Bond in Film Skyfall Daniel Craig James Bond Judi Dench M

Published on November 23rd, 2012 | by Ben Abbott

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Review: Skyfall.

Director: Sam Mendes.

Cast: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judy Dench & Ralph Fiennes.

If there was one thing to be learnt from watching all the previous Bond films prior to this year’s Skyfall, it was that the formula may stay the same but the result can be tremendously different. The Connery’s were better than the Brosnan’s that were better than the Moore’s; Lazenby and Dalton don’t come into this equation. After seeing Skyfall however the equation must be changed in order to fit a new leader of the pack. Daniel Craig and co. under the direction of Sam Mendes have made the best Bond film of all-time. Skyfall is absolutely brilliant.

Skyfall is unlike a lot of Bond films in that the crisis Bond is fighting against is not against the world or an entire city, instead it is trying to save M, played once again by Judi Dench. After losing a top-secret list of MI6 agents currently undercover in terrorist organisations, Bond is assigned to find the man responsible but instead, the man is coming to them. Silva (played by Javier Bardem), an ex-MI6 agent wants to unravel the organisation and all their secrets to the world and eventually coming face to face once again with his former boss M.

The era of Daniel Craig has seen a shift in the tone and for the most part, a shift in quality. With the exception of a lot of Quantum of Solace, Craig and co. have produced arguably the best Bond to hit the big screen. Away from the days of bringing type cast actors to play the villains and the henchwoman etc, we have some of the cream of the crop of acting talent in this span. This move away from using the Odd Job’s and Goldfinger’s brings a seriousness that at times gives the film a tone more akin to the Matt Damon lead Bourne series. This is, in every way, a good thing.

Javier Bardem, an actor who gets my ticket sale no matter what the film, is superb as Silva and continues the line of fantastic Bond villains, not just relying on their defining physical feature e.g. Jaws. Bardem’s dialogue with Bond is at times outrageous but hits the perfect point of cheesy humour along with serious. At times the motives of Silva don’t seem clear but as the plot continues, the entire idea of Silva and his plan are something fantastically different for the series.

The film is absolutely beautiful. Under the direction of Oscar winning director Sam Mendes, the film pops with exquisite lighting and use of colour in scenes that would otherwise be stock standard.  Highlighted by the scene of Bond meeting with company at a casino on the water, the lighting of the film shines as a truly beautiful spectacle. Mendes gets the best out of his entire cast also with Craig, Bardem, Dench and the new Eve Moneypenny, Naomie Harris, making the film not only a delight visually but as an entire package.

The Bond series has definitely had its ups and downs but it is incredibly satisfying to see the series hit its stride over the last 6 or so years. Quantum of Solace may not have been too good but it is only because Casino Royale was so good before it. With the inclusion of Ralph Fiennes into the cast for films to come, the quality we have seen will hopefully not be going anywhere.

Skyfall is, in my opinion, the best Bond film ever. Before Skyfall I would have said Casino Royale so there is something to be said for the change the series has taken since the Daniel Craig era started. Quantum of Solace appears to be the small misstep of the Craig led films, a misstep that led to the making of Skyfall being delayed for such a long time. That delay however did not lead to a disappointing package; it was in fact the opposite. Skyfall is one of the best films of the year so far, something you could not have said about any Brosnan or Moore led Bonds. Let’s hope this Bond quality continues. Bring on Bond 24.

By Tom Fortune.

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