Mr. Bond certainly isn’t the individual who needs someone to handle introductions for him, much less by an English major working in retail. Perhaps we can take it a step further with my admittance that Bond has had a…less than involved history with me. Goldeneye, Die Another Day, Casino Royal, Quantum of Solace. Not exactly a full blown history lesson, per se; but Bond can always be argued as a character of impressions, which his latest outing, Skyfall, charismatically delivers.
For the third time, Daniel Craig assumes the role of James Bond, and while his first time was certainly charming, that doesn’t mean the third is automatically exempt. Thanks in large part to a sure-handed cast and crew, Skyfall repays us for the sins committed by the 2008 outing. The film is less obnoxious and over-the-top, but still finds enough room to let these seep in a few times for the sake of fun. Just don’t take that to mean Bond is all laughs (which are great here, mind you), because Skyfall leaves a path that is, as M and Mallory would put it, shadowy.
Being grounded in reality isn’t the first thing to come to mind with a Bond film, but Skyfall comes about as close as we’ll ever get to that. Sure, the opening sequence just screams (impressive) stunt work, but again, for a Bond film this is some fairly down-to-earth stuff. It’s an edge that is bound to put the cheesy Bond purists off, but even the less dedicated film viewer can appreciate the changes made. To that degree there’s not as much to let Skyfall stand out from the crowd other than the franchise’s namesake. Fortunately, director Sam Mendes and director of photography Roger Deakins have provided us an immaculately shot and detailed film. I’m not one to tell you to spend extra money when it’s not necessary, but this is definitely a film to catch in IMAX if you get the chance. If Deakins doesn’t get some Best Cinematography awards, I’m afraid I’ll lose all hope in “professional” film appreciation.
Bond has returned with a film that does well with the characters thanks to its liberties and (remaining) loyalties. We’re left with a film that gives us a cloudy but assured look ahead for its successors, but whatever follows will have some big shoes to fill.