Skyfall ★★★★★

"Someone usually dies." (Bond)

Whether Casino Royale or Skyfall is my favorite Bond film is an ongoing debate. Whatever one I've seen last, I guess. It's rather telling though that the two entries I revere the most are also the two that deviate the most from the classic template. Both are built around Bond's relationship with the central female character, and both end tragically with great emotional cost for Bond. I like a simple fun action romp as much as the next guy, but combining great action in great locations with a more character-focused approach is my kind of thing. Of course there is only so much personal/introspective stuff you can have your protagonist have to deal with before it rings hollow. Spectre tried to lean more into classic Bond, and it didn't work particularly well. So I'm a little concerned right now, what No Time to Die will be like. That Phoebe Waller-Bridge (I love Fleabag, and her droid was easily the best thing about last year's Solo) was brought in at Craig's request to liven up the script is a good thing, I guess, since most of Spectre's problems came from the script being a bit of a dud. But the question remains, will the supposed less serious direction work this time?

What I am sure of though is that Skyfall is the most visually striking Bond movie ever made. Off Roger Deakins' more recent films this is the one that should've netted him his first Academy Award. Deakins' use of light brings a level of artistry to an action movie, that we are hardly ever treated to in crowd-pleasing blockbusters of this scale.

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