Skyfall

Take the Bloody Shot – M

This movie is Bond-ian escapism taken to it’s absolute zenith. The villians are sinister and otherworldly, the ladies fatal, the challenges impossible and the sights ever more exotic. 

There is nothing to be revealed about the story because this movie deserves nothing more than absolute secrecy, but MI6 is under attack. Many questions come into play here, who is Bond? Who is M? Why should the 00 Section exist? And perhaps even on a more existential level, Why James Bond and not any other agent.

The movie takes place over several beautiful locations, but the location most stunning and least expected of all is London. A dynamic and beautiful London and collaterally, Scotland, that overwhelms with its grandeur, it’s past, present and future. It’s impossible to forget that whilst Bond is always about the leading man, it is the settings, story and supporting characters that make it THE film event worth catching every few years.

Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond was lackluster to say the least, *though definitely NOT the worst Bond ever* and he has certainly come some way since Casino Royale. This feels like a more natural successor to Casino Royale, And his Bond a more developed and fleshed out character. M plays a major role in this film as hinted at in the trailers and more so than ever before, Ms. Judi Dench deserves many awards for her turn in this film. Many awards. Finally Javier Bardem, a Bond Villain for our time with the sinister majesty of Odd Job, Jaws, The Joker from Batman, tossed with some Latin Charm. He is so good for this role, it staggers the mind. 

There is no greater praise that I can give Skyfall than the fact that it feels exquisitely like a Bond movie and yet it doesn’t. It feels like a movie about a man who is lost, and why he found his way in this world doing what he does, and the people who drive him to do what he does. The story is older than time, and yet placed in the framework of Bond, it achieves such pure unadulterated perfection. Much fan service is provided by way of the little touches, The famous DB5, the Walther PPK, Bond’s wit, and a perfectly made Martini, all these superficial necessities are there. Whilst the over the top ” Was that a Komodo Dragon” moments, the exploding lair (turned on its head of course), and  all that remain, at it’s core, Skyfall is a deep movie. 

It is a movie that achieves depth never ever before seen in a Bond film, a gift to the fans totally unexpected for a franchise over 50 years old. We start to care for the characters, and understand their motivations, their desires, and ultimately why they do what they do. Something that cannot be said for many a Bond film, and almost every spy/action film. There is a subtlety to this movie that is clear even on a first viewing, and yet, all the set pieces, all the glitz and glamour turn up not to steal the show, but to demonstrate why, just why it needs to exists. For this reason, Skyfall is a must watch. Even if you never liked Bond, even if you hate the idea of a man who kills for a living and sleeps with women like they’re dirt, this movie shows you the side of Bond the movies have never managed to even hint at, that there is ultimately more to the man behind the perfect suit and perfect charm.

6/5 stars. There is no higher praise I can give Skyfall. Watch it.
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