Skyfall [2012]

Directed by: Sam Mendes
Written by: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan
Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw,  Ralph Fiennes, Ola Rapace, Albert Finney, Bérénice Marlohe, Rory Kinnear, Helen McCrory

Skyfall is The Dark Knight of the Bond franchise. Is it the best out of 23 films? That’s something that entirely depends on one’s own taste and personal appreciation for the series.

What is evident and undeniable, though, is that each entry in the Daniel Craig era goes deeper into Bond’s psyche and turns darker with each chapter. You’ll be able to notice striking similarities between Nolan’s masterpiece and Sam Mendes’ contribution to the 007 canon.

Many of the same themes are explored in both of these anticipated actioners, not to mention an important event from James Bond’s past that would most definitely make him relate to Bruce Wayne.

I don’t mean to sound like a broken record here, since it’s the same thing I pointed out in my Looper review a couple weeks ago, but the trailer promised much more action than it delivered. One comes to expect this sort of thing from a Bond movie. Thrilling action set-pieces are as integral to the saga as the suits, the martini (shaken, not stirred), the babes and the gadgets.

When the action comes, however, it’s mind-blowing. For a director who specializes in poignant dramas about domestic life and conformity, Mendes sure knows how to handle high-octane action sequences. A chase through some Turkish streets and rooftops, as well as the final shootout at the Bond manor, the titular Skyfall, are real highlights.

Everything that usually works within films about the agent with a license to kill, works here. The visuals and the locales are pretty, the girls are prettier, the villain is delightfully crazy. Oscar-winning Spaniard, Javier Bardem, is majorly creepy as baddie Raoul Silva. He skillfully alternates between over-the-top and restrained, nicely mirroring the history of Bond villains to this point.

Blond Bond Daniel Craig further proves he was a wise casting choice and Judi Dench receives a well-deserved extension on her screen time as M, which she makes expert use of, obviously. Ben Whishaw of Perfume fame (his performance in that is one of the most underrated ever, in my opinion) is a welcome addition to the cast as the geeky, charismatic Q. Naomie Harris and Ralph Fiennes are, as well, noteworthy.