Fighting Until The Last Breath
Warning: this review does contain a few vague spoilers.
Skyfall is the 2012 James Bond film, and the 23rd in the franchise, which stars Daniel Craig as 007, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris and Ralph Fiennes.
The original movies set up Bond doing some ridiculous things, and surviving missions that should have killed anyone else, but we never saw Bond as an immortal, but that's essentially what we have in Skyfall. Bond is ageing, and nowhere near the specimen he was in the Casino Royale, but yet he someone manages to survive attacks and situations that feel so unbelievable that the only possibility is immortality.
Thanks to this shift in vulnerability, much of the suspense surrounding Bond's life is completely gone. So, instead, all that suspense is now shifted to the other characters around him, which was a fantastic idea. If we're to see another huge long running string of adventures revolving around 007, it's going to feel like he couldn't be killed again very quickly. Thus, reflecting the suspense to the surrounding characters, and making it so that he doesn't save everyone, gives a higher probability that we won't be stuck with the damsel in distress scenarios that plagued the original movies... As long as it is done correctly, anyway.
Much of that suspense wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for the fantastic villain, though. Javier Bardem did an amazing job at making Silva the perfect villain for this movie. He feels very human, yet rides close to the limits of believability in his actions and abilities. Plus, the background we are given makes this man terrifyingly possible. This is the type of villain this series needs to continue pumping out.
The action is also very realistic, yet intense, too. I am very impressed with the quality of the stunts and cartography of the fights in these reboot movies, although the action in Skyfall is by far my favourite. We are treated with so many wide shots in this movie, which makes the action feel organic and real. It's especially helpful that some of them are done with less frequent cuts. Sure, there are still some awful quick jerking camera moments, but they aren't as bad as past films. Could they finally be learning that longer action shots are more entertaining?
After the less than stellar Quantum, Skyfall feels like a brilliant Bond movie. It may not be perfect, and not at the level of Royale, but is still one of the best 007 movies yet. Plus, it finally feels like we are back to the beginning of the franchise again with everything being set up to bring back an environment similar to that of the original Bond movies. I just hope they don't bugger it up.
That rounds out our pre-Spectre 007 movie reviews! What a ride! I'm hoping I have a chance to watch the new movie shortly after it comes out, so look for the Spectre review in November!
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