James Bond isn’t even on my radar when I’m thinking about my favorite characters of all time. Don’t get me wrong, I like Sean Connery, but the movies have always seemed sexist, cheap in the laughs department, and pretty lame on the action side too.
(I know you’re probably thinking, “What have you seen these classics?” And yes, I have. I’ve seen the boat chases and the motorcycle not-built-for-two ride, and all of the gross ways to kill a villain and his minions, and my opinion’s still not swayed…the older Bond movies were made for men who had a dream of being suave and smooth and desirable, but who were depending on their ability to change the channels and work out occasionally at the gym to get them there. The new Bond movie takes the male psyche a little deeper and for that I’m grateful.)
I actually started to think differently about the franchise when Daniel Craig took over as Bond in 2006. Casio Royale and Quantum of Solace seemed to have more substance to them then their predecessors. It wasn’t so much Daniel Craig as the new direction Bond was moving, falling in love and actually caring about a few people. I haven’t ever really been much of a Daniel Craig fan, but I think he’s now won me over with the last ten minutes of Skyfall.
As far as the Bond women of this movie go, these were pretty good. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll stop there. The Russian chick from GoldenEye is still my favorite, though, not the crazy one, but the smart girl.
Javier Bardem just might be the best villain yet! I don’t really remember much about the other villains. They all kind of run together after a while, but something tells me this guy’s going to stand out, though I don’t really recall his villain name right now. Bardem’s acting was incredible. I almost felt sorry for the guy.
I liked the new characters they brought on too. The new, young “Q” was a nice addition. And Ralph Fiennes as “M’s” boss balanced things out a bit. Though my first thought was “Voldemort!” when I saw him.
I even liked the chase scene, and I hate chase scenes. They usually go on far too long and are way too predictable, but this one (at the beginning) was evenly paced and had a little twist to it.
The two best things about the movie though were the script and Daniel Craig’s acting. He’s got that cold, mean stare down, but it’s when he shows Bond’s brokenness he really deepens the character and that makes the action sequences even better. It reminds me of Jason Bourne fighting. You can almost feel his confusion and anger and frustration as he’s beating someone up with a pen and a dish towel. And with Daniel Craig, we can feel a little old and tired, but still very much in the game.
So from the opening credits and Adele’s silky voice to the “50 Year Anniversary” stamp above the “Bond will return” at the end, Skyfall just might be the crowning achievement in the Bond dynasty. I give it a “7.”