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Skyfall

Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem
Director: Sam Mendes

Skyfall cements my love for Daniel Craig's take on Bond, not to mention that this exceeds its immediate predicessor. This also marks the perfect movie that commemorates the 50 years of Bond, as it pays homage to the previous works. While the movie falls short of logic, it gives a scene-stealing villain, great visual sequences, and an agent who was more of a man rather than an agent. As this commemorates the 50 years, this also gives the closure of one of Bond's beloved characters, and the exit of Judi Dench.

Presumed to be dead, Bond comes back to life when MI6 was reported to be under attack. The main target of these attacks seem to be M, whom people want to resign because she is endangering the lives of other agents. It turns out that the terrorists had gotten hold of a list of secret agents, revealing their identities one by one, succumbing them to their deaths. M assigns Bond to find out the cause of these attacks, revealing the villain to be Silva, an ex-agent that wanted revenge against M. Seeing all the tricks Silva can pull off, Bond tries to protect M at all costs. 

As opposed to the first two films, Skyfall isn't a lot to take, action-wise. It doesn't seem flashy as the other Bond films, and insteads relies on the relationship M and Bond have established. In a sense this is really a goodbye movie for Judi Dench and not so much on James Bond tackling on the technologically savvy villain that is Silva. In fact, the movie seemed to thrive on minimalism, as we explosions are used to hype the treacherous ways of Silva, but taking a look at the elements involved, they don't go flashy and ruthless. I mean here we see Q hand Bond new gadgets but they're nothing of the advanced sort. The new headquarters isn't a brimming building either, but a secret location. The final fighting sequence is very old-school, which I guess is a homage to the wits that Bond must possess. 

The movie also seem to touch more on the dramatic, "humanistic" side, as opposed to all action all the time. Here we get to discover more about the man that makes James Bond, and we see how M, in all the atrosity in the world, is very important to him. She's just not his boss, but there is a bond that connects them, a bond that makes her important enough in his life to just rise out from retirement and into her side once more. He was the first one to conceive a plan, and it was at his personal cost to protect M. 

Discovering the man behind James Bond leads to the third part of the movie, where everything wraps up. Although the first parts of the beginning were well executed, it was the final part that exposed the movie's weakness, as it wasn't as climactic as I hope it would have been. In particular, the death of M was anti-climactic. Yes there were the explosions and all of that, but everything seemed to die down in such a crucial point. I expected M to go out in style, but that wasn't what the movie delivered. I like how symbolic her death was, and while I said it was anti-climactic, there was some beauty in it. 

Now I'm not the one to pay attention to Bond villains, but Javier Bardem immediately stole the scene the moment he walked in. He was bold, he was crazy, he was great. He did make one rookie mistake though, considering that he used to be an agent at the same company. I think that was the only factor about him that basically ticked me off. It was such a rookie mistake! Assuming that MI6 has been running the same way as it was years ago, Silva should have picked up on that simple trick. ANYWAY. Ben Whishaw was pretty good as Q. Ralph Fiennes has a limited part as well, but he's the new M, so I think we'd be seeing more of Q and M in the newer movies. 

I favor Skyfall above its predecessors partly because of the cinematography. Watching the sequences alone, they're visually pleasing (except the third act, but I think that's because it's supposed to be less on the action, more on the drama and the simplicity that is Bond--but it was executed well). As I've mentioned, they're not hard to take on the eyes (and ears). Despite the flawed logic, Mendes did a great job bringing the film together, making it a great fit not only under all of their filmography, but a great commemoration of the Bond anniversary.

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