Directed by Sam Mendes
Do you still remember how disappointed you were after Quantum of Solace? Well, I do. What a sad day it was. Craig had been recognised as the ideal Bond after having performed exceptionally well in Casino Royale (2006), but he was unfortunately backstabbed by what the producers called a movie in 2008. Things have definitely changed with Skyfall: realistic, fantastic characters and a strong storyline make it impossible to watch this movie just once.
Skyfall opens dramatically: chasing cars in the exotic Istanbul (Turkey), some scenes in the local market and even a fight scene literally on the train. After that the opening theme sung by ADELE is to be heard and the 142 minutes long movie can really begin.
The running time may seem too long, but really feels too short. MI6, the British Secret Service, is under attack. Someone is after M. personally and guess what, it’s up to 007 to solve the puzzle.
There are three elements that support the strong story: (1) the characters, (2) the setting and (3) coherence.
First off, the interaction between the characters differs greatly from previous Bond movies. Sam Mendes, the director, has intentionally included the humor in dialogues. For example, a young Q (the gadget expert) only provides a gun and a radar. To the dismay of some people, there are no exploding pens. It’s all about going back to the classics as proved by the dialogues.
Seconly I must mention the setting. Yes, the usual exotic locations have been included, but oh my, go and watch how Bond takes us back to his roots. A beautiful British landscape just serves one purpose: blowing up our minds with unexpected, thrilling twists.
Last, the movie has been filmed coherently. What exactly does that mean? Nominated for 9 Academy Awards, cinematographer Roger Deakins sees to how things have been filmed. Especially the scenes in Shanghai are extraordinary. They all add up to creation of suspense throughout the whole storyline making Skyfall a well-paced movie. The action scenes fluently change to more serious scenes. You don’t see that often in action movies.
Why not the A* score?
Although Skyfall contained all the necessary ingredients for the ultimate Bond movie, it really lacked the Bond outbreak I was looking for. Throughout the scenes Bond remained to its mimimum and we saw a more emotional Bond. Now I’m not saying that’s bad, but it does not really set the realistic tone while other elements in the movie (as mentioned before) really do aim to make it all more realistic. So this contrast is a bit confusing, but totally doesn’t make the movie bad at all.
Sam Mendes seems to be the right person to breathe new life into the everlasting franchise. His style is more than satisfactory: Skyfall is the Bond movie we have all been waiting for.