After the mediocre movie that was Daniel Craig’s second installment as James Bond (Quantum of Solace), I had somewhat lost hope for the future of the franchise. That the folks in charge of the Bond movies were going South, in terms of quality and storytelling, pretty quickly. Casino Royale had its good merits, but to me, it still lacked that classic James Bond look and feel.
Being a life-long fan of the Bond movies, I have always held them in high esteem – even though I took them for what they were at face-value sometimes (let’s be honest, the likes of License to Kill and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service aren’t classics by any means!) But when the hype machine got rolling for Skyfall, I’ll admit I was curious simply because it was a Bond movie, but I honestly wasn’t expecting much.
And you know what? I was blown away. The cinematography alone in this movie deserves an Oscar. It is really one of the best looking Bond films I have ever seen. Bond movies have always been known for breathtaking scenery, scantily-clad women, fast cars and the like – but Skyfall takes it to a whole other level. The movie works great on so many levels – it has a few plot holes and inconsistencies – but it more than makes up for those with its visual spectacle, great action sequences and its phenomenal villian (Javier Bardem).
I would give Skyfall 5 out of 5 stars if not for one little thing – and even though I know most wouldn’t agree – I would argue Daniel Craig is one of the worst actors to play Bond. For me, it has nothing to do with the typecasting of the character (the fact that Craig is a blond-haired, blue-eyed Bond doesn’t bother me). What gets me about Craig’s Bond is that he is too stiff of an actor for the role. The essence of the Bond character has swagger, charisma, and charm. Craig lacks in these departments. I’ve heard the argument that these newer Bond movies are written to be grittier and more real, so the lack of the “charismatic Bond” is intentional. But even keeping that in mind, there are still moments in the script where I feel Daniel Craig could have timed the quips betters. Don’t get me wrong, he’s good when it comes to the action and handling fight scenes like a champ, but he has no real charm about him like the great Bond actors before him (i.e. Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, etc.).
Regardless of your stance on Daniel Craig as Bond, this is an exhilarating outing that will leave you appreciating cinematography as an art form, as well as having internal peace knowing that Bond is back and got it right this time – finally!