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“Skyfall” – Early Review (POSITIVE)

November 8, 2012

We’ve entered a golden year for Agent 007, the 50th anniversary of the characters on screen existence. With the release of “Skyfall”, the 23rd installment in the series, a lot is riding on this film after the sophomore slump to the Daniel Craig films. “Quantum of Solace” was a mix bag for many fans and critics, it was a good film, but not as great as the redefining reboot to Bond in “Casino Royale”. Brought on for this project is Oscar winning director Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”), hand picked by Craig himself, after previously working with the acclaimed director on “Road to Perdition”, with a talented Oscar winning techincal team including the likes of Roger Deakins as DP & Thomas Newman as composer, I knew we were in the right for this film, I did not however expect “Skyfall” turn out to be the BEST James Bond film since the original Sean Connery films.

James Bond (Craig) is on a dangerous mission, to recover a lost drive containing the names of every MI6 agent undercover in terrorist organizations across the globe. Somebody from the inside is seeking vengeance on Bonds go-to leader M (Judi Dench). After believing to be killed in action, M feels that all is lost now that Bond is no more, but of course James is quite the clever individual, and barely escapes death, with a small price. Bond rises from the ashes and returns to a desolated MI6, he’s now a broken man, physically and mentally. MI6 however is still in grave danger and only James is the right man for the job to find out who’s behind it. Once the culprit is revealed, a brand new skeleton in the closet is revealed involving M & 007 in a psychotic game of cat & mouse, leading us down to a pulse pounding and emotionally resistant ending no one will see coming.

I have one word to describe this movie: CLASSIC! Everything about this movie is classic, Mendes knew from the start that the previous Bond movies were lacking that old school spark that made the original Connery films so memorable and enjoyable. There are some subtle returns to the character and some obvious ones that will leave die hard fans foaming at the mouth from too much joy. Craig has truly come into full form as the character of Bond. He’s brought the right amount of humor the character deserves; the classic wit, and the cheeky banter between him, M, and Q (Ben Whishaw). Q is finally back in a Bond film, played this time as a younger boy genius type, his dynamic with 007 is some of the best in ages, mainly because Q is utilized on a greater level than any of the other films. And let’s not forget that with every Bond movie comes a villain, and Oscar winner Javier Bardem plays it foremost; a brilliant, psychopathic, and perhaps plays it as the scariest Bond film in the entire canon of the series.

On a techincal level this is without question the best looking asthetic Bond film, nothing comes close. Every shot in this movie is present as a beautful canvas of colors. Roger Deakin’s continues to prove he is one of the top masterful cinematographers. Not to mention this movie is presented in IMAX, which I feel is the only way to see these grand epic action films. It’s also nice to know the Brocoli producers have remained adement that Bond will NEVER go 3D. Cheers! My only mild guff with the movie was the pacing in the second ACT, while the pacing in the first & third ACT are well placed, I found the second to be a little trying at times. It’s played out for the intense dramatic effect, one for instance that will lead to such a cathartic ending, but I think with tighter editing it would’ve been improved.

There are a lot of Bond films, I in fact made a top 13 list discussing my favorite films, but without any hesitation “Skyfall” is my #2 pick favorite Bond film. It would be #1, which is “Goldfinger” for me, but you can’t beat Sean Connery no matter how good of a Bond you get, Connery will ALWAYS come first. But out of the Daniel Craig films, this is the BEST film, and without question one of the top best Bond films in ages. Fans will be over joyed by the surprise goodies in-store for them scattered throughout this film. “Skyfall” is a two and a half hour love letter to the character, the movies, and the creator, Sir Ian Fleming

GRADE: A-

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