Sunday, December 23, 2012

Let's Review: Skyfall

Welcome back to the Geekdom, I’ll be your Guide. For those of you that believed that the sky would fall before my next review came out, you’re half right. The 50 year anniversary of James Bond films, and I’ve barely seen any of them, which I find highly regrettable but it is on my ‘to-watch’ list. So how did the celebration of James Bond live up to the legacy? Let’s review Skyfall.
The Negative
I have only seen a handful of the Bond film series, not out of disinterest mostly because I just haven’t gotten to it. Due to this film being a celebration of Bond, it was packed full of classical Bond movie references, most of which I just didn’t get. This film was created for the long time fans that have seen all of the older films. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the film, simply that I would get more out of it if I decided to watch the film again after viewing the entire series.
A big theme of the film is age, which is understandable seeing how it’s the anniversary of Bond. References throughout the film keep pointing out how the 00 program is becoming outdated and how Bond himself is simply a relic of an older time. This theme is one of the greatest pieces of this film, but it feels really out of place with Daniel Craig’s Bond. The last two films we got with Craig were all about how his Bond was a rookie and how MI6 couldn’t fully trust him because of his loose cannon behavior. To move from Bond the rookie to Bond the old war relic felt really odd.
I’ve heard varying opinions from people on how they felt about the main villain, some really liked him and others….didn’t. I personally felt like he represented the overall tone of the film. This was the first Daniel Craig Bond movie with a noticeably lighter tone, this was a fun film. As such the main villain does come off as a bit goofy. He is flamboyantly gleeful about his evil ways and recalls some of the sillier villains from older Bond films. I personally felt like his character was one of the more ridiculous parts of the film, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but you can judge for yourself.
The Positive
This was an incredibly fun film. The previous two Daniel Craig films were more noted for their gritty tones than past bond films; while this approach is perfectly fine I really enjoyed the lighter tone of this film. The action sequences were far more outlandish and goofier than previous Craig films, especially the chase scene that started the film, but it was this take that endeared me to the film. This was a celebration of James Bond so why not embrace the entirety of that world, even the sillier bits.
A running theme in this film was that the world that Bond exists and fights in a world of shadows. The reason of the 00 program is because they fight those who would call the shadows their home. This theme is reflected upon in most of the film’s best fight sequences, with Bond and his opponent engaging in battle within heavily shaded areas with only their silhouettes being illuminated by the lights of the background. These scenes are beautifully shot and were some of my absolute favorite moments in the film.

The relationship between Bond and M is thoroughly examined in this film. Both are regarded as old war machines that have no place in this new world, but it is the theme of the war in the shadows that continue to show their importance to the audience and later the British Government. Daniel Craig plays a wounded Bond in this film, who has grown tired of war but returns to life anyways in order to aid M in this current attack. M’s faith in Bond, despite his current weakness he is still the best man for the job, is a real highlight of the film. It was nice to see that despite how at odds they were in the past two films that they still held each other in such high regard and that their relationship was more than just boss and agent.
In Conclusion
Despite not having seen most of the previous James Bond movies, I feel I can still say that this was a wonderful celebration of the series. Skyfall is a grand representation of the world of the Bond film series and why after all these years we keep coming back to the theaters to watch another one of his feats. If you haven’t seen this film yet, go out and see it while you still have the chance. 4.7 out of 5.