It’s A Whole New Bond!

 This weekend the latest Bond film released and from the reports seems to already making nice money.  For this reviewer though, my excitement was relatively low after watching Quatum of Solace so many years ago.  Still a couple of friends and I caught the afternoon showing with the hopes that the franchise would make up for their previous work.  I’m happy to say that our hopes were not dashed as Skyfall impressed us and renewed our faith in the series.  If you’re up for hearing my highlights read on as we dive into Daniel Craig’s latest film.

For those who have been in the dark, Skyfall starts with Bond (Craig) on another adrenaline fueled mission to recover a hard drive containing all the agents’ identity.  As seen in the trailer, a fellow agent named Eve (Naomie Harris) follows orders and supposedly send James down the river.  However, like an ignorant stain that Bond returns once more after a threat to M (Judi Dench) ‘s life.  The culprit of this crime is a rogue agent by the name of Silva (Javier Bardem)who has a personal vendetta to take out the head of MI6, in hopes of achieving his insane goals.

The summary of the trailer is pretty much the story of this film, so don’t expect too many twists and turns to come up in this film.  It’s simply a plot for revenge for previous acts, that while fun and quick really lacks any Bond Finesse.  Those seeking the classic spy mystery and information gathering may be disappointed, as this Bond continues to move towards the action franchise.  However, there is a bit of backstory to help keep things interesting, as we uncover more of James’ past, and learn a little more about the dark side of M, at least pertaining to Silva.  A few other events unfold in the movie, but most of them I saw coming from the earlier events in the movie.  Perhaps the only thing you might be wondering in this movie is the tie in to the title, as every bond movie has some connection to it.

Don’t really care about the complexity of the story?  Well then do you care about action, because this movie has got it going on.  Bond’s move have gotten more bad@$$ as he ages, trading in the typical one shot running kills, for a little more martial arts and more intense shootouts.  Want proof?  Okay, the first ten minutes of the movie is an intense chase, mixed with a touch of shooting, a little ingenuity, and a pinch of a fist fight all brilliantly captured to keep you in the loop.  I was on the edge of my seat with excitement as I watched everything unfold, appreciating the fast pace to start the film off with a bang.  The only downfall was that after such a pumping start, you feel the crash afterward, but not for too long as the action continued to occur throughout the movie.  While all of them have impressive moves, these scenes are only a fraction of the time.  For me these were small doses that led up to the grand finale at the end, that were just enough to break away from the dry conversation, but not overdone to have you rolling your eyes.  Patience pays off though, as the final scene is filled with enough ingenuity, stunts, and suspense to reward the audience.

Putting the action aside, Skyfall takes a few nostalgic turns back in time that fans will appreciate.  The dialog itself contained a few classic lines that will make you chuckle, or at least make you respect the movie even more.  Putting the bond references to the side, Skyfall’s dialog is just funny itself, as the rivalry between the characters provides openings for insults, sarcasm, and other quips to keep one entertained.  However, the biggest Bond nostalgia comes in the gadgets, but I’m not really going to say much as I’ll ruin it.  Regardless, keep your eyes open as I’m sure there are plenty of things I missed that others will pick up.

As for the acting, well it’s pretty much the same as the previous installments, good.  Although not as suave or elegant as some of his predecessors, Craig has the killer edge to make him a good agent.  I was impressed not only with his moves, but also his ability to deliver his quips with just enough emphasis to make his intentions known.  Dench as well stays strong to the role, using her British background to keep the pride of the old program head alive.  Like Craig, she too has just the right emotion in her words to make it feel real, and not an overacted dribble, though fans might not expect to see her fight, which was a surprise to me.  Continuing on Bardem did a good job playing an emotionally disturbed, though creepy bad guy.  His voice in particular had the calm collected edge to give you the creeps without going into a screaming rant, or some other stereotypical villain.  Unfortunately, the directors made his calling card a little too plain for my tastes, which took the edge off of this villain for me.  Well that and the fact he didn’t do much other than send in thugs, and do computer hacking, which although smart was a little less flashy from the other villains.

Skyfall is perhaps the first bond movie in a long time I would go see again.  With a fast paced story, lots of action, and countless classic references this movie is a nice balance and a good step up.  My only hope is with all the changes this one makes, there will be new challenges they will have to face.  There is still plenty of things to say, but I’m reaching my limit so to wrap it up: it’s worth seeing in theaters.

My scores are:

Action/Adventure/Crime:  8.0-8.5

Movie Overall:  8.0

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