Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Bond reaches new heights in Skyfall

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Skyfall is slow and methodical at times, with exposition and a lot of dialogue, but the plot necessitates those down moments. I dont think it detracts from the films tension or appeal as an action or James Bond movie.

New players to the Craig films, such as the new Q, played byBenWhishaw, a fellow agent Eve (NaomieHarris), and British bureaucrat and military veteran Gareth Mallory (RalphFiennes) are welcome. Its great to see Bond work with a team, while still doing the things we love to see on his own.

While the good guys have some new team members, the film would have been nothing without the amazing performance by Bardem as the villainous Silva. Hes a modern villain, and the film is very much about the modern world and the difficulties that nations face with terrorists who are not nationalists.

Silva is an incredible homage to classic Bond villains with unusual deformities or characteristics, an exotic evil lair and wild schemes to rule the world or destroy it. But, while his plots could wreak havoc on the world, he is personally gunning for M.

There is more character development in Skyfall than Ive ever seen in any Bond film and it was so refreshing. We love Bond for who he is, suave agent who is a fantasy persona for men worldwide. But who is he on the inside, and where did he come from, we could only guess.

Skyfall peels away the layers on Bonds past and his psyche, as well as that of M and the relationship the two have. Its a way to nod to Bonds past and look ahead to his future. There are a myriad of homages to old Bond films and they are all awesome for the nostalgic Bond fan.

From the original Aston Martin to quips about crazy gadgets and the classic them from Dr. No, which always gives me chills, Skyfall was a perfect installment for celebrating the franchises 50thanniversary.

But at the same time, the film forces Bond and Mi6 to move forward, adapting to a changing world. Bond hasnt fought Soviets since before Goldeneye in 1995, but some of the bad guys in that film were still Russian.

DirectorSamMendesdelivered an outstanding film, with dramatic car chases, foot chases, great set pieces and the climactic battle is amazing. WritersNeal Purvis,Robert WadeandJohn Logandeserve so much credit for fleshing out Bond and M more than has ever been done.

Craigs films have done something that few others in the franchise managed to do. They create a character arc for Bond, which is why I have loved them so much. Im as much a Bond fan as the older crowd that first saw Dr. No, but I think not to recognize the quality of Craigs films is a huge mistake.

They have delivered James Bond as advertised, but theyve added more to his foundation, and expanded on his future.

Skyfall is truly one of the best four or five Bond films ever, but I cant with absolute confidence say it is the best, but it sure is close. Ill be disappointed when Craig leaves the character, but I cant wait to see where they go from here.

Editor Patrick Hall may be contacted at

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