Skyfall (2012)


A modern masterpiece showcasing Bond at its best. Bond has to bring down a rogue ex-agent who aims to get revenge on M.

Beware the following will contain plot detail.

If indeed your favourite film is the one you’ve watched most times, then Skyfall would near the top of my list thanks to the endless repeats from ITV. Normally I would tire from watching the same scenes again, but Skyfall, and most other Bond films, feature action that never ceases to amaze me. From the opening there are jaw dropping stunts and exotic locations, and the good news only continues. Everything that is expected from a Bond film is raised to another level. The guns, girls, and fast cars provide plenty to get the pulse of teenage boys racing, although the enjoyment is not limited to those fuelled by testosterone. Anyone wanting a slick, polished spy thriller can feel at ease as there isn’t excessive gore, cameras flying everywhere and non-stop fighting. Better still, it’s not formulaic or generic at all. The film franchise’s heritage is imprinted throughout like a watermark, with the majority of the film set in the UK. For long-time fans, there is the welcome return of the timeless Aston Martin DB5, but to be critical, Skyfall does lack a notable car chase.

As a whole, Skyfall skilfully balances the old with the new. It’s refreshingly modern and the cast does an excellent job of passing the torch to a new generation. Craig meets his usual standard playing Bond, but it’s the supporting cast that really shine. Bardem’s Bond villain is terrific, Whishaw’s Q looks promising, and Harris’s reveal as Moneypenny came as a nice surprise. What could have been a film slowed down by a role changeover, is instead one that celebrates all the wonderful characters in the Bond universe, which leads us to Dame Judi Dench’s M. Her performance is one of the highlights in a film garnered with much praise.

As a standalone single, Adele’s song is not exactly my cup of tea. Though when I first saw the title sequence with the soundtrack, I felt shivers down my spine and was deeply impressed. For a series going on for 50 years and spanning 23 films, it would be easy to run out of ideas. Arguably, there were periods where it did. However Skyfall proves there exists also the other side, of innovation and originality.

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