James Bond is back in Skyfall, an exceptional film that balances all the traditional elements you'd expect but at the same time delivers a truly unique film that mixes up the formula.
If you thought Casino Royale was a "realistic" and modern Bond film, wait until you see Skyfall. It truly is a Bond film for the 21st century. Casino Royale is cartoonish and cliche in comparison (I really like Royale but trust me on this).
The story is well told and crafted, this isn't your typical Bond film and the premise becomes much more personal than anything we've seen before. The fact that most of it is set in London also makes it feel very different to previous entries in the series. London is usually where Bond gets briefed not where the story takes place.
Daniel Craig delivers his best performances as 007 yet, (I felt he played the role almost a bit thuggish in Quantum of Solace) delivering the charm, hard edge and even a bit of sensitivity. Judi Dench plays a great M and gets almost as much screen-time as Bond. The villain played by Javier Bardem is also terrifying and one of the best the series has ever seen.
There isn't as much action as I was expecting, the film plays more as a thriller than your typical action film. But this works to the films advantage, as when it does kick off it counts. I don't think I've ever felt tense watching a Bond film but there's a scene about two thirds into the film that literally had me on the edge of my sit. It has an incredible build up and pay off. The Home Alone style siege finale is also awesome.
Technically the film is excellent - the cinematography, editing and music are all top-notch.
My only gripe with the film is that it didn't start with the barrel shot (again)! Hopefully now all the pieces are in place for the Bond world that will change with next one. That's literally my only criticism of the film.
After his (re)introduction in Casino Royale, Skyfall brings James Bond full circle and finally completes his journey to becoming the character we knew from the instalments prior to Daniel Craig taking over the role. To say any more would spoil the film, but needless to say I can't wait for the next one!
Overall I'd say Skyfall is the best film in the franchise, but not necessarily the best Bond movie (if that makes sense).
James Bond will return.
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