Skyfall finally brings Bond back to his former glory. Earning the film critical acclaim, 2 Oscar wins, and a $1 billion box-office gross. Skyfall is the twenty-third film in the long running franchise, and it was the first Bond film released in the action-packed 2010’s. It was also released during the 50th anniversary of the franchise. It’s not based on Ian Fleming’s work, but it does celebrate the anniversary by bringing back elements that were missing for over a decade.
Such as the reintroduction of Q and Miss Moneypenny. Albeit with slight differences. Q is now much younger than 007 and Miss Moneypenny is now black. There was also the welcomed return of gadgets. Like the continued use of Bond’s signature Walther PPK and the return of the classic Aston Martin. M was even given her largest role in the franchise to date…
The Mission: Investigate attack on MI6 and keep M out of harm’s way
Gadgets & Vehicles: Walther PPK/S with palm scanner, Radio Transmitter, Aston Martin DB5 (equipped with machine guns)
Bond Girls: Eve, Sévérine
Bond Villains: Raoul Silva, Patrice
Analysis: Skyfall is actually the first (and only) James Bond film I went to the theater to see. Since my brother and I finally got around to binge watching all 22 films before its release. We were hesitant at first, but decided the movie was simply too big to ignore. Contributing to its billion dollar gross. Making it the highest grossing Bond film of all time. Skyfall is perhaps the most personal film in the franchise. Oscar winning director Sam Mendes (of American Beauty fame) makes an impact. It opens with 007 on a mission with a field agent named Eve. Bond is tasked with retrieving a stolen hard drive containing names of undercover agents. The train chase is thrilling and features some of Bond’s trademark wit.
M orders Eve to shoot the assailant, only to hit Bond instead. To which he plunges into the water to his apparent death. Followed by one of the franchise’s all time best opening credit sequence/song combinations ever. The main theme, sung by Adele, is a powerhouse Bond theme. Only supported by visuals of women, guns, and death. The song was so incredible that it became the first Bond theme to ever win the Academy Award for Best Original Song (it was also tied for Best Sound Editing). Daniel Craig delivers his best Bond performance yet, with a Bond that’s become weary and self reflective. Bond returns from death after an attack on MI6, only to receive reevaluation. 007 meets the new Q in an art gallery where he simply supplies him with a gun that can only work for him and a transmitter. Ben Whishaw does his best to replicate Q’s signature snark.
Bond’s mission takes him to Shanghai where he fights off many henchmen and seduces the film’s only romantic Bond girl. Sévérine has a bit of an uncomfortable backstory and dies suddenly, but she does evoke classic Bond girl flare. It’s not till the halfway mark that we meet the film’s main Bond villain. Javier Bardem makes a big impression as Raul Silva. An ex-MI6 agent and current cyberterrorist seeking revenge against M. In her increased screen time, Judi Dench makes M more human than she’s ever been before. After resurrecting the original Aston Martin, M and 007 hideout in Bond’s titular childhood home Skyfall. Ending with a dramatic confrontation that shockingly ends in M’s death. A new MI6 with Ralph Fiennes as M is established in her memory. Naomie Harris has a large role as Eve, who chooses to become a secretary at the end. Revealing her last name to be Moneypenny. Skyfall is everything you could ever want in a Bond blockbuster.
James Bond will return in Spectre