There was a lot of excitement surrounding the news that there would be a new 007 movie, especially when it is coming out after a four year break. However it is a sheer disappointment for the fans when the movie does not live up to its expectations. In keeping with the last film in the series, “Quantum of Solace,” we see yet another Bond film with a disjointed, poorly written script, even worse direction and an ending that could have been telegraphed by Edison himself.
“Skyfall” starts with a stunt-packed, high-octane chase sequence in Istanbul with James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Eve (Naomie Harris) chasing a fugitive in possession of a hard-drive of all secret service agents and operations. Eve accidentally fires a bullet, on M’s (Judi Dench) order, which hits Bond instead of the fugitive. At that point, it seems that this would be the best Bond movie to date; after all, it is a decent introduction for a repetitive, tiresome attempt at detailing an action hero. However, the movie flops after Adele’s unfortunately forgettable theme song, and follows in the footsteps of quite a few other entries in which the title is included aimlessly.
The timeline shifts a few months into the future, when Bond is supposed to be dead and returns when he sees that the MI6 headquarters has been bombed. The villain puts out a list of five secret agents and threatens to leak more each week. Bond is put on this mission after undergoing a fitness test, and the movie moves to Shanghai, where we meet Severin (Berenice Marlohe); a beautiful woman under the bait of Silva (Javier Bardem). She leads him to the villain, and, surprisingly, never returns after that point.
At the halfway point in the movie, audiences meet the villain, Silva, who lives on some god-forsaken island. The character of the villain was perfect; however, Javier Bardem was completely under-utilized as the bad guy, which is a shame for such a talented actor. While the last few Bond movies have delivered competent adventures, it has been a while since a modern Bond film included a villain that could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with memorable rogues like Oddjob, Goldfinger and Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
The ending does not involve any action-packed performance aside from some smart kills inside an old house and from a helicopter outside it. It also lacks another Bond movie standard; the adventurous battle between the hero and villain.
While the action is fitting for a Bond film, it still lacks the sparks to make “Skyfall” explode. The script was devoid of the twists and turns needed to keep interest for a two-and-a-half hour long film. Bond only needed to leap at the last possible second to avoid most of the “dangers,” and the emotional connection between characters was practically non-existent. There were no signature Bond gadgets, smart escapes and, worst of all, no vodka martinis. Bond chose to have a beer this time around, and it failed miserably.
The movie moved on rather slowly as the audience waited anxiously for a climax that really never seemed to come. The dialogue and humor, however, were fitting for a Bond film, and Daniel Craig is also a brilliant actor who does a good job of trying to carry the movie forward.
Still, for all the film does right, “Skyfall’s” attempt to bring 007 in harmony with Ian Fleming’s iconic creation often works against the success of the experience. “Casino Royale” is, and will remain, the gold standard of the Craig era.