4 Nov 2012

Movie Review: Skyfall: Mr. Bond, Where the hell have you been?


Finally, Daniel Craig gets a Bond movie we would like to return to. Though the plot and sketches of the antagonist and protagonist are clearly inspired from the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy (Especially The Dark Knight), Skyfall is an entertaining film that holds our attention, almost all of the time.

Story
Somebody has stolen the hard drive containing the identities of undercover government agents. The agents who have infiltrated various terrorist groups are now been discovered and executed one by one. Under immense political pressure and criticism, M (Judi Dench, apt) assigns Bond to recover the drive, only to bring up remnants of M’s past decisions. Still, Bond stays by M, even as the devious villain blows up the M16 London Headquarters, leaving a trail of bodies.

Right Mood 
Director Sam Mendes gives us atmosphere, scintillating visuals, and smooth, racy storytelling. Bond (Daniel Craig, Efficient as usual) is depicted as tired, ageing, and yet giving his best. He has lost none of his charm for women though or his straight-faced wit, a consistent (previously waning) factor in the Craig/Bond films. For once, there are no complexities; it is clear what the villain (A brilliant take by Javier Bardem) is after - Thank god, for once it is not world domination.

By atmosphere we mean the sounds and visuals we have craved for since Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan left the scene – gentle smooth roar of the Aston Martin, plunk of ice in the martini, seductive guile and certainly not a Bond looking to marry. Q (Ben Whishaw) and Eve (Naomie Harris) make for light, catchy character sketches. Ralph Fiennes is wasted in his role, despite what finally transpires. The Scotland finale, despite the Batman/Bruce Wayne likeness (Batman Begins) is great if not overwhelming.

After the disappointments that Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008) were, Skyfall is engaging if not totally original cinema. But one thing can be said for certain, it has a Bond we used to love.

Stand outs
James Bond falling off a train top. Two outlined men fighting each other. The villain descends from an elevator. Neon lighted Shanghai and dragons by lantern light.A helicopter approaches an old house with a rock song blaring, and Bond quips, "He always has to make an entrance."    

Javier Bardem as Silva

Craig sets out on another chase


Berenice Marlohe stars as the alluring, tragic Severine
Naomie Harris as Eve, the other Bond girl                                                     

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