Skyfall ★★★★

After the disappointing “Quantum of Solace”, “Skyfall” is a clear step-up that doesn´t need to hide from “Casino Royal” (which I still prefer a tiny bit, though). This film does so much right. It has a captivating and engaging plot with well-constructed twists, high personal stakes, and political subtext, exciting action, memorable set pieces, great suspense, competent editing, and effective emotional beats. Craig´s Bond, Dench´s M, and their relationship with each other get more fleshed out and developed, and their arc ends in an emotionally satisfying climax. The third star of the film is Javier Bardem, maybe the G.O.A.T of playing psychotic villains with bad haircuts. His Silva has a shared history with M, which makes him immediately intriguing, but even apart from that, he is a good example of a great Bond villain: Charismatic, zany, and the right mix between cartoonish and believable. In general, “Skyfall” features more classic campy “James Bond” flair than the previous two movies and yet it manages to balance it well with the grounded, gritty tone of the reboot series. Several franchise trademarks get reintroduced, including modern (and very different) versions of the fan favorite characters Moneypenny and Q. And in contrast to the new characters in “Quantum of Solace”, these characters, including Ralph Fiennes´ Mallory, stay in your mind. Still, the biggest MVP of the film is probably Roger Deakins. I don´t think you will find a better-looking Bond movie. Especially the finale at the Bond estate is visually breathtaking. There is not much else to say, “Skyfall” is an extraordinary spy thriller from start to finish.

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