Reviews

Skyfall

5

Kiss kiss, bang bang, whoop whoop... James Bond is back!

“You know the rules of the game,” M tells Bond near the start of Skyfall, “You’ve been playing it long enough!” Fifty years to be exact, an anniversary that makes the 23rd entry in the world’s most durable franchise both a cue for nostalgia and a chance to reassess.

It would have been easy for director Sam Mendes to wallow in the former, tick all the right boxes and play to the gallery. Instead he poses questions. Who is Bond? What is his role? Is he a man with a future, or an irrelevant relic trapped in the past?

It’s a daring move to reintroduce Bond after a four-year hiatus as a man whose best days may be all behind him. But then Skyfall is nothing if not audacious, deconstructing 007 and the iconography he comes with in a way that is constantly, consistently surprising.

A blistering pre-credits sequence, in which Daniel Craig destroys half of Istanbul in a quest to recover sensitive information from an enemy operative, initially suggests Bond is back on track after the stuttering blip that was Quantum Of Solace.

No sooner are we settled, though, than James is shot in error by one of his own (Naomie Harris), plunging from the roof of a moving train into Daniel Kleinman-designed titles filled with skulls, tombstones and other totems of death.

Bond survives, of course – he always does. But when he comes back to life he is far from his best, Craig’s unshaven chops and bloodshot eyes betraying a man whose heart isn’t in it (if it ever was).

It doesn’t help that Judi Dench’s M also looks set for the scrap heap, or that the new Q (Ben Whishaw) is a techno-nerd barely half his age. (“You still have spots!” sneers Bond contemptuously during their first encounter in the National Gallery.)

Put through his paces after some Mediterranean down-time involving scorpion-baiting drinking games and post-shag Heineken, 007 can hardly manage a chin-up before collapsing in a heap. He can’t even dangle from the undercarriage of an ascending elevator without wincing in discomfort.

If Casino Royale was Bond finding his footing, Skyfall is him remembering where he left it - a clever turnaround made all the more effective by giving 007 an adversary who, for much of the film, is crossing the finish line while Jimmy’s putting on his trainers.

With his shock of blond hair, dodgy dentistry and vengeful M fixation, Javier Bardem’s Silva is that rarest of creations: a cyber-terrorist who genuinely terrifies. But he also has a playful side; witness the literally thigh-rubbing glee he brings to one stand-out interrogation scene.

It's far from the only sexually charged moment; cue a steamy shower clinch with Bérénice Marlohe’s femme fatale Sévérine, plus some saucy banter with Harris’ Eve that positively fizzes with winking innuendo.

But in line with Craig’s summer assignment at Buckingham Palace, the real Bond girl is of a more seasoned vintage: Dame Judi herself, here evolving from 007’s testy taskmistress into a surrogate mother he will kill to protect. 

At one point – possibly Skyfall’s gutsiest – Mendes has the two decamp to rural Scotland, there to ruminate on Bond’s past and how M took advantage of it.

The casting of Dench was always a master-stroke, but it has taken seven outings, and one Oscar-winning filmmaker, for her to be exploited properly.

Mendes’ ambitions, though commendable, don’t always fit the material.

The Bond series has lasted half a century without referencing Shakespeare, Tennyson and JMW Turner, so why shoehorn them in now?

Thankfully, they don’t interfere with the standard Bondian trappings, Skyfall boasting all the glamour, excitement and exoticism we have come to expect and then some.

A floating Macau casino, complete with firework display and komodo dragons, supplies a perfect setting for cocktails, fisticuffs and Live And Let Die in-jokes, while Bardem’s hide-out - a deserted island full of crumbling masonry and broken statues - has all the grandeur of Blofeld’s volcano with none of the impracticality.

Thanks to lensman Roger Deakins and production designer Dennis Gassner, a Shanghai skyscraper rippled by neon advertising provides a brilliantly atmospheric backdrop for a nocturnal assassination.

A splendid mid-section in London, meanwhile, spurns the city’s overexposed architecture for a chase beneath its surface, Bond pursuing Silva via sewer, tunnel and Tube while still finding time to crack the odd funny.

Indeed, for all its intimations of mortality and harping on obsolescence, Skyfall is more often than not a hoot, Craig having the confidence at last to lace his Bond’s killer instinct with a bone-dry wit and wry nonchalance.

The scene where he contemplates utilising one of the series' oldest and most famous gizmos is a perfectly judged grace note, while an appearance from Albert Finney near the end of the picture exudes warmth and good humour.

It all adds up to the 007 adventure we’ve been waiting for: a flawlessly assembled thrill ride with a cast to die for and a nakedly emotional undertow. Happy birthday, Mr Bond.

Verdict:

The Daniel Craig era comes of age with a ballsy Bond that takes brave chances and bold risks. Guess what? Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • FBSDeMorgan

      Oct 13th 2012, 11:14

      This has certainly come as a pleasant surprise! I was expecting a good, solid 4-stars. It would also seem that reviewers at large are celebrating its quality, so I am, unexpectedly, even more excited to see this is a few weeks time!

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    • m0v13s

      Oct 13th 2012, 11:41

      Every trailer for this hugely anticipated film hinges on the idea that maybe M orders Bond shot. We all speculate and discuss ideas about what it may mean but for a very popular, professional magazine to ruin this key plot point in their review is unacceptable. Poor reviewing. PS the same happened in your Anna Karenina review!

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    • trist808

      Oct 13th 2012, 12:31

      @m0v13s, to be fair, the trailer for Skyfall is cut in such a way that it's pretty obvious what happens when Bond gets shot ... that said I was there last night (Neil) and Peter Taylor did ask for ALL professional journalists to NOT reveal key/major plot points! The film is still two weeks away from release in the UK and a month ahead of the U.S. so it is poor form that you couldn't skirt around that issue. It is possible to review a film without going into specific details ya'know ... for what it's worth though, I agree, it is a 5-star Bond film, outstanding from start to finish.

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    • m0v13s

      Oct 13th 2012, 13:19

      You're right trist808 the trailer can be read that way but it can also be interpreted differently, that being the beauty of good trailers. But my point was simply what you extended upon - Total Film didn't need to address it. Review a film don't recap it.

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    • SoWii

      Oct 13th 2012, 14:12

      @m0v13s clearly you haven't seen the newest clip... http://youtu.be/Pes_cCEAMgw

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    • Jareth64

      Oct 13th 2012, 14:30

      The way Total Film flings its 5/5s around I think it will be best to approach Bond with extreme caution! I should imagine it's more likely to be a low 4/5 given their past record. Looking forward to it, though!

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    • Jaffa

      Oct 13th 2012, 19:31

      The film looks great but I have to take British reviews of Bond films with a pinch of salt. They tend to be a little biased. I still remember the 4 star review of Die Another Day which described The Bourne Identity as being second rate. At least total film isn't as Empire, they called Quantum of Solace 'the dark knight of Bond sequels'... Em, no.

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    • richardpettet

      Oct 13th 2012, 21:13

      5

      Well worth the five stars. Saw it last night at the press screening and thought it was the best Bond since Goldeneye. Emotional, gripping and well acted by all the main players. Simply awesome. The Dark Knight of the Bond series.

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    • Ali1748

      Oct 13th 2012, 21:44

      Five stars wow I can't wait.

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    • richardng

      Oct 14th 2012, 6:50

      Can't wait for Skyfall...With Adele singing such a powerful yet lovely theme song, it just added another star or two!

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    • hulk68

      Oct 15th 2012, 12:02

      Is it just me or Craig doesn't look like the bond we have lived with most of our lives he is too grim unfunny and a bit ugly. this movie might be superior but Connery is the best bond ever

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    • londonnut

      Oct 16th 2012, 9:13

      Caught it on Friday night at Sony's already infamous ‘World First’ screening at Odeon Leicester Square and I think it really is as good as the reviews are saying. Empire's review is pretty perfunctory - not much excitement in the reading - and with no real negatives flagged why doesn't it get the full five stars?! Not saying it def. should but I think it's worth that extra star. What follows is spoiler free; not going to reveal anything here that's not already in trailers/reviews (except maybe a few clues!) The most important thing to say about ‘Skyfall’ is it’s a classic reinvention of the series that only this franchise can get away with. It’s like 'Casino Royale' and 'Quantum of Solace' never happened but that's not necessarily a good or a bad thing; it’s just a very good stand-alone Bond film that once again pushes the series forward (even more so than 'Casino Royale'). I found the message a little heavy-handed at times but the story can be summed up by this question; in the age of cyber-warfare is Bond - as a field agent - still relevant? Very smartly, the film-makers seem to be encouraging us to ask this of both Bond the character and the film franchise itself; we see him fail at the start, get ‘killed’ and subsequently struggle to recover. Of course we learn the answer is an emphatic yes; only Bond can save the day with his experience, ingenuity, muscle and style and the last scene couldn’t shout any louder that this franchise has a way to run. It’s in ramming the ‘YES’ home that this film is so fun, stylish, compelling and smart. A few random stand-out thoughts… • Gadgets: Ironically for the film that re-introduces us to Q, the just-for-thrills gadgets are gone (Q’s first scene has one of the best lines about them “not really being our thing anymore”). But of course - this being the 50th Anniversary - they’re not really gone; one makes a scene-stealing return (cue massive cheer at screening) which sets-up a brilliant scene between M and Bond and another great line you should discover for yourself. The gadgets that are there are amusingly simple and effective. Going further than even Casino Royale did in ‘stripping back’ the nonsense but still ‘celebrating’ and paying tribute is where ‘Skyfall’ excels. • Characterisation is where Sam Mendes really comes into play; Q manages to have more depth in what can only be around 10mins of screen time than across the entire series so far. M has more to do (her character here reminded me of Helen Mirren’s towards the end of ‘Prime Suspect’) and is right at the centre of the action – Judi Dench finally gets to show off. Even new characters like Eve (questioning whether she’s cut out for work in “the field”) and Severine (simply terrified) have genuine depth. Have to quickly say I wanted to see more of Severine, she’s so intriguing and well played but she simply serves her purpose and is gone. Characters – new and old - actually feel as though they have real stories. Bond himself gets more of a back-story (though some will prob hate that). Albert Finney’s turn is genius and acting from all top-notch (though Helen McCrory slightly overplays her bit). • Script; brilliant script full of humour, wit, style and charm. Fantastic one liners and snappy dialogue throughout. It’s a modern story but nostalgic for the Bond that’s gone before. A ‘poem scene’ (yes really) is genuinely moving and is the heart of the piece – difficult to think what other ‘action’ film (or Director) could get a scene like this away; very clever. • This really is the best-looking film I’ve seen this year, the cinematography is stunning; from an ingeniously illuminated fight scene in Shanghai to a chase thru the burning Scottish highlands - what’s on screen is simply beautiful and often breath-taking. Final thing; keep a close eye on the animated opening credits for clues while Adele’s doing her thing - it led me to guess a few things along the way without spoiling the enjoyment.

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    • garethb51

      Oct 19th 2012, 10:16

      1

      Oh COME ON, Total FIlm - what is this? It's less of a review and more of a bloody summary of the plot! And no warning of spoilers? Try to give less away about the film and instead let us know what it achieves/fails to deliver. Surely that's a point of a review? This is terrible, amateur stuff that borders on "gloating that I've seen the film and can tell you what happens". Very poor. I even registered solely so I can comment on how appalled I am. Maybe I'll head over to Empire, after all. Big shame! Can't even read the rest of this review for fear of ruining even more of the film (Bond shot by mistake? THANKS A LOT!!) Expect to see a TF reply.

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    • GFoley83

      Oct 20th 2012, 11:58

      I found myself skipping over half that "review" as it was giving away spoliers all over the parish. Pretty shoddy work TF.

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    • MrUnseen

      Oct 21st 2012, 15:07

      Neil Smith, this is intended for you. I've just signed on to Total Film only to say that, after reading this review, I am not reading anything from you again. Your utter disrespect for the potential surprises that this film has in store for audiences is mind-boggling. Simply cramming in as many quotes and plot details as possible is not a good review. From my experience (I have written reviews on IMDb and some of my friends also write reviews), you can write a decent review which doesn't give away the plot or loads of little moments which really make the film so much more enjoyable when they're discovered first hand. If you wanted to write a spoiler-filled analysis of the film (which is seriously what this review feels like), you should have at least had the decency of putting a spoiler alert at the beginning. I know that 9 out of 10 reviews are likely to contain information about the plot, but this pushed it past even the most extreme limits. I think that I should congratulate you though, Neil. By failing to keep people who might just be looking at this review to see if the film is worth seeing in mind and instead throwing spoilers around with gleeful abandon, you have almost completely destroyed my excitement for this film. Seeing how much I was looking forward to it, that is quite an accomplishment. Last time I checked, a reviewer is someone who is meant to guide an audience member either to or away from a film with their own opinion, nothing more and nothing less. A reviewer isn't meant to divulge big plot details; instead, they express their excitement over details without giving them away. That makes the reader more excited and eager to see the film. Spoiling big plot developments tarnishes the giddy excitement which people could very easily be experiencing over a film like this. By the end of this review, I no longer felt like I needed to see the film. For a big film like this, you should have known not to give too much away. By spoiling so many aspects of the film, you have shown a clear lack of care towards everyone who is excited and eager to see this film. Congratulations on that dubious accomplishment.

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    • Filmsrgood

      Oct 22nd 2012, 16:17

      5

      Saw the film friday in Leicester Square at the Odeon, I am a huge fan of the Bond franchise, and this film I can honestly say is the best Bond Film yet. It is loyal to Ian Flemming, in that there are character driven aspects as well as the obvious espionage plot. In terms of Bond as a brand, this film brings Bond back to be being cool, where he was in danger of being cheesy. The action sequences are amazing and get your heart going, see this film in the cinema, not on DVD. Even the Villan adds a bit of humor and grounding to the film, a great performance. Even if you hate Bond, SkyFall will not disapoint. The best Bond yet!!!!

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    • GarthMarenghi

      Oct 24th 2012, 21:39

      So, I'd like to ask anyone who has seen it - what's the music like? I was really unimpressed by the generic samples of Thomas Newman's score earlier this month, but if the Monty Norman/John Barry Bond theme crops up at least once, all is forgiven.

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    • MattMorris

      Oct 26th 2012, 12:39

      2

      Massive let down. A decent premise wasted about half way through and then a final third bogged down with Mendes's navel gazing about mortality and other such b******t. If this is the best script they could come up with after six years then it's time to get rid of Purvis and Wade. We don't go to see Bond for something this average. Could and should have been so much more. I always had my doubts about Mendes for Bond and unfortunately what he's turned in is more American Beauty than Road To Perdition. Bring back Martin Campbell.

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    • machiel

      Oct 26th 2012, 20:08

      "Happy Birthday"? You could end every Bond movie review with that. Well, except for Dr. No. Maybe it should have read "Happy 50th birthday" of "Happy golden anniversary", to make it sound more like a landmark event. Excited to see the movie though. Shame we have to wait a little while longer for it here...

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    • simcfc73c

      Oct 26th 2012, 20:17

      Thank you MattMorris, I was thinking I was the only one int he world who felt let down by this film. I thought the pacing was all wrong, The DKR was a similar length but never felt as drawn out as this. Reading this review I couldn't disagree more with the Javier stuff, I thought he was an awful bond villain.. the terrible dialog when he first meets Bonds is cringeworthy and no the interrogation was not scarey in the slightest... the Casino Royale ball buster was.. this was just plain weird.... and the ending.... such a let down. Cap America got slated cos it was pretty much just an intro to the character... this is the same. I know its fantasy and all that but strikeback on Sky for all its OTT acting is so much more realistic without getting this silly and has alot more tension. It does look like Mendes is getting rave reviews so may get another shot at it. I woud start queuing now if they begged Nolan to do it... which it needs.

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    • portland6

      Oct 26th 2012, 21:59

      2

      I thought this was dreadful. It had a very thin plot, no memorable set pieces, and humiliated the character of M as played by Judi Dench. Far too much of it was languorous dialogue scenes with thesps acting at each other. I nearly left early - and kind of wished I had once I got to the "pointless reboot" ending!

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    • Turbo

      Oct 26th 2012, 22:46

      1

      Just come back from seing this.. So dissapointed after all the hype its had , 5* reviews?? There was so much wrong with this movie its hard to believe that its taken 6 years to produce. The best parts of the film (if any) are shown on the trailer which is heavily advertised on the tv, and if thats not enough to ruin the film for you they show you another at the cinema amongst the other 'coming soon' trailers, which leaves little to surprise you in the majority of the film. References to old bond films are thrown in throughout the film along with an excessive amount of cheesey Bond one liners (I think pierce brosnan would have been better casted for this film!). Needless to say the plot was poor, nothing more than the usual 'bond vs the bad guy', which lacked the depth from which we have seen in the previous daniel craig bond films. Would like to see Nolan be involved in the next bond film as it will certainly need a reboot after this failed attempt..

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    • thedanieljson

      Oct 27th 2012, 0:39

      5

      Hilarious, stylish, exciting, emotionally deep... It's better than all the Bourne movies combined, and is now my favourite Bond film. It manages to tie the serious to the absurd with no distracting tonal shifts, and the performances - M, Bond, Q and Silva ALL manage to stand out - are absolutely spectacular. Cannot wait to see it again.

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    • writerdave87

      Oct 27th 2012, 1:11

      Trust me, Strike back is about as realistic as your average Seagal film.

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    • fallenidol

      Oct 27th 2012, 9:15

      3

      When I grew up watching Bond I came out of the cinema wanting to be him, I am not sure anyone would want to be the current incarnation. I sat watching the film waiting for James Bond to come on, he did at the end, the final minute of the film & Gun-barrel has the most feel of Bond in all the film. I was very disappointed with the action or lack of it in the film, they really need to come up some great action sequences as there was only one in this, the pre credits chase. On the plus side Javier Bardem was an excellent villain & the film looks great. Overall though It again felt like Bond begins....again, not what I was expecting Mr Bond.

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    • rkearney789

      Oct 27th 2012, 17:00

      5

      A human Bond.

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    • portland6

      Oct 28th 2012, 10:41

      Ah, rkearney789, the problem in a nutshell. Who wants a Bond who was a scared child, who cries when someone gets shot and who can't hang on to the bottom of a lift without making a fuss about it? That's not a daring reinvention, that's a misinterpretation of the character. Read Fleming; Bond's response to his parents' death wasn't to go all emo Bruce Wayne, it was to take the opportunity to shag the French mistress at boarding school! Bond is an aspirational, jet-setting human+. That's the whole joy of reading or watching the stories!

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    • GeezaFett

      Oct 28th 2012, 19:25

      3

      ***** Contains spoilers. Please don't read my review then slate it if you haven't seen the film yet ***** Wow, Wow, Wow. What an unbelievable ..........................missed opportunity. A great premise with bags of potential, wasted through poor/lazy scripting, ponderous scoring and unimaginative management of the cast. Actors will tell you that, at the end of the day, their performance is down to how the director wants them to play the part. Javier Bardem was genuinely menacing in No Country for Old Men. Here, due to unimaginative management, his performance comes across as simply a camp nutter with abandonment issues. As regards Scoring, I'd suggest listening to the soundtrack for the Dark Knight or Bourne Supremacy. Both, in my opinion, superb scores where the music lends a sense of urgency and pace. Don't get me wrong, Thomas Newman has written some truly beautiful work for many fantastic films, but each time, the pacing has been slower and more thoughtful, in sync with the stories in question. When watching a Bond movie, slower and more thoughtful aren't things I'm necessarily looking for. So, to poor/lazy scripting, where to start? The premise here had real potential. Intel on scores of undercover agents across the globe are lost to the wrong hands. Cue a mad dash against the clock to save said agents whilst simultaneously attempting to uncover the brains behind the operation? Perhaps an introduction to a greater team ethic where other "00's" are given small roles, swooping in on any number of terrorist organisations across the globe in an effort to save a colleague? Nope - what we have instead is a dirty great red herring barely referenced, hence no escalating sense of dread, where the bad guy simply wants to get closer to "M" to exact revenge. As a small example of laziness, given how easily he infiltrates the heart of Westminster, why the need to mastermind a ludicrous capture conceit, only to promptly escape? Don't get me wrong, this movie is not completely without merit. It looks absolutely fantastic, Judi Dench is class, the introductions of Naomi Harris and Ralph Fiennes' characters are excellent and Bond taking matters into his own hands and stealing back the initiative turned this from a two star to a three star rating. Just as an aside, wind the clock back ten years. Ralph Fiennes donning the tuxedo??? If you don't think he can do "hard man", watch him in Green Zone.

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    • writerdave87

      Oct 30th 2012, 4:39

      Ralph Fiennes wasn't in Green Zone- I think you mean Jason Isaacs?

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    • Toph80

      Oct 30th 2012, 5:56

      5

      All I am going to say is AMAZING....loved it from start to finsh...personal opinion I realise not everyone is going to like it. But as far as i'm concened I loved it, and will going to see it again very soon in the cinema before it leaves, and the pre ordering the DVD :) Think its my favourite Bond outting since Goldeneye.

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    • GeezaFett

      Oct 30th 2012, 8:58

      Apologies writerdave87, I meant Hurt Locker. Got tired after that rant!

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    • jakesfake

      Oct 31st 2012, 13:57

      5

      thoughtburp(dot)wordpress(dot)com/2012/10/31/skyfall/

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    • kieranodonnell

      Oct 31st 2012, 16:20

      I must be on another planet because i thought it was really disappointing!! Such a wasted opportunity to really shine. The acting is good but with a story like that !! So many holes in the plot its unbelievable. I feel they need to take a good look at the writers and employ some people that have some real world experience it was so poor and i don't know who the military adviser was because there were some huge mistakes. All round a very poor show. Any way as usual the hype exceeds the product.....

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    • peter1950

      Nov 1st 2012, 0:26

      I saw the movie in London last week. It is terrific. Wait until it airs in the U.S !! So after four years I can truthfully say; 'Good evening Mr. Bond. We've been expecting you.'

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    • 2Dglasses

      Nov 1st 2012, 12:35

      3

      Cant give it more than 3 stars im afraid. Pacing was off-it was perhaps too long, random jetting off to shanghai etcbecause product placement/tourism. bardem was very good but the character was written very oddly-at times he seemed all powerful but then his plan involved humiliating M and then just shooting her? Worst letdown was the big set pieces-they never really gripped me and the tube crash seemed to defy the laws of physics in several ways. Some nice shout outs to other films, but i fear bond is trying to be too gritty/real to be an enjoyable as it should be. And stop having vehicle chases edited so that they make no sense. Stop showing the stunt doubles CLEARLY many times. Oh, and what time exactly did Silva attack bonds house? early afternoon? midnight? how long did the 2 minutes of screentime attack take?

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    • apo1978

      Nov 1st 2012, 13:58

      It was decent but no way 5 stars. 4 at a stetch. I thought Bardem's Silva was a charasmatic villain but just seemed a bit out-of-place in this. He felt like a more "old-school" Bond baddy with a touch of pantomime theatrics. With the new Bond's going for gritty realism (to an extent), he just didn't quite fit with me.

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    • catseye

      Nov 2nd 2012, 16:30

      Saw Skyfall with family they all loved it! I did not. The first half was a bond film - then it looked as if all the money was spent and the rest was filmed in rainy (always raining in all films) London. Drab, cold, grey Scotland (looked like Sherlock Holmes would appear any minute from behind a rock). Hardly any gadgets, certainly no Aston, except the original one, seen it before, want to see a new Aston not the old one. The asian bond woman looked like a siamese cat with anorexia - they could have found better I'm sure. Loved Bardem in No Country for Old men, he was fantastic but here he looked like he'd just been to Smiffys and bought a rubbish blond wig and cheap police outfit with a hat too small for him - in the scene where he was in the glass cell he looked weird, odd nostrils and pug dog face. Come on, I felt like falling asleep when the tribunal/hearing for M was on. Daniel Craig always looks good in a Tux, but I did not pay just to see him in a Tux! The end was just like a batman film with alfred (Albert Finney) at Skyfall in Scotland. Did not want the bond history lesson, was that to fill in blank space? Hope that the next one is better.

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    • matt1002

      Nov 3rd 2012, 13:00

      2

      I simply cannot understand the rave reviews for Skyfall. I came away so disappointed, that I've made myself wait a few days before commenting and writing my review just so I'm not too reactionary. It struck me that the makers of this film were lacking confidence, uncertain on what kind of film they wanted to make, or how to achieve it. Here's the problem: TV shows like 24, and Spooks, and movie franchises like Mission Impossible, Bourne and Taken have moved the goal posts for making action spy thrillers. Bond is like an old restaurant which has always served traditional British Beef roasts, trying to turn it's hand to cooking curry because a takeaway has opened up down the road, and they feel they must compete. The problem is, at the same time, Bond needs to retain some of those identifying motifs, otherwise it just isn't Bond anymore. The problem is, the makers seem almost ashamed of them. They make feetling appearances in an almost apologetic way. There were just a handful of true "Bond" moments in this film. Straightening his cufflinks after jumping onto the train was classic Bond. The last scene also felt like a nod in the direction of Bond's past. However, for the most part, the film felt committed to trying to be "gritty" and modern. Essentially making itself unidentifiable from any other spy thriller doing the rounds in the cinemas at the moment. Except for one enormous problem: The utterly daft plot. At every turn the plot is contrived only to move from one set piece to another. The thinking seemed to be along the lines of "It would be cool to have a set piece in an old scottish stately home..lets get Bond there". Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a daft plot in a bond film, but, if the plot is going to be so trivial, then the whole film should rejoice in that. So many times in this film, I found myself laughing at things that weren't supposed to be funny (idiotic plot devices) and not laughing at the few and feeble attempts at humour. The funniest thing of all was the sour-faced grim sincerity that Dench and Craig bring to the whole thing, as if they were making a darker grittier sequel to Schindler's List, while negotiating their way through this pile of fluffy inconsequential nonsense.

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    • dsexington

      Nov 3rd 2012, 15:58

      I think 5 stars have been thrown at this by far too many critics (I think that Olympics/Jubilee fallout plays a massive part in this, given the amount of flag waving in the film), no way is this a 5-star film; a strong 3 1/2 maybe 4. Also an infuriating thing I noted, James Bond is Scottish, a portion of the film takes place in Scotland, his home. Yet when asked his country, Bond replies: "England". Not even Britain. England. Pathetic and inexcusable. Bardem is on great form though on the positives, as is Dench. In short, the opening scene as a prime example, the film does not match up to bar of action, intensity or intelligence that the Bourne films (trilogy) have set. The product placement is also noticeable and distracting. More to the point, I think anyone who has a closer inspection of the actual plot of this "5-star" film will have to agree that reviewers seem to have been a tad too eager to throw glowing reviews it's way.

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    • SussexUK

      Nov 3rd 2012, 21:21

      5 stars? Again Total Film sucking up to the big film studios, freebies galore no doubt. Saw it today and i actually celebrate my 50th this year too so have grown up with all the Bonds. Everyone to their own they say and this, for me, was another disappointment following the mess of Solace. Its not a Bond film at all. Its a drama/triller with a character whose name is James Bond at the centre. Daniel Craig is great, no problem at all with him, keeps the film going. Judi Dench is good as M but its just not very "Bond". I know they've run out of ideas of where to go with these films but they've lost of the plot completely about what a Bond film is. Now before people start bleating about do i want to go back to the corny lines and gadgets and girl etc my answer is... yes... and no. From Dr No the Bond films have always been fantasy films not true to life dramas, a bit of escapism. Sorry, seen 23 Bond films, most on the big screen, and sadly this won't be appearing in my top 10. 3 out of 5 for me.

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    • ClearanceWorley

      Nov 6th 2012, 20:33

      A bunch of gay sh*t. Adele music. Poetry. Monepenny is black. Bond's job is to save his mum = the worst f*cking Bond movie EVER. Instead of being a heartbroken revenge seeking badass, he's been turned into an effeminate old whelp running around saving old ladies from computer hackers. Jesus Christ. Cut out all the gay sh*t, this would still be the gayest movie since Magic Mike. Even with the Stig doing the stunt driving somehow it's g*****ned boring. I knew they were in trouble when they hired that whiny fat chick to write them a socialist anthem for a theme song but it's far, far worse than I imagined. It's a cliched, tired, repetitive, dull, unimaginative who-gives-a-f*cking-sh*t, I-don't of a movie. Just like that, regardless of how much money it makes, the Bond franchise is dead again. Explains the title; What happens to Bond when he lets go of Paul Haggis? Skyfall back to the Dalton days.

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    • Jareth64

      Nov 9th 2012, 8:20

      3

      Total Film aren't alone in overrating this, but I will mention again their habit of getting things very wrong. They have a habit of hurling 5s at films thoroughly underserving and have really let the hype get to them with Skyfall. As films go it's standard stuff (particularly in the James Bond theme of things), and only Javier Bardem excels in what is a pretty boring two hours. Word of the day, incidentally, is "bloody" as English vernacular gets ramped up to 101% in Skyfall. Everyone's at it! "Bloody" this and pots of tea. Tally bally ho! So, just your average action film. Nothing special. Don't believe the hype.

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    • carriewilliams

      Nov 9th 2012, 10:30

      Skyfall: The first movie where the characters should have turned their guns on the crew. The writers and Mendes should be charged for ageism and elder abuse! anyway. This is just my opinion, but I feel they completely emasculated James Bond. The sexy man of danger and intrigue turned into an old, useless alcoholic with bad aim. There is nothing sexy about that. Then to devalue "M" - It was a crazy theme interwoven with a spy movie. Practically ending a franchise... except..Oh, here is EVE throwing every bit of timeline out of whack. I was sooo frustrated walking out of the theater tonight!

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    • mrtonystark717

      Nov 12th 2012, 17:08

      Here's an unbiased review from a Bond fan youtube com/mrtonystark717

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    • Jareth64

      Nov 13th 2012, 12:48

      3

      mrtonystark717 - Unbiased? It was an awful review. 9/10 - complete rubbish. It's overrated and just your average action flick. next!

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    • voicelesschaff

      Nov 13th 2012, 16:47

      1

      What a DISSAPOINTING if not a TERRIBLE movie. Some few questions: 1.) Why did Bond crash his motorcycle off a bridge when he could have just hopped onto the train? 2.) Why didn't Eve shoot Patrice once Bond was already hit? 3.) How did Bond survive the combined gunshots and 300 foot fall? 4.) You can bomb a highly defended and digitally secure intelligence agency through a computer? 5.) Why would a world class hitman use ammunition that can be traced back to only three people in the whole world? 6.) Why didn't Bond prevent the Shanghai assassination? 7.) How didn't Patrice see Bond when the POV shot from his perspective clearly showed Bond behind the glass? 8.) Why did Bond and the bodyguard have to fall into the Komodo dragon pit? (Seriously?) 9.) Why did Bond allow himself to be taken hostage on Sévérine's boat? 10.) Why would MI6 recruit a Spanish agent and then place him in Asia? 11.) How do you convince an entire population of a chemical leak? 12.) Why did Bond wait for Sévérine to die before taking out all the henchmen with ease? 13.) Why not initiate the radio locator earlier so that the British special forces would arrive sooner? 14.) What happened to the list? 15.) How did Silva overpower armed guards during his escape? 16.) How did Silva know to place an explosive in the room Bond stopped him on the ladder? 17.) How familiar is Silva with London train schedules? 18.) Why didn't Bond shoot Silva the moment he went for the radio? 19.) Why did Bond turn around and allow Silva to climb the ladder before a train even appeared? 20.) Why were all the guards in the courthouse so inept? 21) Why not just break into M's house like Bond did (twice) and shoot her? 22.) Why didn't Tanner take M to safety? 23.) Why didn't Bond take M back to MI6? 24.) Why reintroduce stupid things like car ejection seats? 25.) Why would Bond and Q intentionally lead Silva to M instead of an ambush where M wasn't present? 26.) Why would Bond choose his unfortified mansion to make a last stand? 27.) Why would Bond make a last stand against two dozen heavily armed mercenaries and an attack helicopter with two old shotguns and a Walther? 28.) Why didn't anyone think backup was a good idea at the mansion? 29.) Why did Silva have his men storm the house, rip the walls apart with .50 cal automatic fire, and toss in incendiary grenades, only to then tell them not to harm M? 30.) Why didn't well trained mercenaries check the Aston Martin before proceeding to the house? 31.) Why did it turn into Home Alone for grown ups? 32.) Explosion debris can smash through an armored attack helicopter's windshield but leave exposed ground personnel unaffected? 33.) Why would M and Kincade turn a flashlight on in the middle of a dark open field as Silva and his mercenaries are hunting them? 34.) Why did Silva make the classic mistake of assuming Bond was dying/dead under the ice? 35.) Why would Silva put his gun in M's hand? 36.) Why did M's "only my pride is hurt" injury suddenly become deadly?

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    • clemzzz

      Nov 14th 2012, 11:21

      2

      I agree with Voicelesschaff(above) ! I was thinking the same ,all the way through this bi-polar film. The thing is, If it was a proper bond film , full the classic bond cliches , then i wouldn't have minded. I don't want final scene in an old cottage with 2 pensioners and Bond against a band of mercenaries. Why not have a full on Battle at Silva's island with British special forces ,including the rescue of a love interest? M could have been assassinated earlier ,by silva for the same reasons Computer hacking!! zzzzzzzzzz yaawwwwn , massive computer displays and bizarre GUI's depicting nonsense !! yawn again. Bonds' mean't to save the world from some nutters grand plan ! not protecting an old granny from some camp loser! Believe me , I like Craig and I loved Casino Royale , but this sucked ( bar two scenes , the whisky shoot and the fight in the chinese skyscraper ) If you can modernise Casino Royale why not one of the other Flemming novels. I know Casino Royale was easier as it had only been made into a silly comedy. But a remake may very well work , if they were allowed??

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    • Igrayne

      Dec 4th 2012, 8:42

      Completely overrated, Bardem was camp and silly, Judi Dench should not be a main character and the film was way too long with nothing happening. It was totally unbelievable aswell, Bond is supposed to be going down a less nonsense and more hard edged road this is one of the daftest Bond films yet, I am none too impressed with Craig anymore especially with his stupid pro gay Bond attitude the man is an idiot. Before all the handbag merchants start attacking I do not have a problem with people being gay but it has no place in Bond, the man is a chauvinist and a playboy, in other words every single blokes dream.

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    • bugmenot

      Dec 21st 2012, 8:02

      Its just awesome! Downloaded from moviesfirecom

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    • PettreT

      Dec 28th 2012, 13:58

      Such a good movie, Daniel Craig made the James Bond's movies more interesting !!

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    • sarajames

      Jan 2nd 2013, 17:14

      Anyone asking "why didn't he do (X) when he could have done (Y)," especially with regard to a fight scene, has clearly never seen a James Bond movie. And if you can write 37 questions about things that happened in an action movie, you shouldn't be seeing one in the first place. (The answers to most of those questions, by the way, are in the film. I don't have the patience to answer all of them for you, but the key motive you don't seem to get, Voiceless, is that Silva wanted to kill M intimately, not remotely, not by explosion, and that he was happy to die if it meant ending her life.) And for the last time, since some people are dense, according to Craig himself: Bond isn't gay. Silva wasn't even gay; he just slept with beautiful people regardless of gender.

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    • jimmymackey

      Jan 3rd 2013, 19:16

      I thought it WAS audacious to show Bond as washed up already when Craig has two more films in the works already. As much as the movie was fairly well put together, it really didn’t feel like 007 though with it being stripped down. The opening scene was one of the best in the series, much like Casino Royale. My DISH coworker and I think the best Bond movie by far is Casino Royale, which we watched along with the worst one, Quantum of Solace. I’m going to order the other four Brosnan movies from my DISH Blockbuster @Home service this month for another marathon. I was thinking about how much I hated having to go out at 8:30 PM to return the movie because I put off going until the last minute. I just popped the movies in my mailbox on the porch and wait for the mailman to pick them up and drop off the new ones. Just about the only thing better than the time, gas and aggravation I save is that it makes my wife happy since I used to come home in a bad mood.

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    • PhillTurner

      Jan 6th 2013, 21:12

      5

      As good as everyone said and bye bye cheezy lines thank god. Much braver than the old Bond movies and def a move in the right direction. I still think this is a warm up to a work of art and every so happy Daniel Craig is signed up for three more. Awesome and I so like the new line up. More happy about Bond and whats to some. Great work !!!

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    • paulmitchell

      Feb 21st 2013, 16:04

      A great Bond film, yes, but as one user mentioned above, way too many discrepencies with events in the film. It's a bit of a reach to suggest Silva had planned everything in advance from his capture by MI6. He knew he'd be on THAT ladder and where to plant an explosive in the exact spot all in advance did he???? It's just lazy scriptwriting that this film is riddled with. 5 stars?

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