SKYFALL – With Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe, Albert Finney and Judi Dench. Directed by Sam Mendes.
After the disappointing Quantum of Solace failed to win over audiences the way Casino Royale did, movie-goers can rest assured that Bond has his stride back in Skyfall. In many respects, Skyfall is an even more traditional Bond-movie than Casino Royale was, in which Daniel Craig made his debut as Bond. It was expected that Skyfall would return Bond to his roots, after Quantum of Solace confused its audience with a plot and action sequences equally mired in incoherence. However, while Casino Royale managed to find a balance between being a realistic spy-thriller while throwing in touches of extravagance and fantasy we’ve come to associate with the franchise, Skyfall doesn’t let grit and realism get in the way of entertainment.
Skyfall is a textbook Bond-movie. It does away with the twists and turns of Quantum of Solace and presents a cinematic experience that feels straight out of the eras of Sean Connery and Roger Moore. In fact, it’s easy to imagine Connery being right at home in the leading role. The film offers all the elements we associate with the classic films in the franchise, from the globe-hopping adventure, exhilarating stunts and fight scenes, beautiful Bond-girls and a sinister villian with an army of dangerous henchmen. The film’s unique achievement is successfully incorporating all these elements into a film that still keeps one foot grounded in reality.
The climax introduces an interesting change to the tone of the film. While most of the film revels in the lighter side of the Bond experience, it ends on an intriguingly somber note. Audiences might feel short-changed and disappointed by the downbeat ending, but this is unlikely to spoil this welcome return to form for cinema’s favourite secret agent.