It’s almost hard to believe that the huge James Bond franchise, with its multiple movies and actors, started 50 years ago. With such a big anniversary, it’s no wonder Daniel Craig’s third film as Bond, “Skyfall,” was released this year.
Thankfully, this momentous film does not disappoint. Craig was never my favorite Bond, and his previous Bond movies weren’t the greatest. Skyfall makes up for the previous installments and acts like a true Bond movie. Naturally, the film contains the important aspects of every Bond film: action, an evil villain, a trippy opening credit sequence and, of course, a Bond girl. “Skyfall” goes beyond these elements to get that Bond feel. There are plenty of nods to previous films, especially toward the end of the movie, that fans will surely appreciate.
Surely the best fan service is the reintroduction of Q, famous for supplying Bond with his special high-tech gadgets. The new installment of Q is much younger than in previous films, but it works, given the film’s modern setting. Q is equally confident as Bond, though he’s most powerful sitting behind a computer. The duo have great chemistry, and the few scenes they have together are very fun to watch.
The references to older films are good, but the film would be nothing if it couldn’t stand on its own. After a disastrous decision is made by M16 leader M, Bond is left to doubt her authority. Bond has his doubts about being a spy, but he has to put that behind him when M16’s headquarters are under attack. Their files on every agent have been stolen by a computer hacker, and it’s up to Bond to stop him before everybody’s cover is blown. The focus on technology easily makes this movie the most modern of the franchise.
The story is pretty good, but takes a slight back seat to the action. It would be nice to see a little more of Bond’s relationship with Q and some of the other people in the agency. The interactions we see are great, but it feels like the movie needed just a bit more for character development. Although the buildup to the villain’s reveal is great, it would have been even better to have this character from the beginning to give him more screen time.
I can’t emphasize enough how good the villain is. He defines the term “evil genius,” creating a hugely elaborate plan in which he is always one step ahead of Bond. Not only is he evil, but he seemingly enjoys being that way. Whenever his plan goes right, he expresses a maniacal amount of glee. He’s the kind of character you love to hate — very reminiscent of Batman’s Joker.
This movie would be nothing without its many action sequences, which are extremely intense and visually stunning. The movie begins with a destructive chase through the city of Istanbul and it only gets better from there. Shootouts are bloody, fist-fights are well-done and the destruction is fantastic. Bond travels the world, giving the movie a wide array of beautiful scenery and every action scene its own special feel. The most visually impressive scene occurs atop a skyscraper with giant television screens glowing in the background. While fantastic overall, there were a few instances when the visuals didn’t hold up, specifically the few computer-generated animals that could have been done better.
Bond has been in service for 50 years. “Skyfall” acts as a summary of his long career while still being its own story. Bond fans will surely enjoy it, and the story holds up well enough so even those who have never seen a Bond flick can get into it. Even if you didn’t like Craig as Bond in the previous films, give this one a chance: You may change your mind.