007: Skyfall review

The twenty third Bond film, “Skyfall,” Begins with 007 being seemingly KIA in a mission to receive codes containing the whereabouts and identities of the agents of MI6. Bond manages to survive though and lives in seclusion for a while. That is until MI6 comes under attack by the mysterious organization who stole the codes.

James then returns to London to take up the mission, However Bond hasn’t been in the game for a while, is getting older and might not be as great as he used to be, none the less he still goes on the mission. What this leads to is an exploration into Bond’s past, his upbringing and a villain who has ties to MI6.

The film’s story starts off very strong. I enjoyed the plot idea of Bond being a little washed up and having to get back in the grove of things so to speak. However as the film enters the second half it really started to take a fall for me. Not only was the villain really feeling to similar to the one in “Goldeneye,” but the film started getting a little too caught up in Bond’s back-story and didn’t really feel necessary.

I hate to say this, but the film started feeling a bit too “nolanized.” I didn’t feel the fun or the charm that I’ve felt in other Bond films. Things just become a bit too over serious. Not that there aren’t good moments, there are. However I feel as though the heart of the franchise feels a little lost here.

I still for the most part enjoy Daniel Craig as Bond. He is able to bring the swag of the character to the screen and can handle the action scenes. His acting is very well done, same with the M played by Judi Dench, the problem is the direction the script take them just didn’t work for me. A very welcome addition to the cast though was the new Q, James Bond’s tech specialist played by Ben Whishaw. Whishaw really brought the humor and fun of the Q’s of the past which I really enjoyed.

I did feel Javier Bardem provided a good performance as a threatening villain. Once again though, his master plan felt, well, lame. I was hoping it would be getting back to the fun, over the top but still threatening villain who have some cool piece of tech that could destroy a city or something. Instead all that is really given for this villain is a quest of vengeance. What also bothered me was once again is they seemed to be trying to draw from Christopher Nolan, with the villain having a scene that was very reminiscent of the Joker from “The Dark Knight.” All he really does is try to cause chaos.

The film is well made though. I did enjoy the action scenes quite a bit and there are some really cool locations. One scene had Bond in Shanghai at night where there are all kinds of lights and colors making for a very good part of the movie visually.

This might just be a film that really isn’t for me. I felt this Bond was a little to heavy-handed and over serious. I would have liked a bit more balance with the more fun side of Bond. It might appeal to some yet I wasn’t too impressed. 2 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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