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Bond Back With A Bang

Claire Stephens | Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Whether or not you go into “Skyfall” as a Bond fan, you’ll definitely leave as one.
“Skyfall” exceeds expectations of a Bond movie, fully bringing 007 to the modern day in spectacular cinematic style. After an impressive reboot with “Casino Royale” and an average but forgettable sequel in “Quantum of Solace,” the four-year wait for “Skyfall” was well worth it.
The task of the iconic opening sequence song is given to Adele, who more than rises to the challenge in the song she performed and co-wrote. The moody, emotional piece already on playlists across the country sets the movie’s tone. The movie has barely begun, but from the opening song you immediately get drawn into the story.
The “Skyfall” beginning is as psychedelic, artistic and kaleidoscopic as ever, consisting of artsy underwater scenes featuring blood, fire and of course, silhouettes of women. Though at times very self aware and abstract, paired with Adele’s smooth and haunting voice, it works to create the darkness and the beauty of the film. As far as characterization, “Skyfall” doesn’t feature the reckless, cocky Bond of “Casino Royale.” Instead, it’s an aging, vulnerable Bond being dragged down from the beginning. The audience sees their once-confident hero fight against dark forces and the inevitability of time passing, his true humanity brought out through his weaknesses. M is featured in “Skyfall” much more, too, played so well by the sharp, strong Judi Dench, of whom we see a new side. Another fun bonus is the introduction of Q (Ben Whishaw), the witty, clever brains behind the technology, often comically contrasting Bond’s rugged violence.
It wouldn’t be a Bond film without a sexy, foreign femme fatale or two for Bond to tangle verbally and physically with (this time a more kick-butt, intelligent female is around to challenge Bond as well.) However, Bond isn’t so much absorbed with a woman like in “Quantum of Solace,” but a dangerous new villain who has infiltrated too close to home and made the battle personal.
This movie also doesn’t have the brutal physicality in its action scenes as Daniel Crag’s Bond has had in the past. The chase and fight scenes are still prominent and charged with breathless action, but are more stylistic and mesmerizing deadly dances.
This moment in Bond history makes a point to define itself as a cultural force in a new modern time while still paying homage to Bonds past. The movie reminds the audience of the true “British-ness” of Bond with scenes all over historic London and more of a locational presence in the iconic city. The plot follows the international scandal of the British Secret Service and the dangerous consequences of a hacker villain.
Even a viewer who has never seen anything Bond will be dazzled by the scenes of international travel – from the glamorous, glowing neon of Shanghai to the scenic, rustic hills of Scotland. “Skyfall” not only is a good Bond movie, but an all-out stunning, thrilling movie for today. The cinematography at times is art in motion, seamlessly blending beautiful and dramatic shots with the action of the story and the emotional stakes of Bond and M. The score sucks you into the action of the chase, the intensity of the fight and the drama of the emotions and the intricacy of the new technology.
“Skyfall” is a promising and exciting new chapter in Bond history, electrifying for devoted fans and pulling in new ones by being so darn good.
Contact Claire Stephens at
cstephe4@nd.edu