Everyone may think the life for James Bond is filled with glamorous cars, fast women, classy suits and martinis shaken to perfection, but “Skyfall” is proof that reality can set in for anyone. Even 007.
We open to a distorted silhouette of our hero as he makes his way through a dark building in Instanbul. Bond is looking for a man who is in possession of a very important hard drive that had been stolen. M is giving both Bond and Eve, an agent who is on the mission with him, orders from the MI6 headquarters as the two navigate the Turkish streets. The scene climaxes when Eve shoots Bond, leaving him for dead as the team at MI6 softly hears the words, “agent down.”
Eerily beautiful visual allusions to death set to Adele’s haunting voice tells you that this tale is much darker than the previous 22 films. As soon as the title sequence is over, we see London rain pouring all over the streets and M writing 007’s obituary. However, since this is the beginning of it all, it was safe to say that we’d soon see Daniel Craig back on screen again.
Craig finally found his own persona for the famous agent this time around. This is a big achievement considering that his performance in “Quantum of Solace” was bland at best. Judi Dench, arguably one of Britain’s finest actresses ever, was nearly perfect as M. And since M was a major part of the story this time around, it just felt good to see Dench used to her abilities.
The heroes of the story weren’t the only ones who were played well this time around. Javier Bardem did a fantastic job as the emotionally and psychologically scarred Raoul Silva. He brought a different feeling to what is usually a campy super-villain who is hell-bent on taking over the world. He’s out for personal revenge for traumatic experiences from his past. The way Bardem portrayed the villain is what added to the franchise’s dark turn.
The usual Bond formula is all but abandoned in “Skyfall.” Be prepared for the lack of a true Bond girl. It wouldn’t be a 007 movie without at least one dangerous woman that is seduced by the old fashioned charm, but it was very brief in this film. “Skyfall” also differs from the rest of the franchise in that it tells us about the characters’ pasts. We learn a little about Bond’s childhood and even see where he grew up. M’s past with MI6 is also a major point in this story. Getting to know both their pasts makes it more apparent that both Bond and M are aging. As it’s said in the movie, “this is a young person’s game.”
The darker storyline that reveals more about the characters that have been around for 50 years gives a new dimension to Bond movies as a whole. Somehow, a British secret agent has become relatable.
However, with the fresh story and great acting, this movie does have some minor faults. Both Q and Moneypenny are brought back into the series, but don’t have as big as roles as they once did. And with a 143 minute run time, the ending seemed a little abrupt. But as said, these were only minor faults.
“Skyfall” is easily the best Bond film since Daniel Craig was given the role. There is no reason to miss out once it opens in theaters on Nov. 9.