Skyfall Review: 50 Years Later James Bond Still Stands Tall as Ever

Photo Credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/jamesbond/9651005/James-Bond-film-Skyfall-breaks-seven-day-box-office-record.html

Skyfall  is the 23rd film in a franchise that has spanned exactly half a century this year. That fact that it stands out as easily one of the best in the series is truly a marvel.

By now you know what to expect. Bond will pull off some crazy mission in the opening scene. A catchy tune plays over the credits and silhouettes of women holding guns. Bond gets his mission from M, travels the world, sleeps with a few women. Then he has a climactic finale and bests the villain. Not here. Skyfall breaks just about every rule the series has and miraculously makes it work while still feeling like a Bond movie.

Sam Mendes celebrates the franchises history throughout while also introducing a plethora of new material the films in the future will have to work off of.

In a way, Skyfall could be split into two halves. The first is your more traditional Bond movie. The second delves deeper into the characters of the franchise unlike ever before. Amazingly, it all comes together to create something spectacular.

It certainly helps that Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery. He broods more than a lot of the others but he also gives the character a conviction not seen since the 1960s. It’s amazing how every actor who plays the role gives the films a different feel. Connery was classy. Roger Moore was campy. Craig’s films are darker but not without their fun. The day he retires will be a sad one for the series.

The supporting cast does a wonderful job here too. Judi Dench gives her best performance in her seventh film in the series as she is essentially the Bond girl of Skyfall. This film is so much about the relationship between Bond and M and how it affects MI6 and the country as a whole.

Javier Bardem is easily in the top five Bond villains ever. Terrifying, charming, and appropriately over-the-top, Bardem has created what will surely become an iconic performance in the franchise.

Other key performers including Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris do a nice job. But I do have to give special mention to Ben Whishaw as the new, younger Q. He maintains the whit of the classics while still bringing something new to the series.

In a way, the whole film is reflective of that idea. The action is as fantastic as ever. The degree of fun is still pretty high. Yet the emotion and story really stand out in this entry.

But to say anymore would ruin the experience for you. This is a film you have to see for yourself. The surprises that await you will likely change the way you think of this film series. You’ve never seen a Bond film like this one, and you likely won’t ever again. I guess an old dog can learn new tricks. Grade: A

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