Movie Review: Skyfall

Zachary Brenner

Life Editor

Rated PG13: For intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language, and smoking

Let’s look back at 2006. After much anticipation, Daniel Craig made his screen debut as James Bond in Casino Royale and shocked the world with a new, more serious Bond. Now, four years after the disappointing Quantum of Solace, Sam Mendes has come in to direct the new James Bond, Skyfall. With this 23rd installment to the longest running movie franchise in history, Craig and Mendes have made the best, and most unique Bond yet.

The first scene in the film was one of the most brilliant James Bond chase sequences I have ever seen. The scene was nerve-wracking and skillfully shot, and led the film right into the opening title sequence; a sequence that I could not have predicted would be so outstanding. Without a doubt in my mind, the James Bond franchise has a new, superior title sequence.

From the start of the film, it was clear that Daniel Craig decided he would take a different approach as Bond from here on out. The hit-man type personality that was shown in Quantum of Solace did not return in this James Bond movie. In this film, we see an older James Bond, a James Bond that has lost a few steps. Daniel Craig portrays Bond in this film as one who has more to lose than to gain.

The stakes have been raised to the highest bar, as MI6 comes under attack by cyber-terrorist Silva, played by Javier Bardem.  Bardem plays a crazy, yet brilliantly terrifying villain – a villain that in some ways reminds me of Heath Ledger’s take on the infamous Joker character. Bardem’s performance added significantly to the horror of the film, but was also able to get quite a few audience laughs. I’m not saying this will happen, but Bardem could easily be nominated for another Academy Award.

Judi Dentch, appearing in her seventh James Bond movie as M, plays a different type of role in this film. She is taken out of her shell by Bond and Silva and must confront the mistakes that she has made. As expected from Judi Dentch, she performed perfectly.

And what is a James Bond movie without Bond girls?  Berenice Marlohe and Naomie Harris are two completely different figures in the film. Berenice is more of the classic Bond girl, while Naomie is more of a hard-core figure, a field agent who must pay for a dreadful accident. However, both characters have everything a Bond girl needs: elegance and suave.

Exotic locations, jaw-dropping action sequences, great acting and brilliant cinematography are what make up this film. With everything on the line for the franchise’s 50 anniversary, the movie does not disappoint. There is no doubt that this was a different type of Bond film. The movie may be controversial, as it broke many Bond rules. However, at the same time, the film presents those ‘classic Bond’ moments that may have been absent in the previous two films.

Grade: A