Skyfall Soars to Success

Matthew Greenberg


Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Rating – 5 Stars

Daniel Craig’s eyes are ridiculously blue. While this was already a thoroughly accepted truth, the title sequence of Skyfall will certainly change the minds of any stubborn naysayers as to the surreal blueness contained within those eyes.
Skyfallis the third film in the “new age” 007 films, starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, and does a superb job of keeping the franchise riveting and modern. While Casino Royale (2006) was an astounding success, Quantum of Solace (2008) was met with a great deal of trepidation. Fans of Bond’s adventures were unsure which of its predecessors Skyfall would model itself after.
The answer is: neither. Skyfall is so miraculous that it can be put into its own category within the franchise as the film that bridged the gap between the modern Daniel Crag/Pierce Brosnan Bonds, and the classic Sean Connery/Roger Moore Bonds. Viewers are delighted by Bond’s return to snappy one-liners, multiple encounters with gorgeous women, and an impressive body count.  Although Skyfall does not offer an abundance of gadgets, only a souped-up PP7 and a fancy radio, the magnificent job on the part of the actors more than accommodates for the void some fans might experience.
Comparing any Bond to Sean Connery’s 007 usually ends with fleeting laughter at the thought. Daniel Craig, however, deserves true recognition for his dark and supple portrayal of the role. Craig is surrounded by other stars who lend their talents to film’s credit. Judi Dench reprises her role as M, and is as stern and fervent as ever. The real pleasure is found in Javier Bardem’s villainous Silva. Tom Long of Detroit News writes, “Great heroes are often enhanced by the villains they face, and such is the situation here. To really work, Bond needs great bad guys. Silva is bad at its best.”
The story of Skyfall circles around Bond’s loyalty and faith in M being strained farther than it’s ever been before. When M’s past and present converge upon her, MI6 falls under attack and 007 is called to action to hunt down and eliminate this new threat. Bond must overcome the ghosts of his past while sorting out the convoluted status of his present in order to discover the true nature of MI6 and himself.
Although the film was longer than it needed to be, growing slightly tedious in the middle, director Sam Mendes masterfully approaches the Bond saga with an elegance that was lacking in past films. Eric Melin of writes, “[Skyfall] features jaw-dropping cinematography and set design, and some of the most exciting action scenes of the entire series.” All of these aspects, coupled with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade’s insightful screenplay (with a caring touch by John Logan), define Skyfall as a Bond film the likes of Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Goldfinger.