Skyfall ★★★★

Bond Films Ranked

Bond number twenty three and the third one with Daniel Craig as the iconic spy. This time his mission goes so horrifically wrong that it results in the names of other agents being released and subsequently murdered when their identities are no longer a secret, so it's up to Bond to set things right. I've mentioned before that I prefer the exotic locations and more lighthearted Bond, but after being initially disappointed by this outing I've come to realize it's one of the better entries in the entire series. With locations including Turkey, London, Shanghai, Macau, and Scotland we are treated to a brilliant opening that begins in a truck, moves to a motorcycle and eventually the top of a train, a hunt through a glass building with advertisements reflecting off of them, a fight in a bit with a large reptile and more.

The cinematography is very impressive and the action and locations are well captured, definitely a vast improvement over Quantum of Solace. I've always been a bit indifferent towards M (Judi Dench) regardless of who plays the character, but to the credit of the writing team here this may be the first time in the entire series that they actually get us to care about the character and give her depth, certainly an impressive feat. We finally get a new Q, this time played by Ben Whishaw, and while I'm not a huge fan of this version of the character I can appreciate having him back and not trying to base him on previous portrayals of the character. A couple of other characters are introduced that seem to set up the series for a promising future. Javier Bardem is Silva, the brilliant and flamboyant villain. He feels a bit over the top compared to all the other performers, but is still an effective villain.

This is also one of the best paced Bond films while it explores the relevance of old ways, possibly being past one's prime, and changing times, but never seeming to drag or feel overcomplicated like so many others in the franchise. Skyfall isn't the warm and fun Bond's of old and can be dark and depressing at times, but everything here clicks so well that it's easy to get absorbed by the characters and their predicament. Easily the best Craig Bond (so far), and among the best of all the Bonds.

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