Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
Daniel Craig … James Bond
Helen McCrory … Clair Dowar
Bérénice Marlohe … Sévérine
Ben Whishaw … Q, MI6 high-tech Quartermaster
Ralph Fiennes … Gareth Mallory
Javier Bardem … Raoul Silva
Naomie Harris … Eve
Judi Dench … M, head of MI6
Albert Finney … Kincade
Ola Rapace … Patrice
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|Distributor||Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures|
Choosing your favorite James Bond movie is similar to choosing your favorite style of music. It can depend on your age, mood, or even extenuating circumstances. In the 50 years of this franchise, Agent 007 has taken many forms, played many different identities, and stopped many a super-villain. Some fans revere the Bonds of old: a super agent with unbelievable gadgets, campy dialog, and a penchant for saving the world without wrinkling his tux. For those viewers who like their Bond gritty, realistic, and character-driven, “Skyfall” may rank as the best of the lot.
In this newest incarnation of Bond, directed by Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”), we find an aging agent 007 (gasp!). He is considering retirement after a mission goes south, but is drawn back to MI:6 by a terrorist attack that many think is an inside job. While not at his best, physically or mentally, Bond has to save the agency while going head to head with a maniacal villain, not bent on world domination (double gasp!), but on psychological revenge.
Giving away any more of the plot details would ruin much of the fun for Bond aficionados. Suffice it to say, “Skyfall” showcases the same quality of “Casino Royale”, and makes the abysmal “Quantum of Solace” a distant memory. New director Sam Mendes injects new life into a franchise that seems ageless, while also keeping the new direction of Bond that began once the role was inhabited by Daniel Craig. Craig isn’t the stereotypical 007, but he definitely makes the role his own.
Gone are the specific drink orders, exploding pens and invisible cars. These things are replaced with a trained killer with a single gun, who will let nothing get in his way. Also, worthy of note is the performance of Javier Bardem as the villain, Silva. Bardem makes his character stand out, and is effectively creepy as an atypical Bond villain.
If you’re interested in seeing “Skyfall”, chances are extremely high that you are at least somewhat familiar with the James Bond franchise. If so, you know what to expect when it comes to content issues in the film. The newest Bond installment continues the tradition of the series, showcasing fun action scenes, but also inappropriate sexual content. The language is kept to a minimum, but Mr. Bond is seen with no less than three women in various stages of undress. The scenes never last long, but implied casual sex between the protagonist and numerous partners is a very unfortunate aspect of this series that keeps the films from being good-natured, family fun.
Also, worth mentioning in “Skyfall” is the violent content. Because this new Bond takes itself more seriously, the killings are less “cartoonish” in style and instead much more realistic in nature.
“Skyfall” is an intelligent, well acted, and expertly crafted entry into the canon of James Bond. Like most of the other films in the franchise, there are some content issues that could possibly mar the film’s entertainment value. For fans of the series who enjoy a serious, stone-cold agent, the newest installment of Agent 007 may very well be their favorite.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.