Skyfall ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

There are a list of films I’ve seen where at the end of them, my first thought to myself is “that was fucking dope.” This is among those films. This was fucking dope.

Skyfall was a movie that I’d been aware of for a while, but I didn’t know much in terms of what it was about. I at least knew Casino Royale was the origin film and had gambling elements, and that Quantum of Solace would directly follow the events of that film. But other than the fact that is held in really high regard, that the tone felt akin to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the cast of this movie, and that it is a James Bond film, I was walking into this pretty much blind. That being said, I really loved this film. The story is really engaging, and unlike it’s predecessor, it doesn’t rely on your knowledge of the prior film to understand the plot. It completely stands alone, yet it still feels like it has a role in James Bond’s overall story, which I think is nice. The music by Thomas Newman is really energetic, feeling a mix of both his own personal style and elements of the classic Bond theme. Sam Mendes is a director I’ve really admired since I saw 1917 and seeing his style applied to Bond was really good. This is a really well-paced movie, with well-directed action and with engaging personal drama for the characters (primarily Bond, M, and Silva). The tone and overall feel of the movie is perfect. The way tensions builds when you know the villain is about to attack is just perfect. And of course when the cinematographer is Roger Deakins, you know you’re getting a visually beautiful movie. The cast is pretty good too, with Daniel Craig once again bringing his A-game to the role and Dame Judi Dench getting to play a much more integral (and emotional) role in the story. Joining the cast is Naomi Harris and Ralph Fiennes, who are both pretty fun additions, as well as Ben Whishaw, who has a voice like marmalade to the ear, and freaking Javier Bardem, who is on a whole ‘nother level. His performance as the villain was so fantastic and charismatic and menacing that it genuinely was the first time in a long time where I genuinely felt scared and intimidated by the villain. There was only one character in this whom I felt was done dirty, and that’s Bérénice Marlohe’s character as this movie’s “Bond Girl”, which is my only real big criticism of the movie. Marlohe gave a really good performance but it’s just the script treated her character pretty needlessly poor. Like, her only purpose was just to show up, look pretty, make out with Bond, and then gets fucking shot by the villain to never get mentioned again. Like, for a movie that came out in 2012, this felt like a massive step backwards to an era we should’ve moved on from. That problem is the sole reason I’ll prefer Casino Royale to this one. Other than that gripe, Skyfall was a fantastic movie that I’d recommend whether or not you’re a James Bond fan or not. It’s really well-made, beautiful to look at, and has a really tight and effective script. Good stuff man. I sure hope the next one is as good (famous last words).

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