Skyfall: A Decade After Its Release Is Still Among the Best James Bond Movies!
It s almost impossible to determine which James Bond film is the best. Every movie in the decades-spanning franchise has merit even those featuring Pierce Brosnan surfing CGI waves and crossing swords with Madonna. Still, Skyfall is peak James Bond and that s coming from someone who adores the flawless trifecta of Dr. No, From Russia with Love, and Goldfinger. But, of course, it s not fair to compare Skyfall with earlier entries because it s not a complete film. Where Sean Connery and Roger Moore essentially played the same stereotypical Bond in each outing, Daniel Craig s character iteration enjoyed an emotional arc throughout five films.
By Skyfall, Bond had already lost the love of his life, conquered his desire for retribution, and formed a close bond with M. Understanding the emotional undertones of Skyfall requires familiarity with the backstory created in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
One of the most enjoyable movies of the past ten years comes from adding tonnes of Christopher Nolan-styled filming to the kickass action. Not persuaded? In honor of Skyfall’s tenth anniversary, here are all the reasons why it continues to rank as one of my favorite James Bond movies.
Although we’ve seen older Bonds in films like Never Say Never Again and others (which may or may not be canon), Skyfall is the first to reveal what a frustrated, retiring 007 does in his free time. Answer? Not much. After presumably dying in a pre-credit scene by falling to his death, we follow up with a much older Bond who is still living off the radar. He drinks sleeps with attractive ladies, drinks some more, and has a wild time. This would be the ideal retirement for anyone else. However, it is misery for Bond.
He is just utterly bored. He lacks emotional ties and lacks the drive to achieve anything beyond the bare minimum necessary to keep his heart beating. Bond would be nothing without his 007 reputations.
By the end of the movie, however, Bond has rediscovered his zest for living, largely as a result of the emotional bond he develops with M during the course of the plot. As a result, the focus of the climax shifts from stopping the villain and finishing the mission to safeguarding Mv, a fascinating instance of character development that gives Skyfall a powerful emotional punch.
In 1995’s Goldeneye, Academy Award-winning actress Judi Dench made her debut in the Bond film series. Despite the fact that she did a fantastic job in the role, none of the future Brosnan movies knew what to do with her. Thankfully, the filmmakers in the Craig saga made use of her extraordinary acting skills and transformed her relationship with 007 from a struggling boss to something akin to a mother figure.
Skyfall advances Bond and M’s romance and establishes M as the movie’s unofficial Bond girl. Our dude had sex with B.R. Nice Marlohe and flirts with Moneypenny (Naomie Harris). But aside from that, he stays at M’s side for the majority of the film, duty-bound to keep her safe.
In the third act, Bond saves his boss from the bad guy Silva (Javier Bardem). The third act is buried under a heavy coating of sentiment in this story beat.
Dench is the star of the film and merits more praise than she has received for her work.
As was already mentioned, Bond defends M in the climactic scene of Skyfall from Silva’s anger. Our heroes travel to a huge mansion in the Scottish Highlands, where Bond was raised, to accomplish this. In order to prevent an army of bothersome criminals from coming into his home, our blond 007 puts up a series of intricate traps. However, when he mistakenly applies too much cologne, he screams in front of the mirror.
It’s simply Home Alones without the pump-action BB shotgun and silly pratfalls, but that doesn’t lessen how fantastic the sequence is. In spite of the low stakes, it’s definitely one of the finest James Bond endings. No major threat exists, there is no bomb to defuse, and there are no bad goons. Bond must safeguard M. That’s all there is to it, and darned if our rogue hero doesn’t finish the job by destroying an entire army.
Things Go Boom!
Skyfall is a far more intimate James Bond film, yet director Sam Mendes still manages to blow things up spectacularly. Bond nearly gets knocked over by an errant metro train, smashes a train with a tractor, and then decides to blow up his childhood home. Mendes and writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan make sure the spectacle is coherent with the people and plot despite the large set pieces.
We may argue about this one all we want, but it would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t believe Skyfall is the most visually stunning James Bond movie ever. The dazzling photography of Roger Deakins portrays the icy Scottish Highlands, the tropical splendor of Macau, and the neon-lit mystery of Shanghai. It is breathtaking to view, especially in 4K.
Thanks to British singer-songwriter Adele’s opening song and Thomas Newman’s gorgeously original, mesmerizing, and atmospheric music, Skyfall also has one of the best soundtracks in the series. You may watch these components in the video below or I can discuss them.
As the saying goes, a hero is only as good as his antagonist. In this instance, Javier Bardem’s furious former MI6 agent is among the franchise’s strongest performances. Although he only gets a small amount of screen time, he pushes Bond to the ultimate limit both physically and emotionally, even though he may be more Joker than Jaws. No, his plan to kill M is illogical, but when did anything in a James Bond movie make sense?
Rebirth and Reset
James Bond physically comes back to life in Skyfall to help MI6 thwart Silva’s kind of cyberterrorism. During the pre-credits scene, Bond “dies” (metaphorically speaking) and is then revived as a shadow of his former self—a borderline alcoholic who can’t even perform pull-ups! Tsk.
Bond destroys his history after a difficult journey and then rises from the ashes to start over.
Actually, no. At the conclusion of Skyfall, Bond returns to an MI6 that looks more like the organization from Sean Connery’s time (bulletproof door and everything!) than the swanky offices occupied by Brosnan. To put it another way: in order to move forward, our hero eliminates his past, but in doing so, he also goes backward.
The journey taken by Bond is cathartic, emotional, and unquestionably potent. It’s one of the best James Bond movies ever made because of this.