By Roozbeh Badie
In 1962 MGM released Dr. No, a spy movie about MI6 agent James Bond, code name 007. Incredibly well received by critics and audiences, Dr. No started a pop culture phenomenon that still endures 50 years, 23 films and six leading actors later. Now we have Skyfall, the third 007 film starring Daniel Craig as Bond, and in all honesty, it is the best Bond film yet.
Let’s start by saying that Javier Bardem is incredible as villain Raoul Silva. The first shot of Silva is a still shot of him coming out of an elevator and walking slowly towards the camera while giving a monologue about rats eating each other. The character’s insanity increases every time he utters a syllable.
While Bardem’s performance is impressive, it is Ben Whishaw who steals the show. Whishaw plays Q, the new MI6 quartermaster. Whishaw portrays the character in a new more human way, making the dialogue between Q and Bond fantastic. While on the subject, Craig is excellent as Bond as always and Judi Dench’s M continues to make me smile. It is truly unfortunate that Skyfall is Dench’s last performance as M; however I’m interested to see how the character changes with a new face.
Now on the subject of the script, which is arguably the best for a Bond film so far. As mentioned before, the dialogue in this movie is fantastic, not just with Bond and Q but with Bond and M, as well. Bond and M have this maternal bond, while Bond and Q insult each other while respecting each other for being able to stand their ground in a verbal debate. The relationship between Silva and all of MI6 is one of pure hatred, while the sexual tensions between Naomie Harris’s Eve Moneypenny and Bond adds a satisfying lightheartedness to the film.
Silva’s insanity and intentions pose a serious threat to MI6, much more so than in any of the Bond films. The script also delves into Bond’s childhood, which I thought was interesting and a fitting backstory to the character. The movie is very well paced, making a two and a half hour movie fly by without hurting your rear end and keeping you focused throughout. The only gripe I have with the script is that it is never explained how Bond survives his supposed death at the beginning of the film (if you did not know that the plot revolves around James Bond dying then coming back into action, then I suggest watching the trailer).
Overall, Skyfall is fantastic. It is a must-see for any James Bond fans, but also a must-see for anyone just looking for an action-packed movie with deep character development and amazing dialogue. The movie has its fair share of humor as well, which, if nothing else, will make you chuckle.
My previous favorite Bond movie had been Casino Royale, but now Skyfall has won me over. I can’t wait for Daniel Craig to return as Bond and I will be waiting “with pleasure.”