Skyfall ★★★½

After Quantom of Solace, I guess Bond producers decided to go back closer to something resembling the earlier Bond films. Skyfall sees the return of some tropes (Q, Aston Martin, Moneypenny) but it retains the new gritty realism of the Daniel Craig era. The plot of this one has always felt very disjointed to me - I think the scriptwriter thought up the ending first, and everything else exists in service of getting towards that conclusion. We have the first act that goes with "too old for this shit" feel, followed by the second which escalates things in a very London-centric trendy sort of way, followed by the conclusion which is Home Alone meets Straw Dogs (with a scent of Apocalypse Now). However, in spite of structural problems; the film is hugely engaging and entertaining for most of runtime. Javier Bardem's villain is a sleazy cerebral counterpoint for Bond; his monologue about the rats is a major highlight. The final act is well done and suspenseful but also about the furthest thing away from classic Bond that anyone could ever imagine. As is mostly the case with the Daniel Craig era, these are very good and well made films, but they are not Bond! I think this one is fine as an espionage thriller but not without problems. The weakest of the Craig films up to this point.

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