Skyfall movie poster

James Bond lumbers back to his roots. A Bond film is supposed to deliver mayhem and eye candy in exotic locales; Skyfall offers memorable set pieces in Shanghai, Scotland, and an abandoned island factory compound. A Bond film needs gadgets; Skyfall knowingly gives us a personalized Walther and a radio transmitter. (Honoring the brand, but not indulging it.) A Bond film should feature a menacing villain who’s also just a touch daffy; Javier Bardem has more fun than anybody else onscreen as a rogue agent with a mommy complex and a come-hither leer. But most of all, a Bond film needs a proper Englishman who can do his bit for crown and country while dazzling the ladies and wearing a tuxedo like it’s a second skin. Here and there, Daniel Craig manages the trick, but too often, he comes off like a canny street tough, a musclebound Steve McQueen with a posh accent. Along the way, his boss M notes that “orphans always make the best agents,” but that shouldn’t mean they get to skip out on charm school. (Craig's delivery on the trademark Bond banter labors harder than the seams on his trousers, which is saying something.) But it’s not all his fault: he’s not the one who blends Mother and the Mother Country in a story that takes much too long to say much too little beyond, “Spies — like the one in this old-timey franchise — are still relevant!” With Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes. 2012.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

MovieHound Nov. 11, 2012 @ 8:53 p.m.

I enjoyed Skyfall a lot more than the reviewer. There was more character development in two major characters, 007 and M. One of the better Bond flicks.

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 12, 2012 @ 7:42 p.m.

Daniel Craig has turned out to be a fantatsic choice for the role of Bond....and the films have been fantastic too. So far from the sillyness of Moonraker....

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Dragonfly Sept. 12, 2013 @ 6:37 p.m.

After starting with an exciting and well-paced chase scene, followed by a captivating title sequence that's full of visual style, you might think you're in for an enjoyable ride, but Skyfall slows down considerably once those appetizers are finished. In fact, overly calculated visuals are about all that's on the menu. The personal style of our hero, once the essence of a Bond film, barely peeks through. Even the Bond theme music is all but gone, save for a brief moment that's no more than a nod to a distant and nearly forgotten past. With Daniel Craig as our unsmiling, brooding Bond we're about as far from Diamonds Are Forever as it's possible to get; that is, it's Bond without the fun; that is, it's Bond for those who don't realize that the whole thing is a spoof. Or was.

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