Skyfall (2012) - Directed by: Sam Mendes
Growing up, I had three movie heroes: Rocky Balboa, Conan The Barbarian, and James Bond. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Bond and as you might have expected there is a new film upon us. Skyfall is the 23rd in the series and is being touted as "The best Bond film ever" by past Bond actor Roger Moore. So is Moore right? Is this really the best Bond film ever made? Lets dive right in and find out.
The story involves Bond in his attempt to track down a stolen list with the classified information of every MI6 secret agent in the world that, if released to the public, would compromise their identities and put them in mortal danger. The man that has acquired this list is an ex-MI6 agent named Silva, that holds a personal vendetta against the agency and Bond's boss "M", and will stop at nothing until the agency is in ashes and M is dead by his hand.
So is this really the best Bond film ever made? While it holds merit with regards to the films made since Daniel Craig took the lead role, it is not the best Bond film I have ever seen. Up until 2006, the Bond series had 19 previous installments and the formula was starting to grow stale. Take one dash super villain hell bent on destroying the world, add two parts beautiful women and locations, three parts crazy gadgets and pithy one liners, shake, don't stir, over ice. Enjoy....or in the case of 2002’s "Die Another Day", spit out in distaste. Something needed to be done to re-energize the series and the solution was to completely reboot the series with a brand new actor in the title role. Daniel Craig was chosen and brought a vulnerability and physicality to the role that had never been shown in the character and brought series back into the real world by getting rid of all the "over the top" -ness the series used to be known for. The film "Casino Royale" was and is in my personal opinion the best film in the series thus far. In 2008 the follow up "Quantum of Solace" was released and received harsh criticism from fans and critics alike, yet I personally was able to enjoy it and really liked the further development for the Bond character. This years film "Skyfall" has returned to the old formula but keeps itself grounded in the real world like the previous two. Instead of rejoicing like everyone else, I feel a little bit disappointed that the filmmakers have decided to take the easy road out and return to a proven formula.
The reason I enjoyed "Casino" and "Quantum" so much is that they took a completely different direction for the series which humanized Bond in a way we had never seen before. It felt like this installment was a knee jerk reaction to the outcry against "Quantum", and instead of trying to further develop as well as explore Bond as a person, the filmmakers just went back to what they knew would worked. Craig is still at the top of his game, Javier Bardem is brilliant as the villain Silva, and the action sequences are some of the best you'll see this year. Skyfall is not the best Bond film ever made in my opnion, but it is one of the best that the series has to offer.
Fun Facts from IMDB for Skyfall:
23rd James Bond movie in the EON Productions official series and the 25th theatrically released James Bond film overall if one includes the spoof Casino Royale and the unofficial Never Say Never Again. And it's the 26th James Bond film if one counts the TV episode tele-movie Climax!: Casino Royale.
This movie is not a follow-on from the previous two films the way Quantum of Solacefollowed Casino Royale. Producer Barbara Broccoli said that the series "will go on to other different stories from now on." However, the appearance of the QUANTUM organization is still likely, but helmed by different villains. Broccoli has also hinted at the possibility of a trilogy, stating: "I think in some way, he will go after the [Quantum] organization. So in that sense, it may become a trilogy, but we haven't really structured it that way."
Development and production on this movie was delayed for around 8 to 9 months during 2010-11 due to the bankruptcy and delayed sale of studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), with the production being officially suspended on 19th April 2010. The press release from producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, 'Skyfall' being known then as 'Bond 23', stated: "Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on 'Bond 23' indefinitely. We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of 'Bond 23'". Apparently, during this period, a number of the production continued on with development and pre-production of the film despite the cancelled financing believing that it was just a temporary setback, their goal to have this Bond film in theaters in 2012, the 50th Anniversary of the franchise. Production did in the end resume in January 2011.