Kunga Sagar’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have so much goddamn nostalgia for Casino Royale. My family had the DVD so I used to watch it every other week with my grandmother. Daniel Craig is really the only Bond I know, I’ve yet to dive into any of the classics. Throughout high school, friends would tell me how Skyfall is hands down the best Bond movie and I’d scoff and say it’s no Casino Royale. But after seeing it for the first time since it’s release, I can say they’re indisputably on the same level of god level badassery.
Dare I say Sam Mendes suffers from the Citizen Kane syndrome? His debut American Beauty was and is his masterpiece, and no matter how technically masterful his films continue to get, he’ll know he made an AFI top 100 level picture with his first go at bat. That being said, Skyfall’s visual brilliance comes from pairing Mendes’ vision with a superb cinematographer named Roger Deakins, his eye for sweet looking shots elevate even the slower scenes of the picture. The final scene is beautiful to look at and reminiscent of the duo’s later masterwork 1917.
Mendes tops his own fucking action sequences every time a new one arrives. Cool opening train sequence right? Guess what, he has a subway sequence that blows that one out of the water. He somehow manages to top that with a final scene that manages to be icy and fiery at once. Daniel Craig delivers as always, the aging Bond element was cool. Javier Bardem is such a magnificent freak. I could be reaching here, but was casting Ralph Fiennes an attempt to confuse the viewer as to whether he’s a good or bad guy? His face just screams evil (I mean he’s fucking Voldemort) I thought it was a bloody effective move.
Is it better than Casino Royale? Yes and no. It’s a better directed and shot film, with better action sequences. Royale’s characters are stronger though, and the non action scenes are far more intriguing. Is it the best James Bond movie? Yes... and no? Okay fine yes, with Royale being the most important (and one of the most important franchise films in history). No Time to Die better release when there’s order in the universe again, and I can chew on some buttery popcorn with a bunch of folks next to me.