By Parker Thompson, Contributor
Considering this is the 23rd film in the James Bond franchise, Skyfall delivers a fresh take on our favourite secret agent. The title is a little awkward, but I promise that it will make sense once you watch the movie. English director Sam Mendes, best known for 1999’s American Beauty, has done a fantastic job modernizing James Bond without losing his timeless charm. Action sequences are tight and clever with a storyline that, for the most part, manages to keep up. My only complaint is with the script, showing a little too much of that Hollywood tint.
Daniel Craig returns for his third round as James Bond, and he’s finally honed his unique take on the character; Craig balances suave and gritty like no other Bond. I also really enjoyed the fact that this James Bond was less than perfect, as Skyfall raises the stakes by introducing personal trials and tribulations for Bond. I felt myself more inclined to cheer for Bond when he actually had an occasion to rise to. I don’t want to alarm you though—Bond, as usual, has no problem expressing his sexual aggression.
Filling in as the film’s antagonist, Spanish actor Javier Bardem takes on the role of Raoul Silva. After his Academy Award-winning performance in No Country for Old Men (2007), there was no question about Bardem’s ability to portray a psychopat,h and that’s exactly what he gives us in this film. However, I was not quite sold on this villain’s motives; I would have enjoyed exploring his background story a bit further.
Character motivation in general was a little weak, so I have to applaud Mendes for working so well with this film’s script—though there were a few too many cheesy one-liners, which degraded the dramatic intensity.
With all that said, this film captured some of the best action scenes I’ve ever seen on a screen. Bond uses his environment in a practical and entertaining way; you’ll think you know what Bond is going to do in a particular scene and then you’ll be surprised when he does something completely different.
This film will surely give you a new perspective on the James Bond series. If you’re a nitpicker for storyline, you might get a little frustrated, but the amusing action should cheer you up. I should also note that I’ve never been more impressed with the true to form opening credits montage. Bravo Skyfall!