- Daniel Craig as James Bond
- Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva
- Judi Dench as M
- Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory
- Naomie Harris as Eve
- Berenice Marlohe as Severine
- Ben Whishaw as Q
- Ola Rapace as Patrice
- Albert Finney as Kincade
Skyfall is the 23rd entry into the James Bond series and this year celebrates the 50 years 007 has been on our screens. As many of my followers will know I’m a huge fan of the James Bond series, but I promise I’ll try to make this review as objective as possible. But even if you are not a fan, you can’t ignore the staggering success that the series has attained over it’s 50 year run. Over these years the films have showcased many exciting missions, amazingly beautiful women and maniacal villains, many of which have become a part of popular culture. If there was any doubt that the series couldn’t recover after the underwhelming Quantum Of Solace, then look no further than Skyfall that makes a spectacular return to form on the 50th Anniversary. Anyway, back to my review of the film.
The film starts with Bond and a sexy field agent named Eve, pursuing a mercenary in Istanbul who has a device that contains the identity of NATO agents. Right from the start, the atmosphere is thrilling and gripping, as the chase moves from cars to foot and eventually the top of a train. It is the perfect way to start the film. On the command of M, Eve armed with a sniper shoots intending to hit the target who is grappling with Bond. Instead she hits 007, who in turn falls into the river and is presumed dead. The scene is rounded of as Bond falls into an atmospheric title sequence accompanied by the sound of Adele’s title song, which harks back to the early Bond songs.
As a result of her judgment and command, M is pressured to resign by Government chairman Mallory. Then, MI6 is hacked and a bomb is set off at the headquarters, killing many of the workers. Meanwhile, Bond is “enjoying death” in some corner of the globe, a shadow of his old self. When he hears of the attack, he returns to duty to uncover the source of terror on M. It appears that M made an enemy of a former agent, Raoul Silva, who in turn wants personal and sadistic revenge on his former boss. What ensures is a thrilling, action packed and character driven film that firmly establishes Bond as a force that is here to stay.
What is great upon viewing the film is its neat balance of action and character development. Sam Mendes, best known for directing American Beauty, makes an assured entry into the Bond canon. All of the leading players involved in the film deserve some credit. Daniel Craig’s third movie features a great performance that shows both the vulnerable and tough sides to James Bond.As the flamboyant, sadistic and utterly menacing Silva, Javier Bardem is outstanding in a role that fits him like a glove. In my book, he is sure to go down as a memorable adversary for Bond. Judi Dench gives a commanding performance as M, as she is pivotal to the story and Dench rises to the challenge of having a larger role with ease. We finally get an insight into this commanding woman, both as a person and as the boss. No Bond film would be complete without the women. Naomie Harris provides a sexy presence as a field agent who playfully spars with Bond. Die hard fans should watch for a neat twist involving her character. The other girl, Berenice Marlohe has the smaller role but is equally as sexy and adds mystery to her character of Severine. My only quibble with her character is that it would have been better if her role had been expanded a little more. Sterling support is provided by Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw, who makes an amusing and geeky young Q for this generation of fans. Albert Finney also appears as someone from Bond’s past and steals the scenes that he has.
The cinematography by Roger Deakins is exemplary in the way it captures the mood of the film and accentuates emotions with his use of colour. The locations and set pieces used are also amazing to the eye, such as the scene of Bond grappling with an enemy against a back drop of electric blue jellyfish and an exotic casino equipped with deadly Komodo dragons.
All that I have left to say is this, Skyfall is an exciting, gripping and action packed film with all the right ingredients and references to the early Bond movies. Even if you are not a fan of the series, see it as soon as you can as you won’t regret it.