Skyfall ★★★★½

This movie and I, we've been on a journey. When I first saw it in theaters, I thought the hyper-focus on Bond and M, lack of proper Bond Girls, lack of Q gadgetry, and the like made this an insult to the Bond franchize, and was excited that by the end we're properly introducing Moneypenny and doing a gun barrel means that after a three film long re-boot we were finally ready to get back to a "real" Bond flick. Boy, was 19 year old me dumb.

Nine years on, after bearing witness to the assult on all that is holy of Spectre (lordy we're gonna get there this week, readers, since I "have" to re-watch it before going to see No Time To Die in theaters), and the all-around corporate takeover of all our childhood franchises one by one, I see Skyfall as a magnum opus, a breath of fresh air, and the re-invention the Bond series needed and should have continued.

This is a film with mature themes about cyberterrorism and the conflict between the human spirit and a digital 21st century world mean to destroy it with algorithms and encouragement of our id. Silva as Bond's foil encourages us to think of this not as a mere action film but as a battle between our past and our present, and it comes out as a downright humanist statement. Skyfall represents a big budget film that encourages us to think and is willing to take thematic risk. In this respect it was one of the last of its kind. Time has only been more kind to Skyfall and it's call to reject over-reliance on a world without human. Developing the relationship between Bond and M is not the distraction I once thought it was, but a wonderful feature of the picture.

It's not a perfect movie, It could probably use some trim as it feels long in parts, and Silva's plot is full of holes.* That being said, after this re-watch and seeing how well the film has aged, I'm fully ready to embrace this and declare it the best film of the franchize in my opinion. 50 years to build to this, and well done 007.

*(Tangent time: Maybe that's the point come to think of it? People who live all-digital don't have real world experience and just wing it? A lot of people have commented on the fact he was relying on the train to come through the blast hole at an exact point, but the film makes it clear that they're on the District Line. I've lived in London, relying on the District Line to be on time is absolutely insane! That thing is never on time. If Silva knew what he was doing he'd have used a train on one of London's other lines, which are much more reliable. )

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