Review #13 Skyfall- Five Star Review

Directed by- Sam Mendes

Starring- Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Judi Dench

After a week of being disappointed by Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, I have to say….. SKYFALL IS SO SO AWESOME.

From the start there is a plot. Thank god. It’s set out easily what Bond has to do- a hard drive containing the names of every single Nato operative in the world has been stolen, and it has to be retrieved. The opening scene is typical of a Bond movie, fast, car chase, guns, explosions, bangs!

I’m not going to reveal much more about the movie because loads of awesome stuff happens. But, I’ll say this about the characters:

M- in the reviews I read, it said M is the Bond girl. She really is, it isn’t meant in a disgusting they-do-the-dirty way, but you see their relationship and how much they mean to each other. Judi Dench is excellent, the chemistry between her and Daniel Craig creates laughter, and sympathy. She is doing one of the hardest jobs in the world, and you feel sorry for her in this world where the judgment of one person is a matter of life or death. See below for the poem she recites.

Q- in my review of Quantum, I commented on the serious lack of Q, and to be honest when I first saw that it was going to be played by what can only be described as a pubescent boy, I had doubts. But, the Mark Zuckerberg look actually works. He was funny and geeky and had a cute look to him. He earns Bond’s respect and makes a good point about gadgets- there’s no more pens with bullets in, it’s about sophisticated technology.

Silva- Javier Bardem is a great villain; it’s the bright blonde hair and the slightly camp scenes with Bond that made me think he’s a psycho. I wouldn’t say he’s as scary as Heath Ledger, or not at first. At the end I felt an eerie chill. He’s what Bond villains should be, he’s a bit like Jaws in a way.

Mallory- just a couple of lines about him. He’s a goodie- I was unsure about him at first, but he’s not in it a lot, and isn’t a brown-noser to the politicians so fits in well with MI6.

007- James Bond movies don’t have that good a reputation in my opinion for being well-acted. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not badly acted at all, but it’s hardly Schindler’s List. However, in this movie I think the cast really step it up a notch. Daniel Craig is so dynamic in this. Bond becomes slightly more dimensional as a character, you find out more about his background and see a side of him never seen before where you discover and learn about his family (would die-hard Bond fans please correct me if I’m wrong and there’s another movie where he reveals more). And he has his Bond cars back!

Another aspect I wasn’t expecting but really actually found benefited the movie- comic relief. The Roger Moore ones succeeded in being actually funny, but since then the jokes in Bond movies just make me cringe. But Daniel Craig (who I have never thought of being able to be a funny 007) had funny one-liners and banter with Q and M.

I’ve spoken to a couple of die-hard Bond fans who think Fleming would turn in his grave. However, I think that Sam Mendes has modernized the Bond series by allowing MI6 to face the problems of the real world. There’s a brilliant scene where M is on trial and when you hear her little speech and the poem she recites, and I think that really shows what the role of espionage is in the 21st century. There’s a lot of action, and I didn’t feel bored when there wasn’t. I was eager to find out what happened next, and didn’t drift off and think what the hell is Bond doing and why’.

Q-full. Car-full. Interesting. Modernized. Funny. Action. I loved it. Congratulations Skyfall, you are Ed’s first five star review.

 

*****EDIT****

It seems like a lot of people are interested in the poem M recites (the last few lines) – so here it is- Ulysses by Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
that loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known—cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all—
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end.
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, my own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the scepter and the isle—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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