Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 7, 2012

‘Skyfall’ most Bondtastic film in over a decade

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Though one of the core goals of many films released in any year is without a doubt to appeal to as many pocketbooks as possible, certain genres can struggle or ignore going past their guaranteed demographic. The action flick category or in this case spy thriller has certainly been a guilty candidate on countless occasions, but this time around it seems to have found something more than just a guys night out formula.

In fact, it would be safe to say this film not only has figured out a wider spectrum to appeal to; it actually is just plain and simple one of the most balanced in the whole series. Perhaps Oscar bait at least on an honorary level, there’s little to not like and perhaps it’s time for those unconvinced of the lead actor’s worthiness to finally give him his due salute. “Skyfall” is a mix of what we’ve come to expect from the latest incarnation along with a healthy dose of what has made it a classic since it started 50 years ago.

Set in a series of locations across the globe, the story kicks off in Istanbul with James Bond (Daniel Craig) chasing his latest MI6 target who has stolen information that’s rather sensitive to the whole spy organization. Doing his best to stop the scumbag ala the awesome cliché train roof battle, his boss M (Judi Dench) makes the call to have a sniper help Mr. Bond out of the extended fisticuffs.

What could have led to one of the worst and shortest 007 adventures, instead ends up in only a temporary vacation for our hero who does return, though understandably a little less enthusiastic about his own dedication to his line of work. This is not helped out as he meets a manipulative former MI6 agent named Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), who can relate to James and has made it his mission to destroy and seek vengeance from wrongs he feels they’ve done. What makes it so much deeper than most movies with this character is how well we get to see into who he is as a person and not just a cool guy with gadgets scoring in-between foiling  Armageddon plots.

Without spoiling much more than I have already, it’s neat to see how the studio reintroduced classic characters like Q (Ben Whishaw) and a tip of the bowler to the old school like a car loaded with tricks for nostalgia sake. The ending is also something well worth waiting for and sets up things nicely to go in several potential new directions.

For those who have been fans all along it will be a ride one will one to certainly jump into, yet as my own wife demonstrated, something interesting enough to pull in those who never much cared for it in the first place. Content wise, it’s better suited for adults, but suitable for those about mid-teenage range and older. For exceeding expectations I’ll certainly at least check it out later on TV again earning “Skyfall” a verdict of four an a half out of five martinis.