The theme of the latest Ian Fleming’s James Bond series is resurrection. The film had to rebuild itself from the prior and forgettable film “Quantum of Solace.”
From the opening action sequence of “Skyfall,” the audience immediately forgets what the prior could not do and lacked as the franchise gets moving in the right direction.
In the third film with Daniel Craig’s turn as James Bond, he’s able to portray the realism when it comes to the action, chase sequences, and yet retain the gentleman’s touch as he ensures his cuff links are intact before pursuing the target, Patrice (Ola Rapace).
The operative has obtained sensitive information of undercover agent that can expose them and must be retained at all costs. Helping him to track down the device and fugitive is fellow MI6 agent Eve (Naomi Harris).
The Bond song featured after the chase and serving as a segue into the film is an improvement over the last film.
After a failed mission, an attempt on M’s life (Judy Dench) and for the love of his country, James Bond gets back into the game. Meanwhile M must answer to parliament in her agency’s antiquated methods of using operatives in the field inflicting casualties of property and lives out in the field. One of the parliament members that she must answer to is Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes).
Helping Bond along the way is weapon’s designer and tech guru is Q (Ben Whitshaw).
The banter and the discrepancy in their age and experience is well done in their first introduction and eventually goes a long way in how dependent they are of each other. It also begins what could be start of a beautiful relationship with his weapon’s man..
The film features Bond traveling to Shanghai, where the film’s fight sequences and lighting will amaze the viewers. The city is showcased by his luminous signs while the fight sequence between someone that he has crossed paths with prior pays off.
While in Shanghai he catches the attention of Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe) and once again encounters as he follows a clue to a casino in Macau.
If there’s a weak aspect of the film it’s the Bond girls. Ms. Marlohe is supposed to be portrays the beautiful woman who has ulterior motives once she notices Bond in Shanghai but nothing comes out of it except an open invite at the bars. Also Ms. Harris as Eve, the agent that Bond attempts a flirtatious banter doesn’t come off as the two lacks chemistry.
But a highpoint has to be the best Bond villain in the Craig turn as Bond with Javier Bardem as Silva, someone from M’s past, who is a classic villain that prefers the elongated spiel before he inflicts his damages.
Mr. Bardem’s villan can be compared to when he once portrayed bad in the form on Anton Chigur in “No Country for Old Man.” He’s calculative in his moves and motives as he unleashes his diabolic plot to take down MI6 and those that stand in his way of achieving that has been a making in the while.
If the Bond girl are the weakness, the Bond woman herself, M comes across the film in her best portrayal of the figurehead. Whether it’s through their conversation and argumentative nature, they have more chemistry on set than the other actress.
Both M and Bond’s past are revealed and flushed out even for a brief moment in the eventual showdown that takes place and features Kincade (a scene stealing Albert Finney), an old acquaintance who prepares for the final assault.
Perhaps it could because the two are a relic of the old past as time as advance that they understand each other so well with their mutual respect for one another as colleagues.
The film examines the theme of the old versus the new as the past must make way for the present and the future. This is shown as Bond has lost a step or two and begins to show his wear and tear. Also M must address the members of a parliamentary hearings of the agency she oversees and escape being the scapegoat for the recent activities happening in England and around the world.
Fans of the franchise well appreciate the cheeky humor and the slight nod to the franchise’s prior films. For those following Craig’s Bond films, some may be disappointed as he takes a tangent while not addressing the prior pursuit he had in the first two films.
But in the end, the film comes through in the end, and proves that despite being a man of fifty, he still has a few tricks up his sleeves.
Classification: In Theaters
Grade: 4.75 stars out of 5 stars.
James Bond is resurrected after his forgettable turn as the title character in “Quantum of Solace.” While the Bond girls are forgettable, the Bond woman herself – M – gets an opportunity to have a more featured role. Javier Bardem is the best villain in the Craig installment of the Bond series as villain who comes head to head with him.
Rating: PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking
Timing: 2 Hours, 23 Minutes
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
- Director: Sam Mendes
- Writers: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan. , Screenplay and Story:
Character: Ian Fleming
- Actors: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judy Dench, Ben Whitshaw, Naomi Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Ola Rapace with Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney.