Directed by: Sam Mendes
Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Rory Kinnear, Ola Rapace, Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny and Ralphe Fiennes as M.
If you don't mind, I too would like to call this an end to a successful attempt at a 007 trilogy. As Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace are directly connected to each other, so is Skyfall, which brings a close to James Bond becoming the legend of 007. It almost didn't happen or even make it to the character's 50th anniversary. After all the bankruptcy was averted, the story was well underway. An excellent selection of cast members and fans creating rumors of what to expect from the new entry. To be fair, they were almost right.
Another mission means another day being Bond. But this isn't the usual mission that introduces the film to move on to the next mission. it's a single extended assignment capable of giving a heart attack to the best of us. A hard drive containing names of various undercover British agents is stolen and it's up to Bond and his anonymous partner to recover it before it falls into the wrong hands. Seems simple enough, if the assailant wasn't as trained as James. It's a mission that not only puts a lot of weight on Bond but on M as well. If she were to lose the information, it could cost her her career, above all else. She makes a split decision that injured Bond, causing to fall to his death. Or is he?
As per usual formula of these movies, we get the credit sequence. The theme is titled Skyfall, written and performed by Adele. I'm not a big fan of her, but even I must admit that her voice is elegant, smoky and without a doubt the best candidate for this franchise. It not only defines 007, but the voice that this series as greatly missed and needed in a decade, if not more. The pieced sequence seemed lazy and repetitive, but also predictable on when where and how it would be introduced. Regardless, it's the voice that truly seduces.
And who is our villain? Well, before I utter the name you already know, let me say that Skyfall is somewhat similar to The Dark Knight Rises. How so? There is a particular conversation between Bond and Severine at a private Chinese club where they talk about the man she works for, or is at least enslaved to.
Sévérine: How much do you know about fear?
James Bond: All there is.
Sévérine: Well, not like this... Not like him...
Kind of like Selina Kyle's conversation with John Blake:
John Blake: Bane? What do you know about him?
Selina Kyle: That you should be as afraid of him as I am.
I guess it also attributes to the fact that Sam Mendes tackled Bond with inspiration from Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy...or so I've heard. Regardless of the similarities, it adds more depth to Skyfall. The franchise has reached a darker tone. The characters have made their way into our hearts with a powerful force that writing them off would simply kill us.
The villain is named Raoul Silva (Bardem) . An asset of the past from MI6 and M's past. At a time where he decided to work on his own, and got captured, he was traded for the price of more lives. This sets him off on a rampage, attacking Queen, Country and Defence at the heart with the click of a keyboard from a single computer. He's twisted, but without purpose. He, like a certain temper tantrum villain in green and gold horns wants the stage to be set for the ultimate kill. Though his true plans come to light later in the third act, nothing could have prepared us for a long shot of what seems to be the best performance in Bond history played by Javier when he makes his first appearance. Worthy of some gold. M did say once:
"If you think for one moment I don't have the balls to send a man out to die, your instincts are dead wrong. "
Alas, the trilogy brings forth the characters we have missed ever so much: Q and Miss Eve Moneypenny. Ben Whishaw fits the character profile without any flaws. Sure, Desmond Llewelyn didn't have the appearance of an MIT geek, but who's complaining? At age 32, we can expect him to play Bonds quartermaster for a good long time.The gadgets are small, few and subtle. There aren't exploding pens, but there is a radio. Since the background of Moneypenny was never explored, we can thank Skyfall for giving us an explanation of why she sits behind a desk. I did say Bond had an anonymous partner. James Bond's past is explored further, down to where he was born and raised before being recruited by M, and why she's always so hard on him. I rather not go to deep, but I will say this, Andrew and Monique would be proud.
Some of the action in the begin could have been rendered better, but the rest is pure perfection. Skyfall proves to be ambitious, and Sam Mendes does not tire of keeping the thrills elevated and in check. Sure, the series can do without the obvious product placements, for example: Sony, Ericsson, Blu-Ray and of course, Heineken. Someone's gotta pay the bills, right? Why else did Peter Parker use Bing and not Google?
Overal...In the end, after all is said and done, we are entertained, we laugh and we cry. We say goodbye to old friends and hello to new ones. All the key characters are back in place where they truly belong. The question still stands: Where is Mr. White? And can we expect to see more of the organization he works for?
Written by: Bawnian©-Dexeus.