Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, begins with one of the most action-packed, violent, and bad ass opening sequences in the series’ long history. Yet when I left the theater after watching the two and a half hour long epic, my first thoughts were not, “Wow, that was one of the most action-packed and violent movies I’ve ever watched.” Instead, Skyfall stuck with me for a completely different reason than all of the other Bond movies before it. While Goldfinger and Dr. No are great because of the amazing action sequences and the sheer awesomness that drips out of Sean Connery, Daniel Craig’s James Bond is amazing because he shows emotion. And while this by no means that James Bond suddenly becomes a soap opera, it does make the character much more interesting.
Let’s be honest here for a second. Quantum of Solace was a bad movie. Its plot was baffling, its Bond girl was horrible, and there was no real Bond villain. Skyfall fixes all of those problems. Bond has let a hard drive detailing all of the British double agents around the world slip into the hands of a terrorist cell. The head of the terrorist cell, Silva (played by Javier Bardem), is an ex-double zero agent, who wants revenge on both M (played by Judi Dench) and Bond. The plot makes much more sense than Quantum of Solace’s, and delves into the relationship between Bond and M. Bond’s loyalty to M is put to the test, and audiences are meant to question just how far Bond should go to save M. The plot in Skyfall is not a means to move the action along, something Bond movies have been notorious for, but rather improves the movie in every way. This is one of the best stories the Bond films have had in years.
When it comes to the supporting cast, Skyfall pulls out all the stops. Naomie Harris plays a young agent training under 007, and her chemistry with Craig is palpable. Her name remains secret for most of the movie, but when it comes by the end, y0ur mind will be blown. Ralph Fiennes is great as Gareth Mallory, an overseer of the MI6 operation. He too also gets a suprising new role by the end of the movie. Javier Bardem’s Silva is without a doubt one of, if not the best, Bond villains in any of the films. Silva was betrayed by M., and as a result, vowed that he would get revenge against her. This Bond villain is great because he is not a flat, evil for evils sake character. Instead, Silva plays a possible future version of James Bond himself. When Bond looks at Silva, he sees the possibility of what he could become. And in a way, that is far more dangerous than Goldfinger or Oddjob.
Skyfall is without a doubt one of the best James Bond movies ever made. Is it better than Casino Royale, the film that proved Daniel Craig is the best James Bond since Connery? I say yes. Craig is the man who changed what we think of James Bond. Craig’s James Bond has emotion, while still managing to be a killing machine of badassery. That’s what sets Skyfall apart from say, Dr. No. James Bond can kill a person by having him devoured by a Komodo Dragon, and then turn around and cry a few scenes later. Skyfall is the single best action movie of the year so far, and deserves some Oscar nods. Seriously, its that good.