s secret agent James Bond is probably one of the most famous men in modern fiction. There have been many imitators, but none has come close to matching the classic spy thriller that Bond delivers. The film adaptations are no exception. The newest Bond film, “Skyfall,” finds 007, presumed dead, returning to MI6 to combat a cyber-terrorist with deep ties to the British secret service.
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond who, after effectively being terminated by the MI6, is brought back into the fold when undercover spies in terrorist organizations are killed after having their covers blown. He soon finds himself face to face with Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a cyber-terrorist who has a special relationship with M (Dame Judi Dench), Bond’s superior. The plot also involves M dealing with the ramifications of essentially spying in an outdated fashion.
James Bond, over 50 years and 23 films, has gone through several interpretations. The previous interpretations of Craig’s Bond have foregone some of the more outlandish aspects of the franchise for that of an intelligent, yet down-and-dirty action film. “Skyfall” is no exception, but new director Sam Mendes (“Away We Go”) has succeeded where “Casino Royale” and “Quantam of Solace” failed: creating a fresh, new Bond film that feels like a classic Bond film.
Craig’s performance was spot-on, mixing his serious and realistic 007 with a bit of his predecessors. From the beautiful women to the new, younger quartermaster, or “Q,” (played by Ben Whishaw) to the return of the classic Aston Martin DB5, “Skyfall” is an impressive homage to the 50-year legacy of Fleming’s super-spy. All the classic staples are there: the one-liners, the gadgets and even a literal interpretation of “femme fatale.” The film, though long at two hours and 23 minutes, flows fairly smoothly and never feels slow or improperly placed.
Best known for his work in such films as “No Country For Old Men” and “A Beautiful Mind,” cinematographer Roger Deakins helps Mendes craft an epic spy thriller, complete with sweeping shots of exotic locales like Turkey and China. Each shot seemed handpicked to fulfill the wishes of those Bond purists in the mood for spectacle. “Skyfall” excels on the music front as well, with a slow-burn score that incorporates new exciting pieces with the instantly recognizable classic Bond theme. The film also features the incredible new theme song, “Skyfall,” by British songstress Adele. The song, keeping in line with the nostalgic feel of the film, harkens to classic themes like Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Surrender (Tomorrow Never Dies)” by k.d. Lang.
The third time is the charm for Daniel Craig’s take on James Bond as “Skyfall,” sporting a great theme, a spectacular cast and enough tributes to the past to keep everyone happy, finally does what a reboot is supposed to do: revitalize the series in a way that makes it more appealing to new audiences without getting rid of the old features that set the franchise apart.