Daniel Craig has brought a welcome sense of realism into the James Bond franchise that was missing in a great number of his films. I still believe that Casino Royale has one the best chase scenes I’ve ever seen on film. Skyfall, takes a roundabout approach to bring Bond back to the days of Moneypenny and Q. It is clever in its nostalgia factor and in its casting choices. Still, it suffers a flaw that no Bond movie should.
James Bond, played again by Daniel Craig is supposedly killed in in the line of duty attempting to get a hard drive that contains all the MI6 NATO personnel. Bond was only wounded and spends his days drinking with a small scorpion on his hand, which I guess is a drinking game in some countries that can’t afford ping-pong balls. After returning to active duty he discovers that it was Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem, who aims to kill agents in order to get to M as revenge. The biggest questions of course are who is this guy and will he succeed in his mad schemes?
Daniel Craig is still great as Bond. He is still able to straddle the line between hard cold killer and smooth operator, which is fun to watch. The real fun of this movie comes from Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva which is like watching a mix of Heath Ledger’s Joker mixed with Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. It is evil genius at its best and it’s at least some what original in its insanity and motivation.
The movie brings a nostalgic factor back into the movie that was missing in the others. With the return of characters like Moneypenny and Q, the Aston Martin, and a big booming Bond score the movie has a feeling of old-school Bond. I am not sure what the future will hold for the series but it’s certainly going to be interesting to see where they take it from here.
The only thing that makes this movie at all hard to watch is the run time. At 143 minutes there are a lot of scenes that felt like filler and that is no good during a Bond movie. If they would have cut just a few of the scenes or trimmed others it could have been much easier to sit through. The movie itself is still very fun and worth seeing. I look forward to more of the series and hope it will grow toward this dark, realistic Bond.