Review: James Bond Returns as 007 in “Skyfall”
by Scott Garcia
Now playing locally, the 23rd installment in the James Bond film franchise “Skyfall” qualifies as an above-average 007 opus with several surprises. We are pleased to welcome film writer Scott Garcia to these pages to share his reactions with you.
The influence of James Bond movies is so deep on our culture that even an individual who has never watched a 007 movie can easily list the character’s trademarks. There are the fun gadgets, Bond’s power over ladies and the shaken-not-stirred vodka martini. It seems that even the tiny details such as the Walther PPK and the silver Aston Martin have left an impression. These are the elements which make the superspy a legendary one.
Skyfall, the latest James Bond movie, is directed by Sam Mendes. The movie starts with a scene of resurrection and begins with a protracted chase by train, motorcycle and car. Bond, played by Daniel Craig, is missing and presumed dead after being shot during a mission in Turkey. After spending some time he is compelled to go back to London when he finds that M and MI6 has been attacked by terrorists. Now it’s the responsibility of 007 to track and destroy the threats. The loyalty of Bond towards M is tested when the past of M comes back to haunt her. He jumps into the game despite being mentally and physically unfit for service. He later finds that Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem, is the man behind all these horrifying actions.
Mendes has balanced the film throughout to ensure that even an ordinary plot seems interesting. The director Mendes and the writers John Logan, Robert Wade and Neal Purvis have introduced those familiar Bond elements in such a way that they don’t feel stale or forced. After being AWOL for the last two films, the favorite character of fans, “Q” has returned. With his re-introduction Bond is able to play with some new high-tech toys. Once again the casino has been used as a great place to get information. The sales of olives, vermouth and vodka will surely rise after the release of this movie. Such is the power of film.
However, it is not a film that stands out itself. Bond is the character that has made the Skyfall a typical 007 movie. The old Q has been replaced by the young Ben Whishaw. When Bond and Silva encounter each other Silva makes fun of Bond for his devotion towards country and Queen and he laughs at the chase game being played between antagonist and protagonist. It’s not mocking or cynical in any way but the outdated and old fashioned ideas associated with Bond are pointed out regularly on the movie.
With this film Mendes has resurrected 007 and successfully defined the character’s trademarks in the modern world. Skyfall is certainly the film that preserves and enhances the trademarks of 007 movies. Though it is important that Bond remains James Bond forever and always, it should not be forgotten that the first 007 movie Dr. No was created half a century ago. All the characters need to change and grow, and there are no exceptions even for this legendary British superspy.
Skyfall is a must-see for the lovers of James Bond movies. Anyone who loves action movies will certainly have a great time watching it.
Author Bio: Scott Garcia has been writing movie reviews for 5 years. Visit his site if you like to read his take on the top ten thriller movies of 2012.