After resurrecting a stagnant franchise with 2006’s Casino Royale, Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes team up to revive it again after the disappointment that was Quantum of Solace. They reinvigorate life into the series while reminding us of what makes James Bond films some of the most memorable experiences in cinema. Skyfall is not only one of the best Bond films, but it also ranks as one of the best films of the year thanks to its scene-stealing villain.
Director Sam Mendes rids the meaningless action and dearth of character development seen in its 2008 predecessor and brings us a vulnerable 007 that is tested like never before by a ruthless, dangerous Raoul Silva (played by Javier Bardem). Bond returns from the dead to report for duty after an attack on MI6 and helps M recover a lost file that includes agents’ identities. And that’s all the spoilers you’re getting because it is a hell of a ride you don’t want ruined.
Craig delivers his best performance as 007 in the 23rd film in the franchise, and receives great support from Bardem. No villain has demanded more attention since Heath Ledger’s Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight (Yes, Bardem is that good). Silva is a real head case with emotional scars that open the wounds of M and Bond, which makes Skyfall one of the most emotional films in the series. But not all is grim the famous spy. Mendes directs the screenplay written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan to perfection and brings it back to where it belongs: England. The beautiful scenery is as refreshing as the script, but the talented director struggles with action sequences, which are not as sharp as those seen in Casino Royale. While Mendes decides to take his sweet time to introduce us to Silva, we are treated to a great supporting cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw, who plays as a young, intellectual tech geek named Q.
While many fans would like to forget that Quantum of Solace happened, it may very well be cherished because it’s the reason Skyfall shines. The misstep forced the studio to reevaluate a franchise suffering from an identity crisis and gives us a refreshing entry that is sure to create a new crop of Bond followers as well as ignite nostalgia in 007 fanboys. Skyfall is more than just a Bond movie. Thanks to the performances of the actors and the stellar writing and directing, it is one of the best films of the year.Filed under: Movies