Long time Bond fan, first time poster. I've seen Skyfall twice and my comments are:
MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW
- Overall, I was satisfied when the movie ended and it is a considerable improvment over QOS. It doesn't reach the heights of the better Connery movies, TLD or GoldenEye.
- The three leads were excellent in their roles. It was nice that Dench had such a juicy role for her last appearence in the series. She really displayed what a talented actor she is and her contribution to the series cannot be overstated and her presence will be missed. Having said that, I think Fiennes makes a fine replacement as M. I'm looking forward to seeing how his relationship with Bond developes. I also liked how Mallory was initially introduced as a possible adversery, but was gradually shown to be sympathetic towards M and MI6.
- I was surprised that Q was given such a big supporting role as opposed to the traditional single q-branch scene. However, I had no problem with Ben Whitshaw. I thought he did a fine job conveying Q's rather unique personality, albeit one that does differ from Desmond's interpretation. I liked the "bring the equipment back in one piece" line though.
- Silva is probably the most memorable villian since the 60s. A Bond movie can often suffer due to a weak villian (QOS for example), but the opposite is the case with Silva. I've read a few reviews comparing Silva to The Joker from TDK. Silva will never be as iconic as The Joker, but Bond's first meeting with him certainly had elements of the Batman/Joker relationship, together with Silva's rather unusual vocal delivery.
- I read a previous poster here didn't like that Bond went to Scotland because he would be more comfortable away from the technology. That wasn't my reading of his motivation. On two occasions, MI6's computer system has been hacked by Silva to devestating effect. I believe Bond brought M to Scotland not because he felt more confortable in a traditional environment, but because it elimated Silva technological advantage.
- I liked the inclusion of the DB5, and its reveal got a great reaction from the two audiences I saw it with. It was a great thrill to hear the Bond theme on guitar as the DB5 drives away. I also liked the ejector seat banter between M and Bond.
- The direction was outstanding, as one would expect from Mendes. So too was the photography - the entire third act in Scotland looked beautiful, and the silluette fight was probably the artistic highpoint of the whole series. Although, I would have liked for it to have lasted just a little longer.
- M's death was the most powerful emotional scene in the whole series. Her last line "I got one thing right" had me choking up. Whether or not this type of emotion is appropriate for a Bond movie or if it should just be pure escapism is another debate.
- I absolutely loved the return to the traditional Moneypenny/M office layout complete with M's padded door. I really hope they keep this office for future movies. Dench's M never had a consistent office. I believe the last time we saw Bond in the traditional office was TLD. I hope this continues. BTW, I also liked the painting of the MI6 building on the wall behind Fiennes. Keep an eye out for it if you missed it the first time.
- Daniel Klienman really outdid himself with the titles. They are stunning, especially with the imagery of the Skyfall grounds (the house, the deer, the graves). BTW...there is a shot in the titles of a spy projected onto a brick wall. I swear it is the spitting image of Timothy Dalton. If you see the movie again, keep an eye out for it. It appears just after Bond shoots the four shadows on the ground. THe 50 years of Bond logo at the start of the end credits was also a nice touch.
- Adele's song is the best in a long long time. The lyrics and her voice fit the movie very well. The chorus is outstanding and I love the rising notes of the "stand tall" line and the cameo of the Bond theme in song. I would be happy for her to return like Bassey. Sadly, David Arnold was missed, and Newman couldn't fill his shoes especially during the later action scenes. Hopefully Arnold will return for Bond 24.
- I too had a problem with another "Bond reborn" story. We've had similar reborn themes in DAD and CR. I think it would have been better if Bond returned to MI6 as a fully physically and mentally capable agent and dispense with the "physical wreck" subplot. Afterall, this is a Bond movie and as a die hard Bond fan, I don't want him to be a physical wreck who can't hit a target. It was superfluous to the main plot of Silva's revenge. Bond could have been at 100% and the movie's plot wouldn't have suffered at all. Also, the whole "Bond is getting too old for field work" subplot came out of nowhere and doesn't sit well with the series.
- I liked the tube sequence, but doesn't quite live up to the excellent Miami Airport scenes from CR.
- The movie could have done with a few more Bondian moments. The best example is his reaction to the destruction of the DB5. We see the car being destroyed and cut to a shot of Bond looking pissed off accompanied by a powerful performance of his theme. But what does he do: he lights a stick of dynamite on top of a few gas cylinders! Any grunt can do that. Such a personal attack on the iconic Bond car should have been met with a better Bond-esque payoff than simply lighting some dynamite. I appreciate the producers are striving for reality, but they need to understand they are making a JAMES BOND movie, not a Bourne or Nolan Batman movie. Clearly, I don't want the return of double-taking pigeons or iceberg surfing that plagued previous movies but the suspension of disbelieve is allowed in a Bond movie. The train scene in the pre-credits is what I'm talking about. Sadly, the rest of the movie didn't deliver these Bondian moments, despite some otherwise excellent spy/action setpieces.
- Likewise, I would have liked to have seen some more gadgets. Obviously, I don't want to go back to the invisible car, but just include a simple watch gadget for example. Again, make it distinctive 007 instead of just a typical spy thriller. I hope Q's comment about Q-branch not making exploding pens anymore is not an indication that the future movies will have little or no gadgets.
- In conclusion, a strong entry into the series but not in the top 5. However, I do hope the producers make Bond 24 more of a Bond film and less of a Bourne-esque spy thriller. If they don't, they may gain a younger fan base at the expense of alienating their long time loyal fans. Previous entries in the series have proven it is possible to do a fairly realistic spy thriller while retaining the Bond experience. Despite these shortcomings, as a long time Bond fan it is very gratifing to see that Skyfall currently has a rating of 94% on RottenTomatoes and 8.5 on imdb togther with massive public interest in the series (both screenings I went to got a round of applause at the end). It is an outstanding movie, but falls just a little short of being an outstanding BOND movie.
Edited by SimonTemplar, 28 October 2012 - 01:50 PM.