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Film Review: Skyfall

I know, I know. You’ve all probably been hearing about this movie nonstop. But for those of you who haven’t seen it, I’ve got a plesant surprise for you: Skyfall deserves the hype.  Rarely does a movie that’s so wildly popular actual have the quality to match, but here we have the perfect antidote to all the weak, flighty action fluff that’s been coming out lately.

“Bond Films” have become their own genre, of course.  They’ve got the crazy gadgets, weird villains, and naturally the Bond Girls.  I can’t really talk about any Bond movie as a standalone, and Skyfall is so engrained in the genre that it’d be particularly difficult here.

Oh well.  I’m going to do it anyways, because as much as Skyfall is a Bond film, it’s also a damn good movie in its own right.  The amount of talent involved  is incredible; besides a cast of A-Listers, there’s Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, who leads this movie to greatness.

But Sykfall isn’t just great  because Craig’s Bond kicks ass all over London and Bardem’s villainous Silva makes our skin crawl.  It’s because the characters in this movie are actually, dare I say it, human and complex.  Bond isn’t just a super-suave secret agent, nor M a cold psuedo-matriarch.  They’re people with internal conflicts and difficult choices to make.  The choices don’t always work out.

The depth and complexities considered in Skyfall and the best of the Bond films are what set them apart from the average, by-the-numbers style that I’ve heard so many people complain about with Quantum of Solace.  That kind of Bond movie appeals to very few.   What’s great about Skyfall, though,  is that it will appeal to anyone because the story, which follows MI6 in the aftermath of Bond’s presumed death, is engaging in its own right.

But Skyfall definitely doesn’t ignore its roots.  For you diehards out there, you’ll pick up on all the cool references and homages.  The Aston Martin DB5 from fan-favorite Goldfinger makes its return, and for the first time Daniel Craig’s Bond meets gadget expert Q.  Fans will pick up on a lot of easter eggs, while the uninitiated won’t feel like they’re missing out.

Skyfall isn’t perfect, though.  While Bardem is incredibly creepy as Silva, he hardly has any presence besides when he’s directly on camera.  Off-camera he seems like some vague threat, easy to forget about.  He lacks that urgent punch that Heath Ledger’s Joker had in The Dark Knight, and with more than a few similarities between Silva and the Joker, it’s hard not to see Silva’s failed potential.

Still, Skyfall is one of the best Bond movies, period.  We won’t be forgetting this entry even if the series continues for another 50 years.

Oh, and did I mention that Adele does the theme song?


Check out the trailer here, or stop reading this now and get over to the cinema.

-Alex Gladwin

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