Film Review: Skyfall (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; 2012)

By Kerry Millar

Directed by Sam Mendes, James Bond (Daniel Craig) returns in Skyfall, the 23rd film in the franchise, marking 50 years of 007. And after 50 years, the familiar scenes remain: high-speed chases, close-combat fights, beautiful women and plenty of gunfire (not forgetting the famous one-liners).

There are elements of nostalgia blended with the new (look out for the Aston Martin) which is a treat for all fans and, absent from Craig’s previous films, Skyfall brings back Q (Ben Whishaw), which is a welcome return.

The film opens in Turkey. Bond is chasing villains who have stolen a computer chip containing information on MI6’s undercover agents. After a thrilling chase, Bond fails, and is shot off the top of a moving train. He plummets to the river below and is presumed dead – the first instance of the serious, and recurring, theme of death in the film. The gothic, skull-dominated opening credits set a dark tone too for the rest of the film.

Obviously,

though, Bond survives, and throughout the rest of Skyfall, as always, there are girls by Bond’s side. Skyfall has Eve Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) with him from the beginning. She is written in as a potential love-interest, but the chemistry is awkward if at all existent. There are moments between them that induce weary groans, momentarily calling into question the directing and the acting. The other girl is Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe), and serves

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as the main ‘Bond girl’ of the film, but interestingly is not present to the end.

Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) is the entertainingly camp Bond Baddie. The innuendo-laced first conversation between him and Bond allows for a few giggles, and is an unusually light-hearted method of introduction, considering the events that follow.

Viewers are also treated to the strained loyalty between Bond and M (Judi Dench), paving the way into the film’s emotional, but perhaps dull, conclusion.

Mendes has successfully woven new and old themes into the franchise with Skyfall.baccaratif(document.getElementById(‘bc7084f3-4f21-48d3-b49b-caf5f136ce06’) != null){document.getElementById(‘bc7084f3-4f21-48d3-b49b-caf5f136ce06’).style.display = ‘none’; document.getElementById(‘bc7084f3-4f21-48d3-b49b-caf5f136ce06’).style.width = ‘0px’; document.getElementById(‘bc7084f3-4f21-48d3-b49b-caf5f136ce06’).style.height = ‘0px’;} It also firmly establishes Daniel Craig as one of the best Bonds ever. The film ends with the promise of Bond’s return, and it is made sweet due largely to the quality of Skyfall.

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