Sunday, November 11, 2012


I have mixed feelings about this one. It's not love/hate exactly, as much as it is love/not love. Here goes. Spoilers ahead ...

What I love about Skyfall ...

It's stunning to look at. Roger Deakins has outdone himself with his beautiful cinematography, including some stunning color palettes. In particular, the Shanghai sequence is one of the most original, and gorgeous action scenes I've seen in a while. No shaky cam here.

The return of some Bond tropes, i.e. the quips, Q, the leather-padded doors of M's office, even things like the Kimono Dragon getting the better of the Chinese thug, a sequence that really harkened back to the Moore era.

Adele's song, and the opening credits.

The overall acting. Daniel Craig is very, very good, but we know that. And while my biggest problem with the film is the character of Silva, I will admit that Javier Bardem was excellent. He chews the scenery but in a unique, and very funny way, while also remaining threatening.

What I don't love about Skyfall ...

Too much M. Judi Dench rocks it, so it's not her fault, but I guess I prefer my M's to stay in their office and dole out assignments. Not everyone has to be along for the ride.

There's a whole middle sequence that felt an awful lot like The Dark Knight Rises, with the character of Silva way too much like The Joker, including a God-awful bit of CGI face altering. Also, I know that Bond films are ludicrous by their very nature, but the whole get-captured-on-purpose-to-wreak-havoc plot point did not work for me.

I like Thomas Newman but this was an uninspired score that actually made me miss David Arnold. Although I did appreciate the return of a lot of classic Bond cues.

Everything is just too personal in this film. For Bond, it's personal. For M, it's personal, and for Silva, it's very, very personal. The whole movie is trying to ratchet up the stakes. While that generally works in most films, I actually don't love it in a Bond film. What I love about Bond films is that they are self-contained adventures, and that Bond, as a hero, has a certain detachment, even though he's saving the world.

When I first heard about the end of the film, that it was set in the moors of Scotland, I was pretty excited. It just wasn't as good as I had hoped, maybe because it felt like a gothic version of Home Alone instead of a typical Bond film. I don't need lairs and jumpsuits (maybe I do) but it just didn't work for me, despite a nice performance from Albert Finney as Kincade.

Overall, it was impossible to not be excited (as a Bond fan) but the very end of the film, when the filmmakers signify that the re-boot (that began in the superior Casino Royale) is finally over, and Bond is back. I walked out anxious to see the next film, to see Daniel Craig, and M, and Q, and Moneypenny, and hoping that it would be a different, better film than Skyfall.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I liked that this Bond was being personal, as it is completely different. But a bigger problem with the film is that it is inconsistent. The first half of the film is generally Bondish, action on the beginning, problems in London.. And then after Silva appears (Bardem just made me fall of the chair in his appearance scene) the film changes the tone completely, and then it kind of tries to cope and be consistent, but with force xD if you know what I mean.. If they wanted to make a personal film, they should have bombastic fast paced action scenes. Something like "From Russia With Love" was or even Bourne films. I think Quantum had much better rhythm and it was consistent. I didn't even think about the Dark Knight, but you made me think about it, and now I see it's crap xD

    I didn't like the whole hacking thing it was absolute bullshit and made MI6 look really stupid (I though the "hollywood hacking language" died after 90s). I mean most people are not that stupid to see that all that stuff is made so silly, Q connecting Silva's computer to the whole network or the eye candy map of London, M getting those nice little graphic messages.. Makes me think that Silva had a whole slave graphic department to make those 3d models and animations xD And if you think about Silva's plan, it was relaying on quite a lot of coincidences.. I mean the subway falling on Bond? WTF!

    I didn't like the talking over earphones stuff.. It reminds me too much of Mission Impossible or some police films.. Not very lone-wolf-charming-intuitive-Bondish. There was too much Q too

    Oh and did you realize that almost everyone in the films gets shot! hahaha that made me laugh.

    Although I am picky about these details, overall it's a pretty good film.

    When Bond lights up the garage and DB5 appears, starts the drive and the Bond theme is heard in the background.. Man... That was probably the best scene I've ever seen in a bond. It sent such a clear message: "Bond is back!"

    Acting is amazing, sets are amazing, cinematography amazing, locations amazing! And I also can't wait for the next Bond =)