After the debacle that was Quantum of Solace, I was under the assumption that the Bond franchise, under Craig, was at an end. I can recall seeing the trailer for Skyfall back in 2012 and discounting the film completely, arguing that the series was dead and that Casino Royale was an off-shoot, a film that got lucky but that couldn't, and wouldn't, be replicated again.
But then I began hearing from fans of the franchise that Skyfall was good... that it was very good... that it was one of the best Bond films in the franchise, rivaling Casino Royale, Goldfinger, and For Your Eyes Only. As one who openly admits to frequently caving to peer pressure, I decided to forgo my trepidation and see the film.
And I'm glad that I did. As I said with Casino Royale, Skyfall is not only one of my favourite Bond films, it's one of my favourite action films of all time. I am entirely in love with this movie. I'm a huge fan of postmodernism, which takes traditional elements and incorporates them in new and original ways, and Skyfall is most definitely a postmodern film.
We see elements from the franchise's past and they are introduced often in ironic, clever ways (the exploding pen quip, the passenger ejector button in Bond's Aston Martin). The film beautifully embraces its origins but it weaves them into a very modern, very relevant story. I loved the subplot which saw M being forced to answer to a committee about the relevance of the 00 sector. In a very meta move, the film answers the argument that the Bond franchise itself is outdated, arguing that in an ever changing world, Bond's role is more essential, more important, than ever before.
Skyfall is extremely stylized and beautifully shot, and it stands out as being the most visually captivating film in the franchise. The film is exceptionally grounded, focused on a personal vendetta, rather than a desire for world domination, and Javier Bardem plays one of the most intense, captivating villains in the entire series. The score, the action sequences, the performances, there is nothing I can fault the movie for.
Do you prefer Casino Royale or Skyfall more? How would you rate this one?