Friday, November 6, 2015

Movie Review: "Skyfall" (2012)

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Director: Sam Mendes
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 23 minutes

When M (Judi Dench) makes a snap judgment call that leaves James Bond (Daniel Craig) shot and presumed dead, he takes the opportunity to disappear and reflect on M's lack of concern for his life. He also contemplates letting everyone believe he is dead, but when attacks start hitting MI6 at home, Bond returns to find who is behind the attacks. Due to his injuries and him being out of the game for a while, he seems to have lost a step or two, making his task that much more difficult.

"Skyfall" is a little different than many of the past Bond films. It is a lot more focused on M, played by Judi Dench in her 7th appearance as the character, more so than any of the previous 22 movies before it. The movie opens with Judi Dench making a controversial judgment call that causes Bond, played again by Daniel Craig, to take a bullet from a fellow agent named Eve Moneypenny, played by Naomie Harris. Bond is presumed dead and becomes disillusioned with M's lack of concern for his life, so he takes his injury as an opportunity to disappear. It isn't until MI6 is attacked directly at their home base in London that he comes out of hiding. His time away and his injuries have caused him to lose his quickness and keen eye with a gun in his hand, raising some questions as to whether or not he is even fit to go back into the field. At M's insistence, he is sent back out to work hastily and maybe even unprepared for the job. He must locate the person responsible for the attacks on MI6 and quickly finds out it is a former agent that goes by the name of Silva, played by the sinister and creepy looking Javier Bardem, sporting blonde hair and a horrible dislocatable mouth palate. Silva is a step up from "Quantum of Solace" villain Dominic Greene, who was a rather mousy, not at all intimidating baddie. Silva is a former agent and is cold, calculating, and intelligent, plus, he has a half melted skull from a failed cyanide suicide attempt, something he blames on M. M did to Silva something similar that she did to Bond: sacrifice him for the bigger picture. This makes the story of "Skyfall" a simple revenge plot for Silva. In traditional Bond villain style, his scheme is way too over complicated and requires a lot of things seemingly out of his control to fall into place in order to accomplish what should be a rather simple task. In the end, though, it doesn't matter because we like the dynamic between Silva and Bond, who seem to have a lot and nothing at all in common. This film also delves deep into Bond's past and childhood and helps explain the type of relationship that M and Bond have. Humanizing Bond also makes us sort of forget he has a license to kill as one by one, the things and people he loves come crashing down or dying, shredding the layers of menacing killer to reveal an actual person. "Skyfall" is quite entertaining, has a lot of great action, and definitely contains good characters with great backstories. This is our second favorite Daniel Craig James Bond film, and Bardem in the bad guy seat, it's even better and a humongous step up from the bad guy from the film before it. Thrilling, engaging, fun to watch, different, and excellent.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
One year ago, we were watching: "White Men Can't Jump"

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