The Sky Is Falling
On Monday, while our boy was busy in first grade, the husband and I went on a daytime date to the movies to see the newest James Bond film, Skyfall. I have to be honest here; I wasn’t too excited about seeing it. I enjoy the character and I enjoy Daniel Craig, but I simply wasn’t too hyped about this film. My husband was though, and since I rarely turn down an opportunity to go to AMC, I wasn’t about to complain. Plus when you have Craig pitted against Javier Bardem as Silva, you’re going to have an amazing movie. Don’t worry about spoilers; I’m not going to run down the plot or give anything away here.
The nice thing about Skyfall is that it really doesn’t matter if you’re familiar with the previous Bond films he’s starred in or not; this film works perfectly as a stand alone as long as you’re somewhat familiar with who Bond is. As soon as the movie begins, we are thrown into action as we see Bond pursuing a suspect. After that initial action-packed scene, a hauntingly beautiful song by Adele is played over the opening credits. I have to applaud Adele for this amazing song; her fantastic voice combined with perfect lyrics made for a perfect segue from the shock of the first scene into the following aftermath dealt with by M, played by the talented Judi Dench.
Ben Whishaw as Q was a great addition to the cast. As a technical genius with the extensive computer knowledge and the access to spy gadgets, one would expect someone of a more mature age. Whishaw looked like he was fresh out of high school, content to spend his days listening to obscure music in coffee shops or browsing museum exhibits in order to enhance conversations with friends and colleagues later on in the week. Whishaw protrays Q as both clever and as very aware that he is judged by his youthful hipster appearance. He’s not a key character in the movie, but he makes his on screen time memorable.
Ralph Fiennes, as Gareth Mallory, can do no wrong. He is beyond brilliant as an actor and commanded his scenes without distracting from the other actors. I’ve been a fan of his since his frightening performances in the Harry Potter series and he never disappoints. Naomie Harris as Eve, a fellow agent, is gorgeous and pairs nicely against Craig, but she is definitely overshadowed by Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine, the damsel in distress who is trapped with Silva’s people. She manages to be sexy yet sympathetic, strong yet fragile, and it’s impossible to take your eyes off of her when she’s on screen.
My absolute favorite part of this entire movie was Javier Bardem. When I first saw him in a promotion for another movie, I thought he was Jeffrey Dean Morgan. With the blond hair and the quirky, almost dainty, personality in Skyfall, he couldn’t have been further away from Morgan. At first glance, he doesn’t appear to be a threat whatsoever. With the oddly controversial scene where he strokes Craig’s chest, you automatically assume he prefers boys over girls, which can often lend to the stereotype that a man isn’t as macho as the next. The illusion is quickly broken once Silva demonstrates his skills with a pistol, showcasing his marksmanship and his disregard for human life.
The scene for me that put Silva over the edge and earned him a spot as my new favorite movie villain was when he revealed a key event that caused him to switch sides and become a destructive and evil force. The special effects department deserves a pat on the back for their work in making the reveal into something that truly makes your skin crawl and causes you to squirm in your seat. That scene made Silva’s actions 100% justified, although wrong, and also caused the audience to sympathize with him against their will. Bardem was brilliant, plain and simple.
Skyfall is definitely a movie worth seeing in the theater. Clocking it at slightly under two and a half hours, it’s a fairly lengthy movie, but the time just flies by without any real stops of action or boring plot points. Daniel Craig is my favorite Bond to date and, when paired with such an amazing cast, you can’t lose. The finale was very exciting and even when faced with sad situations, we find reasons to celebrate. I can’t praise this film enough, and my hat goes off to Sam Mendes for putting all the pieces together to create a perfect picture. Go see it now.