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Skyfall movie review – Shaken, not stirred

After the mediocre and rather dull Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig is back as James Bond in his third Agent 007 movie called Skyfall.

But don’t think for a moment that 007 has lost his touch. In Skyfall you’re brought to a blood-fizzing action scene from the get-go, reminding you what Bond is capable of. Luckily, this isn’t the only brilliant Casino Royale-like action sequence, the director Sam Mendes (Jarhead, Revolutionary Road, American Beauty) treats us to in Skyfall.

And that’s exactly what Bond needs in his 23rd movie, celebrating the half-century anniversary of Agent 007.

Before we go on with the review, check out the official Skyfall trailer (if you have, rewatch it – it’s still awesome).

So, the lives of all NATO secret agents are at stake and MI-6 has been put to its knees by what looks to be a job of someone familiar with the system.

Meet Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) – the main villain in Skyfall, the mastermind behind all the horror and destruction brought to London. And all he is after is the woman in charge of MI-6 – M (played, as usual, by Judi Dench).

From the very first words coming out of his mouth, you and the standing hair on the back of your neck are convinced that this guy is both mental and is going to play the villain in Skyfall well. And he does – he is unstoppable, insane and ruthless in his pursuit of vengeance.

There’s a big but here though – it seemed to us that he tries a bit too hard to be a Joker (yes, the one created by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight). A mental character who would prefer total destruction of his enemy over personal gains and driven by the dark moments in his past. Of course former agent Silva isn’t as chaotic as the Joker, but we still feel the similarities are just too many. And for all the effort Javier Bardem puts, he simply cannot come anywhere near the Heath Ledger standards.

As we said – it’s a good overall performance, but just pales in comparison (and we already explained why comparisons are inevitable). It’s just that at the end we were left feeling sorry that Bond didn’t get the villain he deserved.

Now is the time to say that the acting of just about everyone else in Skyfall was absolutely flawless. Daniel Craig does his job of a sophisticated bad ass agent as brilliantly as Judi Dench plays the role of an iron lady, who puts the national interests first. By the way M has far more screen time than usual this time and she really makes it count.

Even the bad taste that Olga Kurylenko’s acting left in Qunatum of Solace is washed away, thanks to the superb acting of both ladies that caught Bond’s attention in Skyfall – Bérénice Marlohe (Sévérine) and Naomie Harris (Eve).

Gadgets are also a key factor in Skyfall. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything, but as you probably know the Sony Xperia T is Bond’s gadget of choice in the movie. I guess he read our extensive review of Sony’s latest flagship. M on the other hand is seen handling an Xperia S (or is than Xperia SL? We can’t tell really).

Decent plot, mostly great acting and jaw-dropping action sequences – Skyfall seems to tick all the right boxes. Well, there’s actually one left – the soundtrack. For a movie of such caliber, the sound was just not up to scratch. In Skyfall, the classic Bond tunes are there to support the cool explosions and action scenes, but the villain introduction could’ve been further enhanced with a better music.

And don’t even get me started on the Adele’s song used in the Skyfall’s intro. Depending on your taste you might find it to be a decent song (we mostly agree it’s horrible) but it sounds out of place. It tries to be what Chris Cornell’s You Know My Name did for Casino Royale, but fails miserably. And to make matters worse it lasts for ages – the only good thing is that it’s at the start and once you are past that there are two hours of high-quality cinematic waiting for you.

Skyfall is a great movie that doesn’t have anything remotely common with the boring train wreck that was Quantum of Solace. It takes the viewer on a joyride of explosive action, drama and clever British humor with the expert guidance of Agent 007.

Rating: Great. Pretty great.

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