Thursday, 1 November 2012

Skyfall: James Bond Review

Obviously this blog will contain spoilers from the film so if you don't want to know what happens i'd stop reading now.

After Daniel Craig's first two films I was seriously worried about Skyfall. Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace were fairly big let downs to say the least with the writers seeming pulling away from the original charm of Bond. Instead of a swarve, sophisticated secret agent, the James Bond character appeared to have become a ruthless hitman, like in one of those American Gangster films. Luckily in Skyfall things began to change.

The film opens with Bond in pursuit of a killer who seems to be working for the people who have stolen an hard drive from MI6. The hard drive contains information on undercover NATO agents in terrorist organisations (Although you don't know that at this point). The chase ends with Eve (An MI6 agent helping Bond) shooting at the killer on the orders of M, however she misses and hits Bond in the shoulder and knocks him off the train, into the water deep below, he is presumed dead.

Of course we know better than that and Bond was alive but not all well, he is living near where he fell and seems to have developed a drinking problem. Back in London, M is being pressured to retire by new Intelligence and Security Committee chairman, Gareth Mallory ( He will be important later). As M travels back to headquarters there is an explosion at MI6, killing some employees, this was after someone had hacked into M's computer.

There was no messing around with this start, we got straight into seriousness from the get go which was intriguing. It was also good to see a lot of focus on M throughout the film as she is a fantastic character, played brilliantly by Dame Judi Dench who had good chemistry with Daniel Craig.

Following the attack on headquarters, 007 returns to London as he knows that his country needs him (more on that later). Once back in action, Bond heads to Shanghai where he tracks down a man called Patrice (the man he fought at the start), He kills Patrice without finding out his employer but finds a gambling chip with his things and heads to the casino.

There he meets a woman called Sévérine who supposedly works for the man behind the attacks (It turns out she is a prisoner), after fighting off three henchmen 007 voluntarily gets imprisoned so he can meet the employer. The man behind everything turns out to be Raoul Silver, a former MI6 agent under M who she gave to China in exchange for some of her agents, in China Silva was imprisoned. Silva kills Sévérine but soon after Bond calls for backup with his gun from the new Q and captures Silva.

The new Q is a bit mixed for me (played by Ben Whishaw), although he seems to have good chemistry with Daniel Craig, there was definitely a lack of imaginative gadgets which is obviously the writer's fault and not the actor's. 

It turned out that being captured was part of Silva's plan as he managed to hack Q's computer whilst escaping. He headed to the venue of where M's public enquiry was being held, 007 was in hot pursuit but was trailing with Silva now dressed as a policeman. Silva entered the enquiry room with two other man and began firing, Bond arrived shortly after and helped Mallory and Eve bring M to safety. Once out the building, Bond drove M away to his childhood home in.......Scotland!.

Now you may be wondering about the exclamation mark, well James Bond is known for his love of England, it is mentioned in many films.  Now unless he moved to England at a young age I can't understand this logic as I can't think of many Scots that actually like England, nevermind love it.

Anyway we get a nice bit of nostalgia as Bond uses the Aston Martin DB5, the car that first appeared in Goldfinger which was nice to see for a fan of all the films. Once at Skyfall (His childhood home), Bond, M and old gamekeeper Kincade, set up ready for Silva and co to arrive. Soon enough they do and all hell breaks loose with an injured M and Kincade seeking refuge in the nearby chapel.  

Silva sees Kincade's torch light and follows with Bond again in pursuit (seems to be the occurring theme of the film). Silva seems ready to shoot and kill M and himself until Bond throws a knife into his back killing Silva, at this point Bond says the words: 'Last rat standing' referring to what Silva had talked about earlier in the film.

To end the film M dies of her injuries in the arms of Bond, she is replaced as M by Mallory and Eve turns out to be Moneypenny, so she takes the secretary job. To finish Bond gets the dog ornament from old M's will which persuades him to carry on in the field, this was a nice sentimental moment I felt after their seemingly distant relationship.

Overall I think it was a decent film, much better than expected and by far the best Bond film that Daniel Craig has starred in. It showed a lot more emotion this time and gave a few nods to the good old days. The new set up is different to the classic Bond films, however I suppose they have to move with the times and this is was certainly an improvement on Craig's other films. On a final note though, I know a lot of women have raved about this film and an hour in I could see why,  in nearly every scene Craig had his top off, if I wanted to see a man with his top off all the time, I would have brought an issue of Playgirl,  So hopefully for the next film the wardrobe department could spend more money on getting shirts and t-shirts.


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