Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: Skyfall (2012)

This one's a keeper.

Directed by Sam Mendes
Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli
Written by Neil Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan (screenplay); Ian Fleming (characters)
Starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, and Judi Dench

****

When we last saw James Bond (Craig), he was dealing with the loss of Vesper Lynd, whilst tracking down her killer and taking down Quantum. Now, he's back fighting for Queen and country against a cyber terrorist named Silva (Bardem). Armed with a slowly-leaking list of NATO agents, the villain has targeted M (Dench), determined to take her down for her past sins. Bond is faced with the possibility of losing his boss and everything they stand for. If Silva isn't stopped, MI6 as they know it will be gone, and agents everywhere will be compromised. What should be a walk in the park is anything but, as Bond has lost some of his speed and efficiency. Bond must face these challenges while he tries to put the pieces together, and stop Silva before it's too late. 

The recipe for the 23rd Bond film is simple: take some of the old and combine it with the new. And does it ever work. It's tough to describe the tone of the film, because it's partly done in the vein of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, while also incorporating classic elements of the franchise. (I won't say more, for those who haven't seen it.) As much gritty as it is slick, this is a Bond to rank with the best of them. The narrative of a Bond film has never been so on point. While the film is noticeably lengthy, it's absolutely necessary, and the payoff is worth it. Craig continues to embody the iconic MI6 agent, bringing the dramatic chops with the wit and recklessness to the character. Bardem is a fine villain, chilling and unpredictable in a slightly underused role. Dench is solid as usual, and the rest of the cast is also on their game. Of course, the action is thrilling, Roger Deakins' lensing inspired, and the other technical elements are great across the board. Still, the story succeeds over everything else. Bond is back in one of the best 007 films yet, and, for that matter, one of the year's best films, period. 

Oscar Potential: Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing

Note: This is my 200th post, but I'm happy to celebrate it by reviewing a film I loved.

22 comments:

  1. Yaaaayyy!! Great review. So glad you loved it. One of the best films of the year for me as well.
    Deakins deserves all the awards.

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    1. Thanks! Can't wait to see it again. :)

      Yes, Deakins all the way.

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  2. I liked Casino Royale more though but this almost lived up to the hype. A decent flick and one of the better Bond movies, but not my favorite of all-time I have to say. Good review Josh.

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    1. Thanks Dan. I like Casino Royale more too.

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  3. Congrats for 200th posts!
    Glad you liked the film, I agree Badrem was a little underused, as much as I loved him in action scenes it would be great if the film had few more one-on-one scenes like the one where he is in glass cell and talks to M, that might have been my favorite moment of the movie.

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    1. Thanks! Oh, definitely more of those scenes. :)

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  4. Congratulations on your 200th post! I am not a big Bond fan, but ... wow .. this film has a great cast. I'm glad you loved the movie.

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    1. Thanks! Ha, I really did enjoy this one. I haven't given many Bond films 4 stars.

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  5. Glad to see you mentioning the cinematography, it was phenomenal. I've been seeing it get a lot of props as I read everyone's reviews... deservedly so!

    The tone was a blend of the old and the new, for sure. I still wish they'd lighten it a tad more, but that's really my only complaint. This was an incredible, incredible action flick. I agree, this is one of the best Bonds ever, and easily one of the best films of the year!! :D

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Fogs. Glad you enjoyed the film too. The cinematography is excellent, indeed.

      And thanks for the follow! :)

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  6. Javier Barden was underused? What do you mean?

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    1. I mean I wish he had a few more scenes to sink his teeth into. I love his performance, but I think his character deserved more screen time. Actually, I feel the same way about Ralph Fiennes in the film.

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    2. Interesting. I felt he had time and that anything more would be overkill (excuse the pun). If any character was underused, I felt it was Severin; would have liked to have seen more of her. Wish would have survived until the end.

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    3. That's fair. Essentially, I think he should have more screen time since he's just as important to the plot as Bond and M.

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  7. Congrats on your 200th post! Nice celebration, I loved Skyfall, too, one of the year's best action/popcorn movies!

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    1. Thanks! Definitely one of the best blockbusters of the year.

      And thanks for the follow! :)

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  8. Good review Josh. I liked Casino Royale more though but this almost lived up to the hype. A decent flick and one of the better Bond movies, but not my favorite of all-time I have to say.

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    1. Thanks Dan. It's one of the better Bond movies, for sure.

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  9. Congrats on your 200th post and I'm glad you love Skyfall! Surely it'll end up in my top 10 favorite Bond films.

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    1. Thanks Ruth. Yay! It's in my top 5 favorite Bond films.

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  10. Happy 200th post! Glad you liked this one so much. Craig, Bardem and Deakins were all seriously on point. Let's pray for a Deakins nom!

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    1. Thanks man! Terrific work from all of them. And yes, let's pray indeed!

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