An impeccable suit and cool gadgets are synonymous with James Bond. Just celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, Ian Flemming’s fictional super spy is the longest running film franchise to date with twenty-three titles to its credit. Skyfall pays tribute to this.
Skyfall (2012) Film Review
Failing their latest mission is not an option for the British Secret Service. After a man murders one of their security teams, a highly skilled assassin becomes the agency’s most wanted criminal. This sends OO7, James Bond (Daniel Craig) after the man. Aided by local field agent, Eve (Naomie Harris), the head of the agency, M (Judi Dench) orders her to take the sniper shot so they don’t lose the list the sniper plans to sneak away with; one that contains the names and locations of undercover agents. Only instead she hits Bond who falls into a river and is presumed dead. Three months later, there is an explosion at the London headquarters leaving a trail that points to M as the target of these attacks. The only question is who is leaving them behind?
Before getting into the good and bad of the newest Bond film, there is a confession I must make. This is the first I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t that they didn’t look interesting, I just didn’t care enough. As thrillers go, it’s good with its breath-catching opening and fabulous car chase that wastes no time in rolling in, which is the lead-in to an opening title sequence quite “usual” for Bond films. This one starts out good before getting a bit bizarre with its graphics though it does feature Adele’s vocally cool titular song. Save for its morals, in all other regards, Skyfall isn’t bad.
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Clocking in at over two hours, it’s pleasant to discover despite the ridiculously long time, the pacing works. Every time the villain (played creepily well by Javier Bardem) escapes, it doesn’t irritate because the excitement and thrill of the chase pack such an adrenaline punch it seems like little time passes. Plus, the writing doesn’t drag anything unnecessarily out. There is a particularly good scene with some cool special effects and tense moments; it’s during a political panel. Likewise the scene at Skyfall is terrific. Paying homage to the oldies in this franchise, it’s also a fun section that reminds of the rigged up gadgets of the days of MacGyver.
Where the weaponry and effects excel, the morals are nonexistent. Like prior movies, at least three women are a brief part of Bond’s life before credits role. Naomie Harris is a smart, interesting character but like the people who surround Bond, she is expendable (honestly, it’s surprising she’s still breathing by the end!) in that she’s more illusion than substance. Any mystery that may be a part of her past is eluded too although no one ever confronts this. The final scene with her is cute as is the teaser which assures us Bond will be back. Daniel Craig is said to be the “best” Bone which is something I cannot fairly judge, he fills the shoes just fine. With finesse and pizzazz, Skyfall seems a decent addition to something that has become an icon in society’s entertainment.
You can find Skyfall digitally on Amazon Video
Content: Bullets find their target and kill multiple people; one is murdered for no other reason than entertainment. There’s bodies everywhere after an explosive climax as well as a room of murdered agents in the opening; a knife finds its way into the back of someone. Weird reptile-like creatures drag a person into their lair. There are two implications of intimacy [one involves a “heavy” make-out scene] and one in the shower showing two naked people, from the waste up. Implications of homosexuality crops up; a man runs his hands up and down the clothed legs of his prisoner and gets in close to him during conversation laced with double-meanings. Profanity is infrequent with commonplace uses save for one use of the F-word and some British slang. MPAA rating is PG13.