Daniel Kendi ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
In 2006 audiences were introduced to Daniel Craig’s James Bond in Casino Royale, an amazing reboot of the series with an interesting plot, amazing action sequences and great performances. Casino Royale was followed by Quantum of Solace in 2008, a mediocre film that had good action sequences but was lacking in its plot and characters. After a four years wait, James Bond is back in Skyfall, a brilliant film that is just as good, if not better than Casino Royale.
The opening sequence of the film is an intense chase that sets the tone for the rest of the film and includes the interesting twist of James Bond’s “death.” The film then seamlessly transitions from the “death” to the theme sequence. The theme sequence is extremely well done and very interesting when put in comparison with the last two films. Casino Royale’s theme sequence focused on the film’s use of casino games and included playing card imagery, while Quantum of Solace’s focused on the desert setting of the film and used imagery involving sand. Skyfall’s theme sequence directly follows Bond’s “death” and creates a surrealist dream sequence involving the “death,” classic James Bond imagery, and images that foreshadow later parts of the film. Adele’s theme itself is an amazing piece of music that fits perfectly with the tone of sequence and film as a whole.
The story of the film revolves around James Bond, aka 007, (Daniel Craig) trying to stop Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a former MI6 agent who is trying to get revenge on his former employers. Like other Bond films, this mission takes 007 around the world to places like Istanbul, Shanghai, the mysterious Skyfall, and of course London. The story itself is expertly written and includes all of the classic Bond elements. There are guns, alcohol, cars and of course Bond girls. The most interesting thing about this film though is that the most prominent “Bond girl” in this film is Bond’s superior and mother figure M (Judi Dench). Much of the film focuses on M and her relationships with both Bond and Silva. In this film M gets a lot more screen time than in the last few Bond films, and this is a very good thing.
In her seventh appearance as M, Judi Dench delivers a powerful performance that is really the highlight of the film. Her moments with Bond in this film are possibly the best performances seen in James Bond films. Craig himself continues his amazing portrayal of the James Bond character and does not disappoint. Bardem also does a great job portraying his villainous character, mixing insanity and humor to create a truly memorable villain. This film also brings back the famous Bond characters Q (Ben Wishaw) and Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) who are a welcome addition to the film.
Skyfall is director Sam Mendes’ first James Bond film and I truly hope it is not his last. The director created an amazing film filled with action, amazing set pieces and great character performances. I cannot wait for the next film in the James Bond series.