REVIEW | Skyfall (2012)

Not really a follower of the franchise, Skyfall is my first Daniel Craig-as-Bond movie. Well, it is my first ever Bond experience even though my father is a huge fan and a follower. And so I saw Skyfall with virgin eyes. 

The movie opens immediately with a climax-like action. When a rooftop chase ensues, you get a tinge of annoyance. How many movies have you seen this year with a rooftop chase? It's a tiring movie trend, like those Longchamp tote bags you see everywhere. But then it suddenly melts into a visually artful and elegant 007 title-sequence music, with Adele's languid and exquisite melodious voice singing "Skyfall."

Bond Girl Severine.

In Skyfall, M16 is under attack and M16's frosty, efficient queen, M (Judi Dench), is a target of the psychotic revenge of Silva, played with an Oscar-gold material performance by Javier Bardem. And 007 (Daniel Craig) is out to save his M16 mum.

Way better than Joker.

Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Skyfall, from my Bond-uninitiated perspective, is engaging enough, but the plot and action sequences are filled with cliches. No new experience for me, except for the tremendously versatile Javier Bardem as the deliciously psychotic villain. Reminiscent of Joker, Bardem's performance was effortless, subtle, and penetrating. Zero signs of acting; just pure transformation.

Sam Mendes delivers an elegant, sleek and sophisticated Bond film. James Bond (Daniel Craig), though, bored me. He felt like a supporting actor; a stiff robot who simply does as he is told. No personality; he just wears elegant suits that really look lovely on him.

I will remember Skyfall for the resonant Adele song; the stunning driving sequence in the breathtaking Scottish highlands; the distractingly bad lipstick of Severine; the very tasteful Shanghai fight sequence with the backdrop of neon jellyfish; and of course, Javier Bardem. 

To sum it all up, Skyfall is entertaining-- but ordinarily entertaining.

3 out of 5 stars