Skyfall ★★★★

Upon this third viewing, Skyfall has solidified itself, in my mind, and one of the best films in the James Bond canon. It's quite a feat for a franchise that's 50+ years old and still producing quality film. Daniel Craig's Bond returns trimumphant in a film that's not only a fantastic Bond film, but a great film in general.

Daniel Craig's third run as the spy with a license to kill is almost as great as his stellar debut. It's got the classic staples of a 007 feature, while successfully creating a dark and gritty atmosphere. Here, Bond battles his inner demons of his aging self, as well as Javier Bardem's excellent villain, Silva. It's memorable spy tale, with equal style and grit, balanced just right.

The most memorable characters stems from the villain. Silva is a classic Bond foe already, and Javier Bardem plays him with manic confidence. Daniel Craig is a great Bond, and puts a great spin on the classic role, as he did in the previous 2 installments. Judi Dench plays a much larger role in the story of Skyfall than she has before, giving her ample opportunity to make an impact on her character of M. And she succeeds. The whole cast is excellent.

Technically speaking, Skyfall is the best Bond ever. The cinematography from Roger Deakins is excellent, some of the best of 2012. The sound design is fantastic, and the score is great. The theme from Adele is remarkable, and the opening credits sequence is great. It's visually striking and sounds terrific.

The only major qualm I have with this feature is Berenice Marlhoe's character. She serves as the film's trademark "Bond girl." While this staple has always been a subject of debate, since it comes across as fairly misogynistic, Skyfall ups the ante with her. Her character only serves as a vessel to get Bond from point A to point B, and for a brief sex scene. It's very misogynistic, more so than what is expected from a Bond film. Nevertheless, it doesn't take too much away from the narrative and technical excellence.

Skyfall is a great film, through and through. One of the best 007 films ever, and just a fantastic film in general.

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