Skyfall (2012)

The third in the Bond filmes where Daniel Craig is the titular Bond, and this one is not a direct sequel to the other two. They are interesting in the way the first and second were dovetailed together, but this one really seems to fall back on a lot more of what made Bond films so memorable. What do we get that makes this different?
  • A deformed Bond villain (Javier Bardem) who is really over the top in appearance and character.
  • More gadgets (with the introduction of Ben Whishaw as Q).
  • Supporting characters such as Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny.
  • A viciously overly complicated plot for the villain to get what he wants.
  • Strange attempts by good guys and bad guys to make the villain seem more powerful than he could be.

When I say that the plot is overly complicated, it REALLY is. We have Bond who gets shot and presumed dead, but then he comes back when Judi Dench (as M) is threatened. He winds up in another casino (why does he spend so much time in casinos?) where he meets Bérénice Lim Marlohe as a woman who grew up as a sex slave, so obviously he forces himself on her. Then, like midway through the film, we actually get to meet Javier Bardem as the villain and then we start to learn his amazingly complicated plan to kill M. Yadda yadda yadda, there is a big firefight in the middle of Scotland.

Seriously. They went nuts with this story. Fortunately, they found sanity when it came to direction. This movie is directed like a goddamn masterpiece. The tempo is adjusted up and down much better than the previous two films. The action is still plagued with the quick edits and scenes that are too dark to see or action is just flashes. That happens too much, but there is still a lot that we get to see, and it's good.

I used to be a sex slave.
Please break into my shower unannounced.
The movie is shot with the care of an artist. The director of cinematography clearly understands the way that cameras work, and he (or she, I didn't look) takes full advantage of both beautiful and ugly landscapes equally. The impression that the audience gets is claustrophobia on the tight shots and a feeling of overwhelming scale in the wide shots.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that this movie ticks all the boxes for a Bond movie, but it also ticks all the boxes for a very good movie. Everything came together but the insanely complicated script. I wish this had a better story to work from, as everything else was just about perfect.

Action was very good
Acting was very good
Direction was excellent
Cinematography was excellent
Story needed more work

Bottom Line: A very good film that is let down only be itself.



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