Skyfall is the newest James Bond (Daniel Craig) film. It is directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes. I was very happy when he got the job hoping this film will restore the franchise after the train wreck of the previous film. After entering a brief retirement (which considering its only Craig’s third film as Bond is a bit silly) at the start of the movie, Bond is forced to come back to fight someone from M’s (Judi Dench) past. This figure is Silva (Javier Bardem) a former agent of M’s and is set up as a crazy version of Bond. He has a score to settle with M and it’s up to Bond to save her and the whole of MI6. His is helped by Eve (Naomie Harris) as a Bond Girl/sidekick, Q (Ben Whishaw) and Mallory (Ralph Fiennes). As with most Bond movies, one Bond Girl isn’t enough so the movie also includes Severine (Berenice Marlohe) who works for/ is in a relationship with Silva.
As with the previous two films I think Daniel Craig again makes an excellent Bond. Naomie Harris works really well opposite him and comes across much more capable than the typical Bond Girl. Marlohe isn’t in the movie very much and her character isn’t written very well, but at least she is easy on the eyes. Whishaw makes a wonderful Q, he brings youth and excitement to the role while still holding on to the wisdom needed for a Q. Dench and Fiennes can do no wrong and always class up any movie they are in. Bardem’s Silva is where the movie looses me. I am a huge fan of Bardem but both his performance and his character make me feel that Silva is one of the worst villains in Bond history. This idea contradicts the love that most critics are giving him, though most people I talk to feel more like I do. He comes across as a bad Joker wannabe, though I can understand wanting to emulate Heath Ledger’s amazing performance. That wouldn’t be so bad if Silva did anything remotely cool or scary. When he is first mentioned in the movie the character talking about him is so scared of him that she is shaking. When he does finally appear he is a little silly. If I wouldn’t be scared to be in a dark alley with him, then how can we expect Bond to be? Also his plans are almost embarrassing. After a long complicated scenario involving computer hacking his grand plan is to attach M with two goons with guns. I know the days of crazy lasers and taking over the world are done, but I expect a little more excitement than this.
The action scenes are fun and well shot, especially in comparison to the shaky cam mess of the last one. The opening sequence is especially fast paced and starts the movie of just right. I had a few problems with the last sequence, not because it isn’t entertaining but because it reminds me of Home Alone, which is not something I thought I’d ever say about a Bond movie. As well as getting the action right (for the most part) Mendes clearly respects the material. The film is full of nods to previous Bond films as well as adds to the overall mythology. I was definitely happy with the direction the series is going as based off the ending. Of the three Daniel Craig Bond films this is the best though I still think that the movies don’t live up to as good a Bond as he is. If they continue the path they are on but add a decent villain, they could end up making one of the best Bond films yet.