I’ve been hearing Adele’s song Skyfall on the radio for weeks now, and it has that Bond “theme” stamped all over it; the track fits almost perfectly with the “vintage Bond”-style opening sequence and credits of the movie. We last saw Bond back in 2008’s Quantum of Solace, which was definitely a fun film, but Skyfall manages to outdo that and all of the recent previous Bond movies as well.
The film blasts us into the action from the very first frame. Bond (Daniel Craig) is in a foreign city – that looks like somewhere in the Middle East – trying to retrieve a list of compromised agents’ names. His partner, Eve (Naomie Harris), has his back and is following him on the road, while he is tangling with this man on top of a truck. M (Judi Dench, reprising her role) tells Eve to take the shot, even though she doesn’t have a clear view, and she ends up shooting Bond instead of the bad guy, who plunges into the water many feet below. Cue: a more than five-minute opening with Adele’s “Skyfall” playing throughout, making you reminisce about the Bond films of old.
This list must be found, as the man who stole it is not afraid to use it: he posts the first five names and pictures on YouTube and sends it to M, and three of the five are soon assassinated. Although Bond was assumed dead after the opening mission, it turns out he’s just stowed away in a beach paradise, and when he hears of the troubles MI6 is having, via a TV news report, he immediately returns to London. His pursuit of the bad guy brings him to Shanghai, and then Macau, and finally back to London, where he finds out that it is a Mr. Silva (Javier Bardem), a former agent who was given up and is still angry at M and wants to bring down MI6.
I have to say that Javier Bardem absolutely stole this movie. Though he might not be a “typical” Bond villain, he is mesmerizing in every scene he’s in, and would most certainly be up for an Oscar nomination if this wasn’t a Bond movie. There’s one scene in MI6 where he’s being detained in this see-through chamber type thing, and it reminded me a bit of Magneto’s prison in the X-Men series. Daniel Craig is also perfect (again) as Bond, though if you watch carefully you’ll notice he doesn’t actually have a lot of speaking lines; he’s a man of action, not words. We learn an interesting secret about Naomie Harris at the end of this film, which makes me think she will be in the next Bond movie, and Ralph Fiennes and Q (Ben Whishaw) also make their first Bond appearances, most likely one of many.
Yes, see this film. I almost wanted to give this 5 out of 5 stars, except it clocks in around two and a half hours and parts could have been cut, in my opinion. The action in the movie will keep you on the edge of your seat practically throughout its entire runtime, which does go by fast considering its length. Although there’s not as many “flashy” Bond gadgets as in the past (in one scene, Q teasingly asks Bond: “Were you expecting an exploding pen?”), there’s plenty of nods to Bond fans throughout, from the Aston Martin that Bond picks up near the end of the film to the secret about Eve’s last name that we learn about, also at the end. Daniel Craig has signed on to do at least two more Bond films, and he’s definitely a good choice to continue the series.
Skyfall is in theaters today, November 9th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 141 minutes.
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.