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Review: Skyfall (JimmyO's take)

Nov. 7, 2012by: JimmyO


(you can read Chris Bumbray's SKYFALL review right HERE)

PLOT: While trying to retrieve a computer hard drive with the list of M16 agents on it, Bond is seriously injured and presumed dead. However, when he realizes that his former boss is being targeted by a madman, he returns to service. Soon, he is on a mission to protect the person that was partially responsible for putting him in harm’s way in the first place. Talk about allegiance to one’s country…

REVIEW: The moment that Daniel Craig steps out of the shadows in the twenty-third James Bond film, you can tell that it will be something special. SKYFALL opens – much like many of the others – with a thrilling chase, this time involving a stolen computer drive, with Bond and another agent (Naomie Harris) hot on the culprits trail. During this incredible sequence, Craig exudes all of the qualities that make Bond a fascinating character. He even adjusts his cufflinks after jumping onto a speeding train. After a misfire puts the desperate chase to a halt, the opening of Adele’s superb Bond theme “Skyfall” leads into what is arguably the best opening credit sequence in the franchise’s fifty year history.

After Bond is injured and presumed dead, he disappears into a quiet and peaceful island life. Yet when M16 goes under attack from a mysterious psychopath, he comes out of hiding to return to service. Comparisons have been made to Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT Trilogy due to the fact that Bond has fallen and must rise up from the darkness. However the similarities are very minor and to be fair, the idea of a fallen hero facing these kinds of insurmountable odds isn’t a new one. In Bond’s case, it only makes him a little more human and slightly more vulnerable. It is also a fascinating way to explore his relationship with the other larger than life figure, the Head of Secret Intelligence Service, M (Judi Dench). The two characters continue to develop a surprisingly touching relationship when he must protect her from the film’s baddie Silva (Javier Bardem).

After what many consider a weak entry in the Bond franchise with QUANTUM OF SOLACE, director Sam Mendes presents Bond fans with a spectacular event. For those that are disheartened by the lack of “Bond-ness” from QOS and CASINO ROYALE, you can certainly recognize it here. He is tough and clearly handles the physicality of it all, but Craig has done that from the beginning. It is with SKYFALL that we are starting to see more of the gentleman quality that many of those before him possessed. However, I was personally sold on Craig as Bond in the beginning. His intensity and gruff charm has solidified him as one of the best in the franchise.

While the opening chase sequence here is similar to the opening sequence in CASINO ROYALE, it reaches a little farther into the over-the-top action set piece that you’d expect from 007. Both are very well shot and each one offers some serious pulse pounding excitement. Yet as SKYFALL progresses, the locales are most assuredly reminiscent of an earlier era in the world of James Bond. There is a real blend of past and present that is sure to please many a die hard 007 fan, much of which I’m hesitant to talk about as it is more fun to experience it yourself. I will add that the reemergence of Q – this time played by the very talented Ben Whishaw – is a real treat as well as Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory. The two actors are a welcome addition.

The exotic settings are used to full advantage, especially one fantastic fight scene between our hero and a villainous thug. While tracking the gentleman who stole information regarding the identities of secret servicemen, Bond follows him to the top floor of a skyscraper in Shanghai. Thus one of the most fantastic cinematic fight scenes occurs. In fact, one of the real stars of SKYFALL is cinematographer Roger Deakins who recently wowed audiences with his work in TRUE GRIT. Every single shot is so beautifully photographed that it would be hard to name a better looking film this year. The use of color for each sequence not only is exquisite to look at but it adds a touch of character to every moment. The last hour or so is absolutely breathtaking thanks to Deakins and the way Mendes constructs the surprisingly unique - in Bond terms that is - final showdown.

Of course, what everybody seems to be talking about is the villainous Silva. And this is for good reason because Javier Bardem is absolutely fascinating as an ex-agent with a grudge against M. He is a disturbed monster who will attack with a vengeance. He is smart, manipulative and creepily passionate – especially in one intriguing scene between the possibly bisexual villain and Bond himself. Bardem is one of the best actors working today, and like he did in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, he brings a powerful ferociousness to another dark character.

Now as much as SKYFALL does blend classic Bond with Craig’s modern day spy, it may not work with purists hoping for “exploding pens” and the womanizing secret agent man. The Bond girls here are underutilized, yet I thoroughly enjoyed Naomie Harris as Eve. The tantalizing Bérénice Marlohe is completely wasted aside from a quick romantic shower time fling with our hero. Yet with a few minor complaints, this is a terrific return to form after QOS. With stunning cinematography from Roger Deakins, a stirring music score by Thomas Newman and another charismatic villain from Bardem, SKYFALL ranks as one of the best Bonds yet.

Source: JoBlo

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10:57PM on 11/09/2012

I just saw it...

and it was awesome. I went in thinking that the fanboys were wrong, just as they were wrong about DKR but this one was near perfect. The only flaw is the running time and Bardem's distracting dyejob.
and it was awesome. I went in thinking that the fanboys were wrong, just as they were wrong about DKR but this one was near perfect. The only flaw is the running time and Bardem's distracting dyejob.
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+1
12:38AM on 11/08/2012
Good news, but once again I have to complain about the amount of detail of the plot. I understand it's hard to review films sometimes without going into detail about plot points, but a lot of the details could have been left out and we'd still get the point. This is a film I really want to go in knowing little about in terms of specific details, and I feel like this review already gives me more than I want to know before going in. But otherwise, I am very, very happy this film is doing so well
Good news, but once again I have to complain about the amount of detail of the plot. I understand it's hard to review films sometimes without going into detail about plot points, but a lot of the details could have been left out and we'd still get the point. This is a film I really want to go in knowing little about in terms of specific details, and I feel like this review already gives me more than I want to know before going in. But otherwise, I am very, very happy this film is doing so well with critics. Very much looking forward to it.
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5:55PM on 11/07/2012
I read that last paragraph too quickly and it looked like "exploding penis".

Hopefully there won't be any of that.

Very much looking forward to seeing this.
I read that last paragraph too quickly and it looked like "exploding penis".

Hopefully there won't be any of that.

Very much looking forward to seeing this.
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2:06PM on 11/07/2012
Cant wait to see this, my only concern is the mention of more over the top action scenes. I always suspend belief, like in Casino's opening sequence when Bond and his prey both have unlimited stamina, but not looking for the ridculousness like surviving a nuclear blast in a fridge.
Cant wait to see this, my only concern is the mention of more over the top action scenes. I always suspend belief, like in Casino's opening sequence when Bond and his prey both have unlimited stamina, but not looking for the ridculousness like surviving a nuclear blast in a fridge.
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12:34PM on 11/07/2012
Beautiful looking movie and I really enjoyed the way they tied it back to the older movies while keeping the contemporary feel . A few things took me out of it a bit. Bond feeling older was an interesting idea and yet it felt like a redundant character examination as he is replaced every 4 or 5 movies by a different actor.
----Spoilers----
The low key standoff ending at Skyfall lodge which seemed so refreshing for a blockbuster movie was unfortunately undermined by the need for an enormous
Beautiful looking movie and I really enjoyed the way they tied it back to the older movies while keeping the contemporary feel . A few things took me out of it a bit. Bond feeling older was an interesting idea and yet it felt like a redundant character examination as he is replaced every 4 or 5 movies by a different actor.
----Spoilers----
The low key standoff ending at Skyfall lodge which seemed so refreshing for a blockbuster movie was unfortunately undermined by the need for an enormous explosion with a helicopter on top.
On a side note, the comparisons with the Dark Knight are surely justified.
Capturing and imprisoning the charismatic villain half way through the movie, which is later to be revealed to be part of an elaborate plan. The prisoner with the bomb in the Dark Knight and the laptop in Skyfall serving essentially the same purpose. I though that some of musical cues where very similar to Nolan's Batman movies too.
All my own opinion of course.
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9:28AM on 11/07/2012
my rating- 6/10.simple,weak,routine plot,mediocre screenplay.Worst bond film in the last two decades."it
may not work with purists
hoping for exploding pens
and the womanizing secret
agent man" ?! Sometimes i fear that Bond will die,due to Mass Hypocrisy.
my rating- 6/10.simple,weak,routine plot,mediocre screenplay.Worst bond film in the last two decades."it
may not work with purists
hoping for exploding pens
and the womanizing secret
agent man" ?! Sometimes i fear that Bond will die,due to Mass Hypocrisy.
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10:36AM on 11/07/2012
So, uh, you didn't see Die Another Day, eh?
So, uh, you didn't see Die Another Day, eh?
11:10AM on 11/07/2012
@James Bourne, normally, I say we're all entitled to our opinions, but I get the feeling you're just trolling.
@James Bourne, normally, I say we're all entitled to our opinions, but I get the feeling you're just trolling.
+1
6:49AM on 11/07/2012
Can't wait till friday, IMAX here I come!
Can't wait till friday, IMAX here I come!
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6:03AM on 11/07/2012

I can't recommend this movie enough. Do yourself a favor and go watch it.

Jimmy nails it right on the money, for me it's also 9/10. Just a few thoughts regarding the babes, the Bond purists and the overall themes of the movie:
- I wanted to see more of Berenice Mahon. She is a bit wasted here, kinda like Gemma Arterton was in QoS.
- Bond purists should by now be aware that these movies with Craig are different from previous entries of the franchise. Don't go expecting Skyfall to return to the path of ridiculous gadgets, misogyny or silly action scenes.
- The movie
Jimmy nails it right on the money, for me it's also 9/10. Just a few thoughts regarding the babes, the Bond purists and the overall themes of the movie:
- I wanted to see more of Berenice Mahon. She is a bit wasted here, kinda like Gemma Arterton was in QoS.
- Bond purists should by now be aware that these movies with Craig are different from previous entries of the franchise. Don't go expecting Skyfall to return to the path of ridiculous gadgets, misogyny or silly action scenes.
- The movie is more about the development of the character of Bond, about him growing old (with little touches about his origin), his relationship with M, and about the differences between the world of decades passed (the movie dwelves a bit about the relevance and importance of Bond as an "instrument of blunt force" in a modern and technological world ruled by people in shadows, hidden behind computer screens and keyboards). I loved that they focused a bit on the dichotomy of the world's and Bond's past and the present.
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6:25AM on 11/07/2012
- Plus, the third and final act is amazing and truly unique in the Bond movies. It reminded me of western showdowns, movies with John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. But with explosions and helicopters. Great stuff.
- The cinematography is absolutely flawless, give the guy at least an Oscar nod. The action scenes are beautifully shot and there are absolutely no quick-cuts (the silhouetted hand-to-hand fight in Shanghai against blue, giant neon ads atop a windowed skyscraper is stunning).
- Plus, the third and final act is amazing and truly unique in the Bond movies. It reminded me of western showdowns, movies with John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. But with explosions and helicopters. Great stuff.
- The cinematography is absolutely flawless, give the guy at least an Oscar nod. The action scenes are beautifully shot and there are absolutely no quick-cuts (the silhouetted hand-to-hand fight in Shanghai against blue, giant neon ads atop a windowed skyscraper is stunning).
+5
5:10AM on 11/07/2012
its a great movie, seen it a week ago, and loved it...
its a great movie, seen it a week ago, and loved it...
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4:45AM on 11/07/2012
Can't f#cking wait any longer!
Can't f#cking wait any longer!
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+7
1:55AM on 11/07/2012
Jimmy, I like you and I like reading your reviews but sometimes could you please put up a heading at the top of your reviews that says "minor spoilers." Now fists bump.
Jimmy, I like you and I like reading your reviews but sometimes could you please put up a heading at the top of your reviews that says "minor spoilers." Now fists bump.
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2:59AM on 11/07/2012
Whaddya talkin' about?

That was one of the less spoiled reviews I've read thus far.
Whaddya talkin' about?

That was one of the less spoiled reviews I've read thus far.
8:43AM on 11/07/2012
He means the fact that we're given a play-by-play of pretty much the first third act of the film. As it happens in 90% of all reviews, for some unexplicable reason.
He means the fact that we're given a play-by-play of pretty much the first third act of the film. As it happens in 90% of all reviews, for some unexplicable reason.
11:03PM on 11/07/2012
Agree with @cupajoe. The review by Jimmy is great and I agree to it 100% but there are some spoilers here and there.
Agree with @cupajoe. The review by Jimmy is great and I agree to it 100% but there are some spoilers here and there.
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