Skyfall ★★★★½

The best of Bond.

It's a relief that it's not one, but two steps ahead of Quantum of Solace. It's very well made, which is no surprise. However, it's not just the production itself that elevates the experience, it's the thematic material.

"Old dog, new tricks."

The concept is not "out with the old, in with the new" like you'd expect, or even the inversion of it, but instead it's how past and present are entwined with each other, how they connect and how they're related to each other almost akin to a familial bond. This is even apparent in its production, even taking away the callbacks. Sleek and clean set design but full of dull browns and oranges to moody blues to melancholic greys and whites. Thomas Newman's score being the type of film score being just like every other modern action film score, but makes more use of the iconic Bond theme. There's even the (re)introduction of established characters, Moneypenny and Q, but there are a couple new characters thrown into the mix. But the concept itself couldn't be more relevant with not just how it's implemented into the themes and the plot but with how it's executed. This is 007 at its most personal. James Bond has to confront not only a new threat, someone who has knowledge of MI6, he also has to face his past (and his personal relations with M and struggles in keeping them professional) and rely on it in order to face this threat. The callbacks are great because they're not just there to tease or surprise fans, they actually have an integral part of the plot and when that one callback happened onscreen, I was a bit stunned. It was great.

This is the pinnacle of Bond and it's going to be real hard to top this.

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