Critical Review of Skyfall (2012)

November 28, 2012

In its third week, Skyfall has grossed a total of $223,067,688 domestically, ranking it number 2 at the box office behind Twilight. There is a popular debate going around that it might be the best of the Bond films yet! The film presents a new, equally - if not more - qualified antagonist for Bond to deal with, while adequately honouring the tradition of incorporating the Bond essentials: the girls, the glamour, the exotic locations, the action, and the Bond swagger. However, the most important feature that makes the film stand out is the unique approach director Sam Mendes took towards the storyline. Bond fans everywhere should appreciate the emphasis that is put on the emotional-side of Bond’s life. The film especially focuses on the relationship between Bond (Daniel Craig) and M (Judie Dench). This time, it’s literally personal.

Director Mendes said in an interview with The New York Times that they had “no narrative obligations” to the other Bond films – mind you, Skyfall is not based off of any Ian Fleming publications. Therefore, he felt he had the freedom to manipulate the film to center on “Bond’s emotional story” as opposed to mainly focusing on Bond’s struggle against another villain (Nov. 7, 2012, by Mekado Murphy).

Naturally, under the law of balance, Mendes had to reduce certain, traditional aspects of the film in order to successfully enhance the underlying story of Bond’s personal story, as well as the character M’s. I would say there was a lack of Bond-style romance as compared to other films. However, the absence of the typical, side-kick “Bond-girl” was a plus for me because it strengthened Bond’s lone-wolf aura. Judie Dench, who once again takes on the role of M, offers her best performance yet. Other than on Bond, the story places a good amount of focus on her character, portraying her hardships as the head of MI6, which has a direct connection to the motives of the antagonist Raoul Silva. I would expect Bond fans to...