Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall (2012)
Skyfall (2012) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Bill Arceneaux (A Toast) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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On our most recent Pubcast (episode 6, I believe), we discussed our favorite James Bond movies, actors, gadgets, etc. At one point, I admitted a dark secret; I was never really a big fan of the franchise. Yes, it’s true. I’ve only seen a handful of the films, mostly Brosnan and Moore. No Connery (I should be tortured). My colleagues were nice about it – even got a lovely hand gesture from Mr. Sheridan – but I still feel a level of shame.

So, of course, I was the best candidate to review the latest Bond film Skyfall.

Somebody called Bond, and now he’s after me!

Now, don’t you readers worry; I’ve stayed up to date on the goings on of the Daniel Craig reboot series, and caught myself up on what I needed to in order to do this review. Though, I should note that you don’t have to watch any previous film to enjoy this one:

James Bond is back, but is he better than ever? Clearly weathered after recovering from a near deadly gun shot, James must deal with an ex-agent who intends on taking down M and the entire agency. Is the superspy capable of saving the day once again?

A Toast

While I can’t properly measure this up with the majority of the other franchise movies, I think I can safely say that this is James Bond at his most mature. The movie is stylish, but not overdone. It is action packed, but practical. Best of all, the only use of CGI can remember was a lizard. And, for a series intending on rebooting a familiar story, this is the best way to go about things.

Totally mature.

This more traditional approach to the story’s execution also melds well with Bond’s conflict in the film. It acknowledges many times that the franchise is quite lengthy, and maybe even out of gimmicks. I mean, what do you do after over 20 movies, especially when you’ve visited space? It makes the audience ask about the staying power of the character and the adventures. Has he missed a step? Could Bond go toe to toe with Jason Bourne? The jury might be out on that fight (I’d pay to see it on the big screen), but trust me when I say that James – and the series as a whole – has not yet peaked. More fantastical doesn’t beat more grounded and down to Earth. And, from what I understand, there’s still more to explore on this planet.

It’s interesting to me how a movie can be both traditional and nostalgic while also moving its own story forward. Since being rebooted in Casino Royale, James has slowly been becoming the man audiences used to know. From common man booze to sophisticated alcohol. From being a reckless badass to being suave and effective. He may only be 3 films old, but Daniel Craig’s portrayal of the character has finally come into his own.

Additional Toast    

Originally, I was gonna give this movie two beers. Not so much because it had a fault, but because I had already rated it 4/5 stars on Flixster. But, at the time of writing, I just couldn’t justify a derogatory beer. So, whatever. Just have one more to cheer on Javier Bardem’s villain Silva. Built up as an evil man to be feared, his introductory scene/monologue is absolutely spine tingling and creepy as hell. A strong bad guy for a strong movie.

Totally creepy.

Verdict 

Skyfall is to 2012 what Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol was to 2011. While I did give that movie 2 beers, in hindsight, it was a minor technicality. Seek out both flicks.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time you’re impressed by the very excellent photography.

Take a Drink: every time you see a classic “50th Anniversary” Bond reference

Take a Drink: because my conversion of the ratings system is off a tad, but that doesn’t matter – Bond rules.

Do a Shot: if you got weirded out by Silva in that one scene. You know the one.

About Bill Arceneaux

Independent film critic from New Orleans and member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA).

2 comments

  1. So, so good! Roger Deakins’ cinematography is absolutely amazing…

  2. Everything about this movie was great. It’s crowning achievement will be creating on of the best, if not the best, villain in Bond history.

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