Skyfall 3.5/4 – a movie review by James Berardinelli

November 22, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Skyfall can take its place alongside From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as the best Bond can offer…writes James Berdinelli.

With an Oscar winner at the helm and Oscar winners in two prominent roles, Skyfall overflows with talent but, as always, it’s the man with the tux and the Walther PPK that makes the difference. With his piercing blue eyes, Daniel Craig saunters into this endeavor to his rousing two-note introduction with confidence. Now eight years and three movies into his tenure, Craig has gotten through the teething stage that was Quantum of Solace and has found his stride. He’s the best Bond since Connery, and that’s perhaps because there’s so much of the first 007 in his performance. Gone is the silliness that defined Roger Moore’s period and the superhero dimension that enfolded Brosnan. Although Skyfall spends equal time looking back and setting up the future, it never loses sight of the present and, in the process, gives us the best 007 adventure in more than four decades.
Sam Mendes, gleeful at the opportunity to helm an entry into the most successful motion picture franchise of all-time, proves himself as adept at escapist fare as at more “serious” material. (Although one could argue those credentials were previously established with Road to Perdition, in which he also worked with Craig.) His staging of Skyfall’s action sequences are expertly done with an occasional hint of artistry (such as the scintillating confrontation between Bond and bad guy Patrice with the electrified backdrop of Shanghai’s skyline in the background). He also causes elements of drama and pathos to percolate through the suspense and pyrotechnics. Skyfall is the complete package, at least to the extent that any Bond adventure could make such a claim. It challenges perceptions without breaking the formula.

 

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