SKYFALL [2012] movie review

November 10, 2012 · Print This Article

Showing respect to the past and pushing forward a franchise is undoubtedly a difficult task for a movie series now celebrating its 50th anniversary, but SKYFALL [2012] does it spectacularly.  James Bond is shown as all things over the 143 minute running time of SKYFALL, including the impossible daredevil action stuntman, the witty rouge, the seducer, but also the vulnerable.  Bond does not escape any part of SKYFALL unscathed, from the very start until the very end.

I really like how the opening scene took us from a claustrophobic building scene just after a hit and theft by a mercenary with Bond arriving only moments to late, following him out to an unexpectedly bright and bustling Istanbul.  That was the first of many abrupt transitions SKYFALL uses to its storytelling advantage.

The mercenary is no fodder for a couple of quick punches from Bond though, and after a very thrilling and surprisingly believable motorcycle chase across rooftops, then end up in a classic top of a moving train fist fight.  Bond’s partner has a shot, but not a clean one.  All the while M is back at MI6 listening in and giving orders, the last one, “take the shot.”  Agent down.

In SKYFALL the character, the franchise, everything is reborn.  This is a very good thing.  Relationships and motivations all seem much more personal between Bond, M and even the villain (a former MI6 agent himself).  He wants revenge on M and of course Bond just happens to be in the way.

To say SKYFALL is very atmospheric is an understatement.  The screen is often rather silent with Bond looking piercingly, and the camera is allowed to linger on his walk, his purpose, his targets.  Enough exotic locals are visited to satisfy the worldly spy agent feeling, but the best scenes are saved for the UK.

SKYFALL will no doubt end up as one of the best movies I will see in 2012.

One side note, the location of the villain’s secret island hideout is actually a very famous Japanese haikyo, which was a detail a past Japanese haikyo explorer like myself got a smile from.

 

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