Mike’s review published on Letterboxd:
My 3rd viewing of this film, and I can truly say this is my favourite Bond film ever, and for me Craig is my favourite Bond. It's just a pity that Quantum of Solace sits between this and Casino Royale. This would have been a perfect follow up to Casino!
It completes the reboot of Bond. But it also draws on Bonds rich history, Craig's Bond seems to be the best parts of every different Bond I've seen before. He's charming, he seduces women, cocky, smart, funny and now he's on the edge. His job affects him, he feels loss, something we only witnessed once before really, on the whole death never seemed to bother him. This Bond is different, he has a soul! The first Bond with a decent back story, a reason to do the job, a reason for me to believe he will fight at all costs for his Country and Mi6!
What Mendes and his writing team have achieved with this film is brilliant, not only laying the foundation for the next instalments. They have also restored a lot of credibility to the franchise, Casino started it back on the right path. Forget Quantum! Skyfall has got Bond back on track and taken him to the next level. They have done their homework, they've used elements raised in Casino Royale (the orphan statement) and expanded on them. They've got humour and the odd quip, but nothing obvious and corny, just funny! They've brought back characters, not just brought them back and dumped them in this new Bond world, they are redefined. As with Bond they've made them fit this new world. Q is back but he is clever, nerdy but likable. Also Q branch isn't like what we've seen before, in fact they poke fun at the Q branch, not in a bad way. But they let me know it's not going to be like before, no more gadgets! Well only gadgets which make sense. For me that's a good thing!
There is one more addition but that would spoil it so I'll leave that one!
Another thing I think worked so well here is the cinematography, it is stunning. Roger Deakins has done a wonderful job, every where this film is amazing to look at. London, Scotland, Shanghai they all look phenomenal. The Shanghai tower block fight is simply stunning. Deakins is a master of his trade!
Even the opening shot of Bond stepping into the hallway is wonderfully done!
As for the cast they are fantastic. Dench as M, this is her best performance yet as this character. She does have a lot more to do than in previous outings, but it's Dench and very rarely does she disappoint.
Craig brings back the Bond I saw in Royale, and then some. With the help of some good writing, he adds more layers to the character, for me this is what makes him my favourite Bond.
Rory Kinnear is a great as Tanner, again he's got more to do and he was very good. Whishaw as Q and Fiennes as Mallory are also really good, and both make good additions to the cast.
As for Bardem, he's brilliant as Silva, but I think it's one of those love/hate characters because of his nature some may not appreciate it! For me he was understated evil!
And finally the Bond girls, Harris as Eve is great, loved her chirpy accent and glint in her eye. As for Berenice Marlohe I think she is amazing as Severine. Her character is so on the edge, she is holding it together just! Marlohe gets it so right!
And finally Thomas Newman has produced a great score, he's used the bond theme in all the right places!
A fantastic film - again the time just flew by! Hopefully I am going to see this again next week!