Skyfall combines the traditional with the modern in the auspicious 50th anniversary Bond film. But the question on everyone’s mind is: did the film actually live up to its expectations?
Perhaps on some level, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Sam Mendes definitely succeeded in leaving his mark. Skyfall offers a never before seen sneak-peak into the mysterious past of James Bond, and more importantly, brings to the front stage the ultimate Bond Girl… M! Judi Dench’s solid performance takes a personal twist as her final casting as M mirrors the dilemma of her character. Furthermore, M’s relationship with Bond is challenged as he is faced with questioning his loyalty to her.
But it is Javier Bardem’s haunting performance as Raoul Silva that really pulls the audience in. He might not be the classic villain of the Bond films, but in my opinion, he’s the most interesting and amusing. Reminding me of Batman’s Joker, Raoul Silva is genius, twisted and playful, giving in to the modern villain cliché, but not without his own kinky trademark.
As most of you know, Skyfall is Daniel Craig’s third Bond film. Craig succeeded in bringing back the playful and stylish grace of the original Bond that was lost in Quantum of Solace. Furthermore, he does not let Bardem steal his thunder in the film, as his own performance was just as impressive; especially as he makes due with witty one-liners instead of long monologues.
Skyfall’s plot was definitely better than Quantum of Solace’s, which left the audience scratching their heads wondering what it was really about. The storyline is straight forward yet clever, with a few unexpected twists and turns. The simplicity of the film’s chain of events might disappoint those who believe the plot was not all that it could have been. However, director Sam Mendes did succeed in bringing back the traditionally simple plot of the Bond films from the 60’s while touching on contemporary issues such as hacking scandals and fashionably simple and small state of the art technology.
The powerful personas and the exquisite cinematography excel together rather than compete for center stage. Each action scene was aesthetically breathtaking, with creative camera angles, lighting, and special effects. Nevertheless, no film goes without a negative critique, and a few flaws can be found with certain CGI exaggerations, although, the film was overall spectacular.
The theme song, written and performed by Adele was powerful and elegiac; bringing to the surface the nostalgic quality of the 50th anniversary of Bond films. Again, the audience gets a sense of the merging together of the old and the new in a traditional Bond theme song with an English soul/RnB/pop star.
My favorite aspect of the film has to be the script. The sheer brilliance of keeping the traditionally cheesy jokes and innuendos of Bond, whilst diverting from the often predictable nature keeps the audience on their toes. Hint: Take note of the religious references throughout the film and the symbolism of the setting choice.
Bond movies have always surpassed territorial boundaries and moral expectations. Although Skyfall takes Bond movies to new heights in China and Turkey, the brilliance is in bringing the action back to the United Kingdom, and back to the home of Bond. The proud nationalization of the UK finds new depths in the Bond tradition through its modern angle down to its underground realms. Whether or not it lives up to your expectations is up to you to decide; in my opinion, it may not have been the best one, because I will always be loyal to Sean Connory in Dr. No (1962). However, after watching the film (twice) and hearing two sets of audience applaud the film unanimously, I can say with confidence that Skyfall did in fact succeed in doing the 50th anniversary justice.
What did you think of the brand new Bond film? Do you agree with Dominique? Comment below or via Twitter @labelonline