6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Nobody Does It Better - Ever,
This review is from: Skyfall (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray)Nobody does it better. Everybody with an ounce of sense knows this. But just to dispel any doubt, EoN immaculately raise the qualitative bar for the modern action movie/espionage fantasy thriller once again and Bond blows away the competition just like that. The doom-mongers, naysayers, whingers, whiners, gloom-merchants and malodorous Bond misanthropes have got it wrong again.
SKYFALL is good. Very good. It taps effortlessly into the pop culture iconography and history of a fifty-year old movie franchise sparingly and with thoughtfulness and care. Then, with deadly accuracy and magnificent potency, updates and upgrades it to fashion one of the most audacious and dynamic Bond movies ever made.
Painstakingly choreographed action set-pieces litter the film strategically. They are framed by and rendered in some of the most dazzlingly beautiful cinematography to ever grace the franchise. Truly a feast for the eyes. The neon and glass track-down and hand-to-hand combat sequence with Patrice in Shanghai is one of the most sublimely original and retina blistering events I have ever seen on screen. Yet this is not even the best bit of the film.
Sonically, it is both crisp and precise, with Thomas Newman's subtle and marvellously nuanced score complimenting the visuals to perfection. The music and sound effects match the visuals blow for blow in terms of aesthetic aspiration and achievement.
Anyone with concerns that Sam Mendes might not have what it takes to direct an action movie need have no worries. Mendes is creatively inviolate here, his vision and sense of tone and dynamic is right on target, and he probably turns in what is technically his best and most consistently sustained job of screen work to date.
As for the performances, some are near faultless. Craig, Dench, Fiennes, Bardem, Whishaw don't put a foot wrong. Craig, Dench and Bardem are especially notable. And Craig IS James Bond 007 in the here and now. He is the super-cool super-conductor, the core element of the entire film - and he is damn good at it.
As a 50th anniversary item, SKYFALL pays skillful homage the franchise with pleasing nods and winks that are carefully reverent and respectful whilst retaining a playful, mildly satirical sense of humour. In some other movies, DIE ANOTHER DAY for instance, the approach was one of blunt sledge-hammering parody and was tediously crass and distasteful. Fans will get a big kick out of the use of the Aston Martin along the sly digs at the way in which gadgets for the sake of deus ex machina moments have become terminally passé, chronically outdated.
The plot is relevant and suitably reinforces Bond's relevance in the modern world, so paving the way for future adventures. The payoff gives us a return to the way things used to be but in a modern and updated context, so anyone who was ever a fan should be deliriously happy about that and the way in which it provides Bond with somewhere to go - even if it turns out to be the line of least resistance in the long run. If - and it's a really big IF - but if the Oscars has a complete cultural and ethical transplant and actually started to give awards for real cinematic achievement rather than for morally bankrupt and intellectually corrupt reasons, SKYFALL would garner a limo-load of statuettes.
Witty, clever, literate, smart, funny, some great dialogue, wonderful visuals, breathtaking action, good music, emotional punch and meaningful contextual architecture. It builds on the CASINO ROYALE reboot, the QUANTUM OF SOLACE conclusion to that thematic story arc, and consolidates it seamlessly into a fabulously intoxicating Bond cocktail, making it not just a great standalone piece of movie entertainment but a great and significantly important Bond movie.
Nobody does it better. Indeed.