Calum's Review of Skyfall
Shortly after the worldwide success of the critically acclaimed Casino Royale came , questionably, bonds worst outing yet, in a title that isn't even worth mentioning due to it's unnecessary amount of syllables. After it's release bond hit a brick wall, procrastinating in development whilst production teams thought of ways to repair the badly injured franchise and MGM sorted out their money issues. A refreshing four years later, whereby audiences had discarded Bonds previous outing and Bond hit the magic age of 50, Skyfall had finally been completed, with the prestigious mind of Sam Mendes at the helm. Boasting an impressive cast and crew to match, it almost seemed inevitable that Skyfall would bring about better things for Bond, and that's certainly the case, this is well worth the wait.
50 years after the loved and perhaps missed style of the classic 60's bond, comes Skyfall a 21st century impression of the bond we all know and love, made relevant to today's society through a contemporary narrative. Following the story of MI6 as it comes under a hugely relevant 'cyber attack', Bonds loyalty to M is tested as he faces the repercussions of her past. Through this plot, he is put up against the deeply intimidating 'Silva', leading the attacks for a largely realistic reason.
Although humongous volcano lairs, containing eccentric traps of dangerous animals, is quite sensibly a thing of the past, their was an aspect of such bizarre narrative that seemed to gel successfully. After all Bond is one man on a slightly unrealistic mission, a hint of fun should be effortlessly inserted. Evidently such ambitious strongholds remain buried in the 1960's, however that's not to say aspects of such classics should be forgotten. Contrary to recent Bond films Skyfall enjoys itself, whilst immersing it's audience within the suave and sophisticated world of Bond. Such audacious features may not be as prominent, but they remain present providing a comforting 'nostalgia blanket', whilst still keeping it contemporary. The film begins in familiar Bond style, in the form of an exhilarating, if not slightly ridiculous chase sequence which does wonders in setting the tone for the remaining film. Immediately a sense of relief was felt, as Bond makes chase on foot through the bustling streets ,before taking to the rooftops on a motorbike. The chase is extensive and exhausting, due to the fantastic cinematography reminding you of the similarly brilliant chase in Craig's first outing. The scene soon draws to a close in dramatic style as the classic title card sequence begins with familiar punchy artwork and a riveting score to match
Skyfalls forceful drive is very much due to its immersive, contemporary narrative that is usually dismissed for an overused archaic ' world dominance plan'. Although it has it's incoherent times that come with the use of a technological narrative, it does a good job in tying the story together into a neat, streamlined picture. With this narrative comes the frightening dominance of the anti-hero 'Silva', played by the excellent Javier Bardem who displays a sophisticated attire within a mind of insanity and a perfect 'blonde mop'. Such a villain has been unheard of previously in the Bond series, but he has no doubt been catapulted up to stand with the very best through his rich character depth and oddly alluring personality. A scene in which Silva and Bond are introduced for the very first time, contrasts the two giant persona's perfectly, with the controlling Silva ultimately providing the background narrative for his motives, in a scene of pure enjoyment and art. A similar intimidating theme continues throughout the film until it's thrilling climax, where we discover the perhaps unnecessary inclusion of Bonds past whilst preparing for a stunning action set-piece. This climactic action sequence mostly delivers however does have the tendency to trip over into the ridiculous at times, inadvertently becoming quite rushed, especially compared to the amount of build up that was given to set the scene.
The Bond franchise needed redemption, and to achieve this Skyfall needed to prove itself, it needed to prove Casino Royale was no fluke and that Bond is still relevant and popular in a modern society. Skyfall achieves this in sublime style, through a fresh plot full of creativity facing a a realistic and furthermore relateable threat that is unprecedented within the Bond series .Bond may be ageing but he is very much better than ever.
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