Skyfall – Film Review
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Daniel Craig, Bérénice Marlohe, Javier Bardem
by Dan Berlinka
This 50th Anniversary Bond starts with the kind of terrific action sequence that has always been a hallmark of the series. Thankfully Skyfall avoids post-Bourne fast cutting and actually allows you to see and enjoy all the impressive stuntwork.
The title sequence and song likewise feel like a ‘proper’ Bond opening. But just when you start settling in for what promises to be an old school 007 adventure… it all slows down. Bond gives up shaving and gets all moody, introspective and, frankly, ineffective.
Things pick up in the second half when the villain is unveiled, though his plan is spectacularly ludicrous and convoluted, even by the notoriously low standards of the franchise. As the scheme unfolds there are numerous moments of “but wouldn’t it have been much simpler to… oh never mind”.
“Some cheer-inducing retro references”
Still, Bond movies long ago stopped being films in their own right and are really just episodes of a greater whole. And this one, for all its faults, does have some cheer-inducing retro references. Although I could’ve lived with more of John Barry’s classic Bond theme.
There’s a great supporting cast: Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Javier Bardem, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris all match Daniel Craig’s continuing commitment to the silliness, while Judi Dench quietly steals the picture with her steely dignity.
Bond fans will see (and dissect) it anyway, but there’s probably enough here to entertain the casual viewer and intriguing groundwork laid for the next instalment.