The Ninjabot

Skyfall Review: Daniel Craig’s Bond Still Kicks Ass (Spoiler Free)

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 11:08 am by Amanda Andonian

Skyfall review

It’s been four years since we’ve seen 007 in action, and Daniel Craig does not disappoint in Skyfall, the newest installment in the Bond franchise, directed by Sam Mendes. Ever since Casino Royale, I have been well and truly hooked to the new reincarnation of Bond, which continues the tradition we’ve come to expect—nail biting action, steamy love scenes, and James Bond being a badass in general. Throwing us right into the thick of the action, Bond is in hot pursuit of some guy who’s stolen a thing; and as an audience member, I couldn’t care less what it was! All I needed to see was Craig’s cool reserve in the face of death-defying feats, and he certainly delivers.

On to my Skyfall review!

Though I haven’t seen Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace in years, so it’s difficult to compare, Skyfall is a slight departure from its predecessors in the sense that it isn’t just about James Bond cloaking himself in espionage and kicking some serious ass. Rather, it’s also a story about loyalty and trust, forcing Bond to examine why he does what he does and whether his faith in M is justified. Higher themes are certainly not necessary in a Bond movie, but I appreciate them nonetheless.

Skyfall reviewLike any good Bond movie, we’re treated to breathtaking panoramas from cities across the world as our globetrotting super spy pursues whatever it is that he’s after. From Turkey to Macau back to London, Bond is definitely getting his frequent flier miles racked up. My favorite scenes from the movie have to come from the lavish Macau casino where a tense standoff between Bond and Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe) leads him to the psychotic Silva, played perfectly by Javier Bardem. Mendes expertly intersperses these quiet, intense scenes into the heart-pounding action, giving the audience ample time to take a breather before the next shoe drops, as it inevitably does.

Silva marks a return to the truly insane and diabolical villains that we’re accustomed to in Bond movies, but at the same time I found the character to be a little too insane. His dogged pursuit for revenge seems a little overboard, but then again, he is insane; I’m not sure how much one can expect from a crazy person in terms of logical action. He was betrayed, and that betrayal drove him over the edge. Even as he wreaks havoc to punish those who did him wrong, Bardem’s Silva visibly cracks at nearly every turn, which just adds to the tension.

Skyfall reviewOn a lighter note, we’re also treated to more of Daniel Craig’s comedic side; and though most of it is his usual dry humor, there are a few visual gags that are just so hilarious I couldn’t possibly do them justice if I tried to describe it (look out for my favorite one during the fight in the Macau casino). I love when serious movies are able to interject moments of humor like this—it’s a pleasant surprise that briefly alleviates an otherwise heavy and straightforward film. The older Bond films were all about the tongue-in-cheek dialog, and Skyfall manages to bring that sense of humor to Bond without making him ridiculous in the process, unlike some other Bond movies I could mention.

If you’re a huge Bond fan, there are plenty of little moments and references to the older films that will have you jumping out of your seat with glee. I may not have much Bond knowledge, but it didn’t take a rocket scientist to identify the references from all the cheering going on around me when each little nugget was dropped. Not only that, but we finally see some favorite characters of the franchise once again, most notably Q, which I learned apparently stands for “quartermaster.” I would have like to see more of Q and his gadgets since Ben Wishaw is just so freaking cute, but what scenes he did have with Craig were pretty great all the same.

Skyfall reviewThe only thing I wasn’t on-board with in this movie was all the dredging up of Bond’s past. I kind of liked the idea that “James Bond” was a designation not unlike “007”, “M”, and “Q”; butSkyfall makes it clear that James Bond came from a rough past that he’s still trying to get over, and he has all this angst over it, and blah blah blah. I don’t care what Bond’s childhood was like—all that matters to me now is that he’s kicking ass and taking names.

On a similar note, all of the uncertainty regarding whether he was ready to go back into the field after his apparent death was a little too much as well. Yes, part of the appeal of Craig’s Bond is that he is a real person with real emotions, despite the facade that he presents to people. At the same time, I don’t really like seeing Bond so unbalanced and doubting himself. It’s not like he’s never been shot before! Upon reflection, though, it’s not really the getting shot that has him unbalanced—it’s the circumstances surrounding why and how he was shot that have Bond wondering whether he can really continue serving his country as he has.

Well that’s my Skyfall review! Who’s planning on going to the theater this weekend? Go see it and let us know what you think!

For more on all things geek, check out Amanda’s Twitter at @reiko516.

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