Now what he did so well of course was to build a set of narratives that challenge the audience to look deeper and decide for themselves where the good and bad really lies. When you do so, it's very much a film about the system and authorities, which only makes it all the more brilliant that Mendes constantly tries to get us to look beyond what we think we know to question the system - or in this case, question the Bond formula.
In other words then, Mendes is trying to teach us to question what we see, but in order for him to do that, there has to be a surface film for us to enjoy too, and Skyfall most definitely has that. Yes this film contains reams of great action sequences, beautiful cinematography from Roger Deakins, some brilliant humour and and many plot points that can be interpreted in which ever way you wish, and as a result it is a film that you can thoroughly engage with without looking too far into any of it at all.
With all that in place, Skyfall could have already been brilliantly intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable, but it's elevated even further by its emotional subplots that run through the whole film like a heartbeat; binding each side of the film together and creating something that not only makes sense with all interpretations of the story, but also emotionally engages you in it all as well. Now we know from countless experiences that it's very easy when discussing themes to forget about character and emotion, or to treat them as separate entities, but here the emotional sub-plot is very much a reaction to the themes themselves, and as a result, you can truly play them out through your head. The fact the plot is so interpretable though, also means these reactionary emotions equally make sense if you're following on top, and the way they come to their head at the end is truly heart-wrenching which ever way you look at it.
In many ways then, whilst Thomas Newman's excellent score is very much a reaction to all this, it probably serves as the most accurate embodiment of everything one can say for Skyfall. Sure, there's plenty of exciting moments on the surface, but underneath there's something rather unusual - a mysterious heartbeat that both represents a set of mysterious ideas that are only there if you look for them, or an emotional core that binds the whole film together. In other words; it's a beautiful masterpiece that does so much so well, and not only becomes the best Bond film of all time, but also one of the greatest films I've ever seen.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: With so much for it to deal with, there's bound to be some niggles with the surface plot, but frankly that's not something you care about when you're so engaged with the themes and ideas. The only complaint thereafter is that the pacing is perhaps a little fast.
VERDICT: Comparing this to the other Bond films doesn't do it justice; I genuinely believe 'Skyfall' is one of the best and most ambitious movies ever made, and I absolutely, whole-heartedly adore it.
Over all, Skyfall is the second best Daniel Craig Bond film. a true example of the franchise. 5/5 stars