I am not what you would call a James Bond fan. Sure, the movies are fun sometimes, but they can be little more than stylistic action movies with a protagonist that I find very uninteresting. To top it off, I think Daniel Craig is the worst Bond since George Lazenby. Why is it that I found myself drawn to Skyfall so much this holiday season? Is it because Daniel Craig has started to come into his own as Bond? Is it stellar action? Is it because Javier Bardem steals the show as the villain? Is it Javier Bardem’s crazy hair? Actually, all of these things combined made me love “Skyfall.”
I’ve had issues with Daniel Craig’s previous outings as James Bond. He can hold his own as an action star, but he did not become the character with his mumbling and squinty glances. However, the Bond I left in 2008’s “Quantum of Solace” is different than the one that returns in “Skyfall.” Craig manages to create his own swagger and style like Connery, Moore, and Brosnan did before him while simultaneously making the character more human. His cool delivery of dialogue and composure in impossible fights really push “Skyfall” over the top as one of the best Bond movies I’ve ever seen and a really good movie overall.
Equally noteworthy is Javier Bardem’s portrayal as the villain, Silva. The measure of many Bond movies often rests on how charismatic Bond’s antagonist is. Despite his ridiculous bleached blonde hair, Bardem smartly plays the character as calculating and whimsically sadistic. He has some of the usual defining physical traits of numerous Bond villains, but his playful nature really set him apart from the countless baddies from previous films.
Even the story of “Skyfall” comes together better than other Bond films. Many Bond films are about taking over the world and/or destroying it. This one favors a tale of revenge. It helped make it a more personal struggle and I felt more immersed in what was happening. On top of that, the 50th Anniversary of Bond was woven into the plot seamlessly. A major theme of the movie is about getting older and still keeping oneself relevant as the new generation steps up. I guess I was just happy to a Bond movie with a little more heft to it than stealing a couple of nukes and holding the world hostage.
“Skyfall” is a great Bond movie. Even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, it’s still a lot of fun to watch. It has strong performances by Craig, Bardem, and Dench, the action was top notch, and it has an engrossing story to boot. Maybe there aren’t as many silly puns, and he only sleeps with one (maybe two) women per movie, but if this is the type of James Bond we can expect from future filmmakers, I can get down with that. For now, I highly enjoyed “Skyfall” and I can’t recommend it enough.
for how crazy hair wins the day again!
tl;dr – The stars align and we are blessed with a great Bond movie once more.