Skyfall ★★★★★

Doing a mini Bond binge before "No Time to Die"!

My favorite-ever Bond film! "Skyfall" was released during Bond's 50th anniversary, so it's safe to say that a lot was not only riding on it being a good film but for it to also be a beautiful celebration of the character's screen legacy.

Craig's Bond has always been more stooped in reality than previous incarnations of the character, but what "Skyfall" does so brilliantly is take everything that has worked about other portrayals of Bond and combine it with what makes Craig's Bond so enthralling. And what you get is a wonderful homage to the franchise's history as well as a satisfying continuation of Craig's arc without anything feeling too forced or tonally inconsistent.

"Skyfall" is a deeply personal tale for Bond, which is an amazing change of pace when compared to the rest of the series. Silva (played with maniacal joy by the great Javier Bardem) is technically the villain of the film, yes, but the real Bond villain of "Skyfall" is trauma, past mistakes. Although Silva can definitely be considered the physical manifestation of the guilt and regret of the past that permeates every bit of "Skyfall". Bond has to come to terms with who he was and who he is. A key aspect of the film is how broken Bond is at this point in the series, both emotionally and physically, and how he hides that through sex, drugs, and false heroism.

And the film is not just about Bond coming to terms with his past, it's about M as well. Her failures, her regrets. Craig and Dench have magnificent chemistry together and it's put to great use here, especially in the final act where the emotional apex of their relationship lies. It's a film about working through trauma, and for a Bond film, especially one as important as this one, that's an incredibly powerful concept to grapple with.

"Skyfall" is a noticeably and *almost* uncharacteristically sincere outing for Bond, but it still finds a way to make room for the things we love about the series. The action is impeccable, second to none! The Shanghai skyscraper sequence is an absolute standout! The intro by Adele is the best the series has ever seen! It's haunting through its imagery, and through that imagery, it actually tells a story! It's also beautifully composed and sung! The cinematography by *legend* Roger Deakins is some of the best work he's ever done! The climax of the film is an absolute visual feast. "Skyfall" is an amazing Bond experience, but more importantly, it's an impactful and unforgettable cinematic experience. It will be a long while before the series reaches these heights again!

(Also, side note: Bond is heavily implied to be Bi! That made my fucking day!!!)

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