Skyfall is disjointed and suffering from a case of multiple personality disorder. Despite this, Skyfall is still fun and worthy to carry the namesake of James Bond and I applaud the attempt at bringing Bond back to his cinematic roots.
James Bond returns in his newest adventure, Skyfall, starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, and Ralph Fiennes. Director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Jarhead) is tasked with bringing Bond back to form after the sub par Quantum of Solace. Does he succeed? Keep reading to find out.
Skyfall begins, like most Bond films, with an action packed opening sequence through the streets and rooftops of Turkey. Bond, along with fellow operative Eve (Naomie Harris) use multiple forms of transport, including car, motorcycle and train, while in pursuit of an individual in possession of a stolen drive that contains the identity of every agent in MI6. While in a scuffle on top of a train, Bond is inadvertently shot by Eve when ordered by M to take out the thief and falls into the water below.
Bond, presumed dead, spends his time on a beach drinking and doing typical Bond things with ladies, until he sees a report of MI6 being attacked on CNN, complete with a Wolf Blitzer cameo. Bond returns out of practice and out of shape to perform his duty to his country but M clears him for duty to chase the psychotic Silva portrayed by Bardem.
Just like Casino Royal took the same path as Batman Begins, Skyfall feels very similar to The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. Bardem portrays a psychotic terrorist mastermind with an army at his disposal, not unlike Bane. Bardem’s portrayal of Silva reminds me a lot of Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker, nuanced and menacing with a touch of playfulness. Bond’s journey mirrors Batman’s in The Dark Knight Rises. Bond is presumed dead, returns, and faces the ailments that come with age as he attempts to stop a terrorist on a personal vendetta. Even some of the score sounds very similar to Nolan’s Batman films. It’s somewhat off putting and pulled me out of the film.
Skyfall is not the best Bond film ever. Skyfall doesn’t touch Craig’s first crack at the character in Casino Royal. I’m not saying Skyfall isn’t good but don’t believe the mega-hype around this movie. For starters the movie gets a little too caught up in its own legacy. There are so many nods and winks to previous Bond’s that it forcibly removes you from the story. While these are fun it drags the film down, minus the very end which provided a great moment for anyone familiar with previous Bond movies.
My biggest complaint is that Bardem feels wasted. When he is on screen he is flat out creepy, but we only get 30 minutes of Silva and his backstory and motivation are surmised in two lines. Bardem’s presence does inject much needed tension into the proceedings but his character losses all his terrifying charm as he devolves into a one dimensional maniac as he blows up a house in Scotland for 15 minutes.
Skyfall also feels confused as to what kind of Bond movie it wants to be. The gritty elements of Casino Royal are present but the tongue and cheek elements are back as well. I do agree that the Casino Royal was more Bourne than Bond but I came into the movie expecting the modern Bond but was given scenes such as him spring boarding off of a Komodo Dragon to escape a pit.
Skyfall is disjointed and suffering from a case of multiple personality disorder. Mendes seems to be trying to take Bond back to what he once was, quippy lines and ridiculous situations and all, but the film suffers as a result. Despite this, Skyfall is still fun and worthy to carry the namesake of James Bond and I applaud the attempt at bringing Bond back to his cinematic roots.