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The 23rd James Bond Movie Is Being Heralded As The Greatest Outing For 007, Ever!! But...Is It?? AICN’s Russ Sheath Reviews SKYFALL!!

The third in a new era of Bond adventures that began with the divisive but bombastic Casino Royale - and stumbled with Quantum of Solace -  has been a long time coming.

Four years in the making following financing and studio woes, Skyfall has the benefit of  development time that its predecessor, the Marc Forster helmed Quantum of Solace, did not. Quantum had many criticisms leveled at it  - notably that it didn’t ‘feel’ like a Bond film and that, arguably, you could have transplanted Bond with any one of a number of cinematic Bond-alikes and essentially had the same movie.
If quality was a reason to shoot Quantum down then that particular target would be a difficult one to paint on Skyfall.

In recent years, Bond movies have attracted the kind of director with a pedigree for ‘quality’, whether Casino Royale’s Martin Campbell - who returned for his second ‘Bond re-boot’ (Campbell helmed the first Pierce Brosnan outing, Goldeneye)  - or Quantum of Solace’s director Marc Forster, the man who directed Halle Berry to an Oscar with Monsters Ball.

With Skyfall, we have Oscar winner Sam Mendes stepping into the unenviable role of raising the bar even higher for a series of films with 50 years of history, and a pedigree of setting standards for other productions to follow.  Even though he's an Oscar winner, does Mendes direct 007 to success?

Skyfall beings in typical Bond fashion, and the opening train sequence doesn’t disappoint.

Proving one of the series' more thrilling pre-credits sequences, easily on a par with Casino’s free-running escapades, Daniel Craig (returning as Bond) is trying to retrieve a hard drive containing a list of undercover agents (couldn’t they think of a more original macguffin?) that has been stolen from a fellow British agent. As he races through Istanbul, Bond is joined by fellow MI6 agent Eve, played by Naomi Harris, a character who emerges as something of a sidekick for Bond.

As the chase to retrieve the drive threatens to put Bond in the losing position, Bond’s boss M, portrayed for the seventh time by Judi Dench, barks an order for Eve to shoot the thief - risking hitting Bond in turn. A wounded, presumed dead Bond falls from the top of the train as Adele’s theme tune strains its way into existence...thank god she’s no longer going on about the bloody break up.

Following such a triumphant opening, what remains of Skyfall is a rocky ride: visually arresting, always entertaining, but never quite as thrilling as you have come to expect from a Bond movie.

Bond, presumably miffed at having his boss order Eve take a shot that could end his life, decides to go along with the presumption of his death. Post credits - we find Bond sulking on a tropical beach side, playing Marion Ravenwood style drinking games, and generally moping about. This is a Bond we have never seen before - disheveled, vulnerable, and disenfranchised.  However, you don’t really get a feeling or sense of Bond’s feeling betrayed - or why he decided not to return to MI6 after being shot.  He simply plays along with his own death, until MI6 and M directly come under attack.

Upon Bond’s return from the grave, much is made of his having remained inactive and effectively abusing himself during his ‘death’. Returning to MI6 prompts a sequence of physical, psychometric and aptitude tests - it seems Bond has lost his edge, which in turn prompts a round of witticisms about Bond’s age and being washed up. I understand that, thematically, this links an over arching theme throughout the film of ‘old v new’ (a theme that echoes through Bond and M’s story lines) - but it feels forced, and not fully realized, particularly within Bond himself. Other themes running throughout the film include betrayal, the relationship with the parents and paternal figures, the old guard vs the new guard.  This nature of storytelling is new to the Bond franchise, and takes some getting used to.

With Bond back in the fold, he heads off to find out exactly who is seeking to buy a computer drive full of the locations of deep cover British agents. The obligatory casino scene offers some classic Bond moments and an opportunity for Berenice Marlohe as Serverine to lure Bond towards his nemesis.

Skyfall revisits several of the iconic aspects of a Bond movie (the villains' island hideaway, and the classic Aston Martin to name but two) and it is on the aforementioned hideaway that Bond meets his and MI6’s nemesis, Silva.

My first thoughts on Silva’s opening scene was that Oscar winner Javier Bardem was channeling a character from Little Britain as played by David Walliams - so jarring and unusual was his performance. For the first time, Bond has a ‘laugh out loud’ moment in one of the films most memorable scenes as Silva toys with Bond. Silva echoes back to an era of Bond villain that we haven’t seen since, arguably, the Roger Moore era - outlandish and so over the top.  But ,again, the performance and character don’t sit well with the era of Bond that we now inhabit -  and the more grounded, 'real world' villain we have come to know since Casino Royale. Silva could easily have been battling Roger Moore, and there was a moment where I thought one of the film's ‘spoilers’ was that we were going to be introduced to a new Jaws - so outlandish was the character.

Bardem plays Silva as damaged goods, and a character with an ax to grind, particularly for MI6 and M.  But believability goes out the window, not only in Bardem’s performance, but in whether this character would ever be in the employee of Her Majesty's Government. In Skyfall, Bardem’s Silva is as far away as you can get from the other turncoat spy to menace 007, Sean Bean’s Alec Trevelyan in Goldeneye.  To go further into Skyfall’s story is to go deep into spoiler territory, and there are plenty to be had in Skyfall with twists and turns aplenty.

Skyfall is a different kind of Bond film - arguably more so than any Bond before it, with the possible exception of Casino Royale.  But where Royale subtly contemporised the classic ingredients required to make a Bond film, Skyfall is far more ‘in your face’. This lack of subtlety is exemplified by the fact that there is more than one laugh out loud moment in this film, a response to Daniel Craig’s request that the writers amp up the humor and a rarity in the modern era of Bond.

This is also the third deeply personal film for Bond. For the first time we gain glimpses into Bond’s childhood and upbringing, revisiting the ‘Bond Begins’ elements from Casino Royale and discovering what makes him tick - and its actually these aspect that I would have liked to see more of. Casino Royale started out to show us what made the Bond that we have come to know, and Skyfall offers an opportunity to get to know Bond’s origins but again - but doesn’t fully realize that opportunity.

Skyfall also introduces us to a host of new characters. Ralph Fiennes plays Mallory - M’s boss and a bureaucrat with teeth, while Ben Wishaw joins the cash as the new Quartermaster...or 'Q'.

I enjoyed the interaction and ‘gives as good as he gets’ banter between Q and Bond, who very quickly puts Q in his place, or at least tries to. As refreshing as this banter is, however, Wishaw’s Q is portrayed as an archetypal ‘know it all’ - and a nerd who wouldn't be out of place hanging with Sheldon Cooper. This portrayal of the techno-orientated, bespectacled geek cliche seems dated - surely we are capable of portraying ‘people who are good with technology’ in a way that they don’t look like Moss from the IT Crowd?

Skyfall spends a great deal of time in the UK, transplanting the usual exotic locations we take for granted in a Bond movie for the streets of London and the mist-swept moors of the Scottish highlands. While there's certainly a realization that a solid Bond movie doesn’t require the locations that have traditionally been a staple of a Bond movie - the sheer amount of time trudging around dreary old London town actually makes you yearn for the exotic locations that helped Bond stand out in the past. Whether the UK being in the world spotlight with this Summer's Olympic games made the film makers want to place much of the action in the UK, or whether simple budgetary concerns were the cause, there were points where the film felt like a low budget BBC spy drama.

The film's final act, set in Scotland, feels overly long, flat and anticlimactic.  While this conclusion teases new horizons for Bond’s future outings, it lacks impact given the personal journey these characters have been on.

Sam Mendes clearly enjoys playing with Bond archetypes, and presenting them in refreshing ways that - while still ‘Bond’ - challenge what we have come to expect from the character and the films. In doing so, even for an incredibly long film by James Bond standards, Skyfall seems so eager to jump from moment to moment that we never really get to invest in the characters dealing with these moments in a way that I suspect its director and writers alike would like us to.

In his attempts to constructs a Bond for a new era, Mendes does succeed in reviving the franchise after Quantum of Solace - restoring the pace, and freshness that was ushered in so capably by Casino Royale. A likable movie, but far from the ‘greatest Bond ever’ tag that has been attached to the film, Skyfall leaves the viewer asking whether the foundations built in Daniel Craig’s previous two outings has been unwittingly undone.  Begging the question:  "When it comes to Bond, how far is too far?" -  and whether Skyfall is a step backwards, or a positive step forward for the future adventures of 007.


- Russ Sheath 

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST


    by thatswhatshesaid

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Bond does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Seems like a fairly mixed review here from Mr Sheath. No matter im still going to be seeing this movie for sure and am pleased to hear that theres a bit more humor back in this one! Looking forward to this movie!!!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Dear people of the internet...

    by mr_macphisto

    ...please learn how to properly spell the word "lose." Thank you.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Bond review

    by John S

    Mr Sheath's review basically flys in the face of the reviews I've seen about this movie. Sadly this review is indicative of a lot of the reviewers on this website. Rather than objectively reviewing the movies, these gentlemen (a lot of them at least) seem to axes to grind or movies to hype instead of actually doing a real review. Or maybe just to be contrary. In this review, Mr Sheath seems to take the opposite opinion for every plot point and movie motif that every other person I 've heard loves. Of course every person has the right to their opinion, but please. I personally long for the good old days of this site when Mr. Knowles and his (at the time small) band of movie geeks ran a positive site with cool things to wonder and share. Today most of the reviewers sound like they just finished their Sarcastic/prognastic movie reviewer 101 class and are eaget to show what they've learned.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Casino Royale was neither divisive nor bombastic

    by TheLastCleric

    Casino Royale was easily one of the more nuanced and grounded Bond films ever made, especially coming off the heels of the increasingly comic-book escapades seen in the Brosnan movies. Also, CR was in no way divisive but was rather universally praised as being one of the best films of that particular year and a top tier entry in the franchise. And QoS was not a bad film but rather felt more like an addendum to Casino Royale rather than a complete film.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    It's "losing", "lose", "loses", etc.

    by Dingleberry Jones

    Seriously, there are way too many people on the internet that continue to fuck this up.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Ultra exists in this donkey asshole. I can't wait to see this!

    by UltraTron

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:18 a.m. CST



    Saw it today at a 10.45 a.m screening in Esher, England......'s better than all the Moore, Dalton and Brosnan ones....and better than Quantum of Solace...but better than some of the superior Connery ones and Casino Royale..? ...but, it could have really could have been, which annoys me SO's really top-notch, prior to Bardem being (deliberately) caught by MI6, on his island hide-out...(bit of a Joker/Dark Knight rip-off), in a way. Positives - all the main actors, and supporting actors are good or more.. ..Berenice Marlohe's character, potentially had more to offer (after the reveal, that she was an ex-sex slave). ....Q was pleasantly different and 'current'....geeky, and IT backgrounded.. ...Ralph Fiennes (NO, he's NOT Blofeld) - as usual...very good....though one can guess, after his Hereford (yep SAS background) past is revealed, what he is going to become - which thus, means what will 'happen' to another major character.... ...Naomie Harris seemed average at the start - during the 'action' pre-credits opening - in terms of her acting...but is actually very good, and gets consistently better throughout (and yes, one can also guess who she really is). .....Bardem....really good actor...whether it's No Country for Old Men, Biutiful, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.....his first scene with Craig, makes you want more of this type of dialogue, but it NEVER happens.....and that's a real shame..... .....the Shanghai element of the film, by night, looks outrageously gorgeous, and Mendes has done v well can see why he admitted he was partially inspired by Nolan's Dark Knight...and i'd also say Ridley Scott - Blade Runner..... ...and then the second's not bad, but just not as good as the first half...and it shows badly. Marlohe's character is killed off far far too soon.....and Q, Mallory, Moneypenny, and even Silva...just don't have enough dialogue, or screen-time, and we are left with an overly bloated ending in Scotland, at Bond's parents' former home (called Skyfall) - where Albert Finney - suddenly turns up for a cameo. It's a 7/10 movie, that could and should have been so much's almost like a tale of two scripts....first half great....second half, average....I'm just a bit frustrated. But still....yes, it's highly enjoyable.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Typos, my friend, typos!

    by Steve Lamarre

    My mind had to be on constant auto-correct while reading this. In my book, several typos subtracts a bit from your credibility. Get an editor please.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:22 a.m. CST


    by UltraTron

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST



    ...then you'll like the Bond/M relationship even MORE in this one.....for sure. Plus Bardem's past relationship to M.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST



    Yes, I agree - 'danger_diabolik' believes that, technically, when one speaks in the 'third person', when may be exhibiting the start of 'narcissistic schizophrenia', according to some shrinks...and Sigmund Freud. :)

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST



    Yes, I agree - 'danger_diabolik' believes that, technically, when one speaks in the 'third person', one may be exhibiting the start of 'narcissistic schizophrenia', according to some shrinks...and Sigmund Freud. :)

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Just saw it and really, critics need to calm down

    by BenBraddock

    I think I would have enjoyed it more if my expectations hadn't been raised by so many hyperbolic reviews. SKYFALL is, IMHO, just ok. Best Bond ever? Whoever wrote that needs to go back and watch the series again. CASINO ROYALE remains, for me, quite easily the best Craig outing. I'd give SKYFALL 6 out of 10 - it's bloated and an uneasy mixture of new-style dark, angsty Bond, and old-style explosions, corny quips and cartoony villains. For me Bardem is too over-the-top here, his villain comes over as a joke despite his reputation. His cartoonishness detracts from his menace. He was scarier by far in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. I enjoyed the film but feel it could have been better. Action sequences were nothing we hadn't seen before (though to be fair, to do anything new and keep any semblance of realism at this point in cinema history must be exceedingly difficult) and I never experienced the rush of adrenalin I did watching, say, the pre-credit sequence from CASINO ROYALE. The prologue in SKYFALL is probably the best action sequence in the film but it didn't leave me gasping. At times I missed the BOURNE/QUANTUM OF SOLACE shakey cam! Say what you will about that technique but when handled right it can be very effective. Craig is good, though I wonder how many more outings he can pull off - he's looking increasingly worn out. Anyway, next time I will avoid critics - and trailers, this movie was heavily spoilt by the trailers they made for it - and go in blind. I predict a bit of a backlash on this one, when the dust settles. It's fun - just don't believe the hype!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:44 a.m. CST

    Golden Eye was pretty forgetable Bond.

    by Smerdyakov

    My favorite Brosnan Bond was "Die Another Day".

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:45 a.m. CST

    I didn't expect a mixed review

    by Nerd Rage

    Now I'm a little worried.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:45 a.m. CST

    thanks for lowering my expectations benbraddock...

    by Righteous Brother

    People are going way over the top for it in the UK. Although Empire gave it four stars. I'll look forward to seeing it tomorrow.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Seeing it in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

    by DexterMorgan

    Cannot wait for what is being hailed as one of, if not the best Bonds. This review is way more negative than any other I have read. Thank fuck Dan "parkinsons" Bradley isn't the 2nd unit director again. He and the editor royally fucked Quantum. Everything else in that film was solid. These are ACTION movies, not POST-ACTION (TM Vern) movies. Alexander Witt (Casino Royale) is the 2nd unit director for Skyfall. Fuck and indeed Yeah!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Casino Royale "divisive"?

    by 120chester

    What are the "divisive" parts of Casino Royale. From everything I have heard or seen, CR is one of the few Bond movies that people generally AGREE on being one of the best in the series.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Quantum of Solace is under-rated

    by 120chester

    Put me in the camp of followers that believes Quantum of Solace to be an under-rated film. I accept that it has the "feel" of a Bourne movie. However, I also find it very entertaining and very well made - from the brilliant car chase that opens the film to the wonderful final lines between M and Bond at the film's end: M: It's good to have you back. Bond: I never left. Quantum of Solace may not be a classic Bond film, but in going through the run of films in the new blu-ray collection I have to put it in the top half.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:02 a.m. CST

    That this reviewer would label Casino Royale "divisive"....

    by Beebop

    ....basically renders this review unworthy of being taken seriously. That movie wasn't divisive at all. The casting of Craig as Bond was, but once people saw it, they immediately realized how perfect he was. Also, Quantum is much better if you watch it right after Casino Royale. Let's face it, those two are basically just one very long movie. There's a reason Bond drops Vesper's necklace at the end of Quantum and we get the "looking down the barrel of a gun" visual - he's completed his training and he IS Bond now, emotionless, cold, and never willing to let his emotions get in the way. I hated QoS after the first time I saw it, but recently re-watched and it's better, especially since I watched it right after Casino.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by niven

    I get it, you don't think Casino Royale is all that, but calling it divisive is to falsely assume that most people don't consider it to be hands down one of the best bond films ever...which they do.

  • Credibility shot.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:22 a.m. CST

    damn right CR was divisive, I nearly gave up altogether

    by trevanian

    Been watching Bond since GF in the theater before I turned 4. Had to suffer through the Moore era to get to Dalton, then had to suffer along w/ Brosnan for the terrible material he had, and then the Craig era ... Geez, there are bits in QoS that work, but CR is megastupid (kill guys to get their cellphone info, as if they don't keep this stuff IN THEIR HEAD?!!) This isn't really Bond at all anymore, especially with how they are messing with his backstory and such. They invoke Fleming as a defense, but I think Fleming would bitchslap these folks.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:27 a.m. CST

    These talkbacks are freaking exhausting

    by BackwardGalaxy

    I hate it and it's the worst thing every in the history of ever. But what the hell do I know, because I accidentally added a 'y' to the word 'ever'. The good news is, this will change cinema and the way you see Bond films. Spell check, damn you! Don't quit your day job. Random dojo reference. Let me say something vulgar. Hang the conservative. Santa Claus isn't real, and movies were better in the 80's, even though the 80's sucked. I love everything, except when I hate everything. I am so pumped for this movie, even though I will hate it, until I watch it again and say it's underrated, at which point I will never watch it again, because what is worse than an 'okay' movie? Divisive jerkwads say what?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Favorite Bond Villain (not a henchmen)

    by Aquatarkusman

    I'm partial to the variety in the Roger Moore films: Yaphet Kotto in Live and Let Die, Michel Lonsdale as Hugo Drax in Moonraker (top-quality in a shit film), and my personal favorite, Curd Jurgens' undersea kingdom in The Spy Who Loved Me. And let's not completely badmouth Diamonds are Forever, even though it's abject garbage: Crispin Glover's dad plays one of the gay hit men.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Let's Be Fair, Maybe He Means 1967 Casino Royale

    by Aquatarkusman

    What an unfunny piece of crap THAT was. Or maybe the 1950s Casino Royale, with the Americanized Jimmy Bond and Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre. It's on youtube and Linda Christian is hot as balls as the first Bond girl.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    oh and btw...*spoilers*

    by niven

    ...the idea of this not being as "thrilling" as the other bonds is just bs perpetuated by the whole notion that bond is SUPPOSED to be a whole bunch of insane action sequences strung together by a thin string called "plot". If anything that was quantums problem and Skyfall does the opposite...nearly every action scene is steeped in an element of the plot, everything feels important and not just tacked on and gratuitous. When Bond protects M in the final fight, despite the more scaled down approach, there is so much subtext involved, with bonds ancestral home, M being his surrogate mother, the mirror aspect of Bond/Silva it's all so wonderfully dramatic and poetic...I'm not surprised it's a bit shocking to those who expect cheap superficiality and over the top gadgets, but believe me it's definitely for the best. Bond really hasn't meant much outside of it's stunts and gimmicks, Skyfall seems like the first bond that isn't ashamed that it's protagonist is a "misogynist dinosaur" it embraces the idea and works with it.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    best bond

    by vicmackey1268

    Casino royale brought back the bond on a journey format that made Connery's bond so good...we watched bond walk and drive around and we uncovered things when he did. Goldeneye was good but the side characters were extremely annoying. The best part about it was seeing 00's together and what happens when the two face off. I would love to see what 001-009 are up to and why Bond is 7 out of 9 but acasino was amazing. Quantum was a decent wrap up of the story and I'm looking forward to this. But Connery's 2nd, 3rd, and 4th followed by Casino, followed by Dalton's 1st and Goldeneye still rank as tough to beat...if this falls anywhere in that realm I'd be happy

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:54 a.m. CST

    @banned-ki-moon: Two words.

    by Smerdyakov

    Rosamond Pike. Plus great opening and great final battle.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Best Bond Villian: Auric Goldfinger by a mile.

    by Smerdyakov

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 12:23 p.m. CST

    The humor is back? Good! Quantum had none!

    by Bob

    Quantum was a seriously dark and dreary Bond outing. This sound soo much better.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Clearly a step forward.

    by Ace Calban

    This Bond film is up there with 'From Russia with Love." You're right in saying that it deviates from the a typical Bond formula but it bravely steps into new pastures. The Bond of Skyfall (as with Casino Royal) is a layered character, with a clear arc not just a set of tired cliches. Craig's Bond is a million miles away from Roger Moore one note portrayal, and for that reason alone we have a fully formed character. The action scenes, which I do agree are less frequent than we've come to expect are beautifully staged and have sense of (movie) edgy realism but never flat. Also I have to disagree about the use of locations the majority of Bond certainly started to feel like travelogues rather than being intragal to the story line. Here the use of London is as important to Skyfall as Gotham is to Dark Knight and let's be honest for those audiences who aren't British then London is a relatively exciting location. The same can be said for the Scottish scenes, again I found it a bold departure for Bond to be in that setting and that sort of a scene. In fact that sums up Skyfall, a bold turn in a franchise that after Connery ( up until Goldeneye) and then the shot in the arm with Casino Royal has given us a new take on the well worn character while keeping the essence of why the character continues to work. For me Craig has become the definative Bond, and that comes from a huge Connery fan. And one last note on the performances Bardem's Silva, yes over the top but certainly not over played, the character is one can away from six pack of insanity and he walks that line perfectly and the characters sexuality is played to an uncomfterable and menacing effect and in every respect a true Fleming villain. Wilshaw while nerdy brought a depth to Q and why shouldn't he be a geek? His vision of espionage is at total odds with Bond's and that works in he portrayal. Fiennes with only a small amount of screen time develops a fully realised character and Dench, well what can you say, the greatest living British actress brings heart to the film again rarely seen in a Bond movie. Cool, modern and without a doubt the best looking Bond film ever Skyfall is indeed a classic, delivering a relatively complex take on the character and closer to the spy thrillers of Flemings novel than the fantastical romps of the movies and certainly up there with From Russia with love OHMSS and Casino Royal.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    We saw two

    by dvdmike

    VEEERRRRRYYYYYYY different movies, there are motivations and issues you bring up that are clearly stated that you just plain missed! I think you need to see it again and pay more attention

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST


    by Aquatarkusman

    I always liked Rosa Klebb (From Russia With Love) just because of the actress playing her (Lotte Lenya, star of the original Threepenny Opera and lover of Kurt Weill or Brecht, I forget which one).... but Goldfinger had the best two words at the end of a villainous rant: EXCEPT CRIME! And let's not forget non-canon Hank Scorpio, who dealt with Mr. Bon't': "Do you except me to talk, Scorpio?" "I don't expect anything from you, except to die and be a very cheap funeral. (walks off) You're gonna die now!"

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 12:45 p.m. CST

    No need to can the reviewer

    by peter skellen

    Just because he didn't think the film was brilliant. Yes, a few typos but he got his points across. We can't all be Proust.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST

    How is Casino Royal divisive?

    by Cruizer Dave

    I don't get that? I thought most everyone liked it. It was cool to see a slightly different take on the character, kind of the inverse of Roger Moore's camp approach. I love that movie.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 1:03 p.m. CST

    shit review

    by Randy

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Gotta better then QOS...worst Bond ever

    by SlyWalker

    Hope Craig grows on me more this time around

  • He just had a combforward in a big way. Too bad it didn't cover his face.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    mr_macphisto - THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    by decypher44

    Lose - 1. to come to be without (something in one's possession or care), through accident, theft, etc., so that there is little or no prospect of recovery: I'm sure I've merely misplaced my hat, not lost it. 2. to suffer the deprivation of Loose - 1. to let loose; free from bonds or restraint. 2. free or released from fastening or attachment Really people?! It isn't that hard.

  • Then again, I really don't like any of the old Bonds, so maybe I liked Quantum best was simply because it was like some other action movie and not like a Bond film.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST


    by Executor

    Goddamn what is up with illiterate half assed journalists? English, motherfucker. Do you speak it?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    My dear Russ Sheath,

    by GavinElster

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    I'm sorry to say I quite disagree with your review

    by GavinElster

    Skyfall is about a dead man trying to work his way back to the world of the living. Pure and simple. And I'm not talking figuratively here : the film spends enough time and energy telling us that Bond is dead that we have to take it into account somehow. Hence the difficulty Bond faces in the series of tests he has to undertake before going back into the field (into life). Skyfall is the journey of a dead man back to life.Which arguably makes it one of the best and most interesting Bond films ever. On tha note, I rest my case.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Writing reviews is hard.

    by HarveyManfrenjenson

    Quite a few movie reviews remind me of nothing so much as a sixth-grader's book report. "This happened, then this happened, and then this happened". It takes a lot of skill to discuss a film, and to find interesting things to say about it, without simply "retelling" the events of the film as if it were a bar-room anecdote. As for the review posted above, I simply stopped reading after the blow-by-blow description of the opening sequence. I didn't need to have the ending of that sequence "told" to me by a reviewer. It's not simply that it diminishes my eventual enjoyment of the film-- it's that it sidesteps the real purpose of criticism, which is to provide some sort of analysis or commentary on the film being reviewed.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 2:49 p.m. CST

    While super-nerdy technogeeks may be cliche...

    by Baked

    It's...kind of the majority of technogeeks. If you're in the top of your field as an engineer, you're probably not particularly suave or well-versed with the opposite sex. Not that you can't be suave, sexy, and a nerd/geek/engineer, but Q is a job and your resume has to scream "shut-in ultrageek" more than any other job on the Isles.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Who the heck is Russ Sheath???

    by D.Vader

    No wonder you're losing money, Harry, when you keep hiring all these people.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Yeah! this is bonds year!

    by dieanotherday

    can't wait for Nov 9th!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:06 p.m. CST

    You might have Bondnesia ....

    by berserkrl

    quote:: This is a Bond we have never seen before - disheveled, vulnerable, and disenfranchised :: unquote So you didn't see _Die Another Day_?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Rosa Klebb was great but....

    by Smerdyakov

    Not really a criminal mastermind.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:09 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    quote:: trudging around dreary old London town ::unquote Oh yeah, yawn, one of the greatest cities in the world, what a bore.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Plesance a better Blofeld than Savalas.

    by Smerdyakov

    There, I said it.

  • Is that right?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Casino Roya

    by zillabeast

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:15 p.m. CST


    by berserkrl

    Oh, and Casino Royale was "divisive" only before it was released. There were a lot of negative reactions when Craig was announced as having been cast; but when the movie actually came out, reaction was overwhelmingly positive.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:22 p.m. CST

    OHMSS was the best Bond film

    by alan_poon

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Quantum sucks, I'd rather watch my dog take a shit.

    by Chris

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:41 p.m. CST

    "Quantum sucks, I'd rather watch my dog EAT his shit.

    by Chris

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Like could it be because they had an underdeveloped villain?

    by Chris

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:42 p.m. CST

    No real BOND moments?

    by Chris

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:43 p.m. CST

    It was a little slow, maybe?

    by Chris

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:46 p.m. CST


    by Chris

    I don't think "divisive" means what he thinks it means.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST

    People who can't write coherently...

    by barneyshouldbeputdown

    Shouldn't write movie reviews - or anything else meant for the public to read. Forget whether his opinion of the film's merits were bad or good - this guy simply can't express himself clearly or with any decent level of grammatical polish. What a bungled mess of half-thoughts this was to sort through.

  • Simply put, i don't believe it. And a word of advice to the AICN reviewers: don't try to sound smart, be smart. There's a difference, you know?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 4:54 p.m. CST

    @Mr evilsmokemonster

    by albert comin


  • Before the opening credits is that scene, IN BLACK AND WHITE, where Bond does his second killing and earns his 00 status. Really, not that hard to know this, all you needed was to have watched the damn movie.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    The editing of the action scenes in QoS was horrendous

    by alan_poon

    Pulled me out of the film.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:18 p.m. CST

    @Mr alan_poon

    by albert comin

    Me too. Which is a pity because otherwise it's quite a fine movie. And it's hard for me do disagree with you on naming On Her Magesty's Secret Service as one of or the best Bond movie. Finally that movie is getting the recognition it deserves.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Casino Royale was NOT devisive. 95% RT score and big box office.

    by dahveed1972

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Casino Royale was NOT devisive. 95% RT score and big box office.

    by dahveed1972

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Casino Royale was NOT devisive. 95% RT score and big box office.

    by dahveed1972

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Casino Royale was NOT devisive. 95% RT score and big box office.

    by dahveed1972

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    sorry about that.

    by dahveed1972

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:37 p.m. CST

    Dr. No is the high-water mark for me.

    by kidicarus

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Too much use of the word "bloody"

    by dastickboy

    It's the new way to add drama to dialogue instead of saying the last word twice. TWICE.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Divisive but bombastic Casino Royale?

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy Casino Royale was (rightfully) critically acclaimed across the board. That is a fact, not an opinion. The standards of criticism at AICN continue to decline.

  • Hire engaging Directors who could make a visually arresting movie with solid acting. Danny Boyle, David Yates and Mathew Vaughn should have done one of these each. The fact is that Mendes only got hired because Daniel Craig was in The Road to Perdition. But Mendes is dull as fuck and got lucky with American Beauty 13 years ago and has done nothing but middling wank. Thank fuck Martin Campbell came back to do Casino Royale and I'd like to know why the fucking Hell the Bond producers don't have him on salary for every one of these as he's clearly the best Director this series has ever had given that CR and Goldeneye are my two favorite Bond flicks.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 6:26 p.m. CST

    For the record

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    Skyfall is NOT better than Casino Royale, nor is it the 'best Bond ever'. It IS a solid entry in the franchise and a marked improvement over Solace (which was nowhere near as bad as its detractors would have you believe) - and it is still better than all the Brosnan movies.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 6:29 p.m. CST

    Problem with Quantum.

    by niven

    I remember the initial BS problems some people had with Casino Royale, bond was too brutish, too serious, too gritty and fights were too shaky. I kept the pleading that despite these elements it was a good way to ground the series because it still had elements of wit and charm, despite it being a bond begins film you could really see craig fit into that classic connery standard but with a dalton edge. It was a perfect performance and great film. Quantum came out and proceeded to shit all over my argument and fuel the arguments made from all those crappy misinformed luddites. Everything i said bond wasn't going to devolve into was right in quantum added with the worse of the bond formula and none of it's strong elements. Enless shaky cam action with a convulted confusing meaningless plot strung over just to buy time between action scenes. No character work, no charm, just over serious bullshit. People who like quantum...are people who just don't get what makes and it's not gadgets or's fun, and that shit just tried to be bourne.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 6:31 p.m. CST

    You don't have to worry about the quality of the action in Skyfall

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    They've fixed that problem. It is clean and well shot, nothing at all like the incomprehensible junk that passed for action in QoS. The problem is there's not enough of it.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 6:39 p.m. CST

    People that attack entries QoS, Casino Royale, License to Kill, etc. as not being 'Bond'

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    are people that never read the Ian Fleming novels and have no true understanding of the character. Bond was never about 'fun'. The early movies added that tone to the mix in order to tie in with the swinging sixties, and it was then exaggerated into farce in the Roger Moore entries, but Bond at its core is not a jolly jape. The character is haunted, as tough as nails, and the world he inhabits, grim. For all the problems with some of the aforementioned movies, being serious wasn't one of them.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Another poor 007 movie

    by genrefanboy

    I dislike Craig anyway although I admit he gave a standout performance in Casino Royale. Here he is wasted as the movie is obviously a rush job due to MGM's financial issues & the prolonged development period of 4 years & it shows. All the hype in the world cannot mask the screenplay issues & budget limited action scenes. Eon have succeeded only in creating a movie using the character of James Bond it feels like its a 1 hour TV movie padded out for 2 hours plus the budget was obviously not spent on the action or supporting actors most are bland & characterless. Something does not feel right about this movie either the franchise flavour is way off & its not really an action film more of a spy thriller with small action sequences. I hope the box office is low enough for Eon to rethink their strategy as its not working. QOS proved that Skyfall confirms it 100% they are going in the wrong direction as budget seems to be a major issue here as they are trying to avoid the Brosnan wall to wall spectacle budget increases but in doing so the exotic flavour of Bond is so thin you can hardly taste it sadly!

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Casino Royale was the best Bond film

    by David Duchovny

    along with Never Say Never Again. Craig is as good as Connery. Of course I'll see this one. Can't wait.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 7:21 p.m. CST

    "Believability" in a Bond film? Get your head out of your ass.

    by Stuntcock Mike

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Eva Green!

    by Rebel Scumb

    Love Eva Green in Casino (though the movie itself took several viewings for it to grow on me) That was the first thing I'd seen her in, saw The Dreamers shortly after, have adored her ever since. Skyfall looks really great.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST

    I should change my name to Holding Creepythinmans Cock!!!

    by GBH

    I agree with him yet again about Bourne Ultimatum being shite, but I happen to like QoS, which we might differ on, could not really tell by his comments...

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Craig is too plain to be James Bond

    by coolfan123

    He's not an ugly guy as such - but in a Bond context he's too ordinary and plain and his delivery of "Bond, James Bond" seems too stilted. Russ Sheath sounds like a CIA character from an Ian Fleming Bond film. 'Bond waited outside the bar in downtime New York. Sheath was late. He was always late. Typical CIA incompetence, Bond thought.'

  • There has never been a better Bond actor, you are in the minority, stop the shitty arguments.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:26 p.m. CST


    by WeylandYutani

    Yup. Your observations are right on.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Spoilers, so be careful or don't fucking complain.

    by scriptgirl_nipples

    This was legitimately the first Bond film where Bond actually felt vulnerable, as opposed to an unstoppable killing machine. This was due in parts to the film repeatedly emphasizing his faults and weaknesses, like the fact that he basically becomes an alcoholic after his shooting and fake death. He is also injured, and the movie goes to lengths to portray James as physical and mental wreck. I also enjoyed the Javier Bardem character. He was weird, funny, and creepy all at the same time. I mean, that scene when him and James first meet, and the villian starts groping and touching Bond inappropriately... Creepy and weird as hell. As for little complaints, one immediately that comes to mind regards the ending, so obviously major spoilers. Both M and Javier have pretty weak death scenes, but especially Javier. He starts calling M "mother", which was a bit silly, as he may be weird, but he was obviously not crazy. Also he gets stabbed by Bond... and that's it. Just dies. Maybe I was expecting a bit much after Javier fucking destroyed James childhood home, but either way it didn't ruin the film for me or anything. All in all, a solid film.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Also Idris Elba as the next Bond?.. Seriously, fuck off.

    by scriptgirl_nipples

    As "Bond 24" and "Bond 25" could be shot back-to-back, in a continued storyline. And with Ralph Fiennes (M), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny) and Ben Whishaw (Q) already in negotiations. 2014/2015 could be the end for Daniel Craig. The favourite to land the role is Idris Elba or Michael Fassbender.

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:16 p.m. CST


    by Glenn

    Why can't use commas and other punctuation? I stopped reading after the first sentence (which was actually 3 sentences, or two with a semicolon) because I refuse to do the mental work for lazy people.

  • They might as well have not even bothered to make a sequel to Casino Royale if they were going to use a villain (Dominic Green) who had zero connection to the first story. The villain was supposed to be Vesper's "lover", and he was supposed to have more involvement in the movie than having a brief cameo at the end. Instead of having Bond aggressively pursuing him and having a clear revenge driven direction to the film they decided to have Bond focus on stopping a drought in Peru. It was convoluted and unfocused and that's primarily why we were all thinking WTF? really?

  • Oct. 26, 2012, 11:41 p.m. CST

    one criticism I have about Casino Royale...

    by cgih8r

    Vesper drowning herself. Did anybody else have a problem with this? Bond risks his life, works his ass off trying to save her and manages to kill all of the goons in the room only to have her say "yea that's nice" and lock the elevator door so he can watch her drown. I mean she's safe at that point! The least she can do is to take her chances with Bond and give him an explanation. They should have just had her get killed by the bad guys because that scene makes no sense. Who's Bond supposed to get even with for Vesper's death when SHE KILLS HERSELF! HELLO! Other than that the film is hands down amazing and has one of my favorite Bond villains ever.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:05 a.m. CST

    vini77, love your arguments ...

    by trevanian

    you think majority rules when it comes to art? YOU fuck off.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Bond Review

    by Petruchio99

    Ok, its official. Whoever Russ Sheath is, he is unquestionably one of the worst reviewers I have ever read. I expect more from an AICN review than to have some prat rattle off the EXACT story and plotline beat for beat...with the occasional exception of showing how witty he thinks he is by going off target to dump on Adele. If this is the level of writing reviewing that is going to be representative of AICN, then I think I'll be spending a lot more time reading Drew's reviews over at HitFix.

  • You could say that this informs Bond's cold nature and callousness towards women in later films. Also, it's interesting that Vesper commits suicide by drowning, while later on he rescues Tracy from drowning herself in the beginning of OHMSS and then goes on to marry her.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:33 a.m. CST

    Casino Royale divisive & bombastic??!

    by Avon

    Somebody fire this guy

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Watched it last night and still wrestling with

    by GeorgeZip

    my thoughts - almost Prometheus style... Certain elements that I loved and certain elements that seemed like a betrayal of the new direction I thought they were taking the series - i.e. more grounded and less reliant on the comedy one liners...and the decision of making his Aston Martin gadget laden, totally flies in the face of Casino Royale and the origins of the car... I really liked Bardem - and I really liked the attempt to make Bond as interesting as the villain for a change - but somehow it didn't all string together into a coherent film. aaah! - I just don't know if they've made some bold moves or just messed it up!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:55 a.m. CST

    @Mr cgih8r

    by albert comin

    The drought was in Bolivia, not Peru. Those are two different countries, which in the past have been at war with each other and who do not take kindly at all to be mistaken one for the other. If you are going to try to be clever in your criticism, at least do some reasrch before. Verper comited suicide due to guilt. She was not an evil person, she was blackmailed to betray Bond and her own country out of love, and it turns out, her was as much a victim of deception as everybody else. Her death is tragic, not a bad call. But i agree with you that the opening and closing moments of QOS are the major connection to Casino Royale. But QOS is an alright movie, if you can forget the shaky-cam crap.

  • Really, this reviewer has a lot to learn yet on the art and craft of film review. What an amateur!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:09 a.m. CST

    And who ever said this was "Best Bond Ever!11"?

    by Avon

    Raising this as a criticism given so many people have given positive write-ups is poor.

  • a gay twink.

  • I thought Mendes did a cracking job in the face of ridiculous scrutiny. This film, like Casino Royale before it, owes more to Fleming's novels than the majority of the Moore/Dalton/Brosnan films in tone and character relationships. Silva's shifted obsessions put him well up in the ranks of interesting Bond villains, and is arguably the most interesting and well-executed villain since Sean Bean, if not Christopher Lee. The role of M has been brilliantly resurrected by Dench, three times over now, after a period in the doldrums following Bernard Lee's passing. Whoever eventually takes over from her had better have a broad set of shoulders... ...which leads me, finally onto Bond. Bit too weepy for my liking. Fleming's Bond was a man motivated by boredom, a lack of remorse, and a sadistic streak. The fact that he was also fairly misanthropic has been deleted from Bond's record as the years have gone on. Bond doesn't weep for the dead. Ever.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:32 a.m. CST

    This review is absolutely correct *Beware Spoilers*

    by LarkStew

    I just got back from seeing it, and it's... alright. After the rave reviews I was expecting to be totally blown out of my seat. It was enjoyable but didn't quite reach the heights most critics have described. The pre titles sequence is awesome. Best bit by far. Bond is determined and kicks ass. Then the titles which are great, good to have Daniel Kleinman back. Adele's theme tune is better with the visuals to go with it. Speaking of which the score is a step up from David Arnold, it's inventive and colours the action and locations really well. Then it gets a bit slow as Bond mopes about and does his physical tests. Personally I don't want to see Bond beaten up and dishevelled. This bit felt a bit long and laboured to me. But anyway he gets back on the job and goes to Shanghai, meets Severine, has a poor fight with some goons while dodging CGI komodo dragons. They're not badly done but they could have used real crocodiles instead, why CGI this stuff? There's no danger init. Bond films should have no CGI. Then Bond goes on a boat to meet Silva. Javier Bardem was good, just a little bit mad and creepy but not over the top. He seems to be enjoying himself hamming it up. Loved the way he told the story about the rats. Then he gets captured and taken to London. Hmmm... London. Not overly keen myself, it's just drab and grey. Particularly after Shanghai. But then again I'm English so maybe thats just me. So Sila escapes and tries to squish Bond with a tube train. Silva tries to kill M, but if his entire plan was leading up to finding M in a meeting and shooting her, why all the elaborate plot before that? He could have shot her while she was standing in the queue at Tescos. Then Bond and M run away to hide in Scotland. Again Scotland... I'm sure some people love it but certainly the area they hole up in is pretty much a barren wasteland in my eyes. Albert Finney has a few good lines. Big fight in the dark and a big explosion to top things off. The action is clear and there's a bit of an A Team vibe while they booby trap the house which is fun. It ends on a few characters being positioned for the future, which is cute. Mallory could be a boss with teeth. And Eve will certainly be back which is a Good Thing. Overall I enjoyed it, it's worth seeing and definitely in the top half, but it's not the best Bond movie ever made. That accolade goes to Casino Royale. All my opinion, but the the haters are going to flame away regardless...

  • I'm a bit understudied on classic bond. Need to catch up on some of the Connery stuff.

  • I was sensing that this review was written by an idiot. That confirmed it. The standards on this site are alarmingly low.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Good, but lower your expectations...

    by dmwalker

    This review is not wrong. It feels very much like Bond is still searching for its identity. What's odd to me is that I thought CASINO ROYALE had pretty much nailed the formula for a contemporary Bond. QUANTUM, an unadulterated mess, muddied the waters by "continuing" that story, when there was no need. And SKYFALL once again leaves us with a payoff that says "ok NOW James Bond is back". So all three films are Bond Begins, except in this one, suddenly the theme is how past-it Bond is, making HIM the old curmudgeon when faced with Q (now a redundant character and only brought back here for nostalgia's sake). It's all rather confusing. The template, meanwhile, for the main villain is quite blatantly THE DARK KNIGHT. I don't buy that Nolan's film was all that deep but it's certainly deeper than SKYFALL. Here, Silva's motives are bargain-store basic. His plan, as pointed out in a previous post, is idiotic and utterly implausible, especially after the set-up he's given. I knew going in that we'd be looking at Bond's early childhood, his relationship to M and how Silva pertained to that. But there's nothing new here, except that we see Bond's old family home. Shorn of any kind of revelation, the peculiar decision to go STRAW DOGS on the climax feels hollow and, yes, un-Bondian. The question of what Bond is or isn't is central here. And to some extent that's in the eye of the beholder. I bought all the early stuff about Bond coming back (and here the film is more DARK KNIGHT RETURNS than DARK KNIGHT). And the film is littered with moments that only work in the context of Bond; but some of those moments, amusing as they are, are nonsensical with the new continuity. And there are many moments in this movie that seem like good ideas on paper, and entertain in the moment, but don't make for a coherent whole or a strong new direction for the series. Mendes direction, which is -as ever- merely workmanlike, shouldn't be confused for Deakins' cinematography, which is superb. In some senses, Mendes is a perfect fit, as he comes from the same line as Lewis Gilbert, Guy Hamilton and Terence Young - journeymen directors who don't get in the way. A relief after shitmeister Marc Forster. But a strange state of affairs when Martin Campbell is about the most distinctive director the series ever had. Indeed, the one most notable flourish by Mendes - the recitation of a Tennyson poem over an action sequence - is every bit as jarring as Forster's horrible artification of the Opera sequence in QUANTUM. It is literally pretentious, claiming a sensitivity for the film that doesn't exist. In more basic terms, the score is generic and the action sequences are, I have to say, a little underwhelming. You've seen the best of them by the time the credits roll and even that feels strangely repetitious - the chase across the rooftops from QUANTUM, the bike chase across - yes - rooftops in TOMORROW NEVER DIES, the use of a mechanical digger from CASINO. There's not one action sequence that really stands out as original here. Some of my disappointment is perhaps down to knowing too much. It seems that unless you ignore trailers and forums these days, your first viewing of a film is an exercise in joining the dots. There were one or two surprises I didn't know about but the two that are potentially most devastating are underwhelming; the first by being off-camera (and reacted to very oddly), the second by assuming a warmth that just hasn't been fostered throughout the series (something you only realise when it happens). Bear in mind that I mention this only because response has been so rapturous. There's a lot that's great about SKYFALL but it isn't coherent. And the basic problem of Bond hasn't been solved: How does one honour the formula but still allow for character development? Without that character development, there's no threat, no engagement and the series will be forced into the same parodic cul-de-sac it always hits 3-4 movies after a "reboot". But in re-inventing for the sake of it, or trying to graft emotional development onto it, one runs the risk of losing the essence that has made the series so enduring. In that sense, SKYFALL provides us with a real cliff-hanger. What next? But not for the character; for the film-makers themselves. James Bond will Return it say at the end. Or will he?

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:43 a.m. CST

    New Bond Needed

    by Jerry Danzig

    I'm sitting out the Bond films until they recast the title role. Daniel Craig doesn't make it.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Craig Sucks

    by Jerry Danzig

    Craig doesn't hold a candle to Sean Connery or Pierce Brosnen or even Roger Moore as Bond. Craig has no wit, charm, or charisma, just a tight six-pack, and that's not enough.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Was enjoyable

    by Kakii

    It makes up for the garbage that was QOS, however I do agree that its not as great as all the early reviews have made out, CR still holds the crown and Skyfall is an above average Bond flick. Mendes did site that DK was an influence and its very evident in the villains scheme. However the only problem I had is that it was trying to be 2 films, the first half being typical Bond including a great opening set piece, however it then changes its nature and goes away from the basic formula to try and be a more personal film, the seeds are planted in the first half however trying to suddenly flip round a la From Dusk Till Dawn, just doesn't quite work like it should. I actual feel this couldve been split into 2 movies with better results. I do think it was a brave step to make which made for an interesting film and a villain that like Darth Maul was a shame to kill off so soon, I wouldve like to see more of Silva, he is a real stand out Bond villain. And yes it now looks like the whole Bond begins is over and that we'll be getting back to a more traditional yet modern Bond in future films. Its definately worth going to see, just dont over expect

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Fassbender has a MASSIVE head

    by dmwalker

    Cue dick jokes. But seriously - check him out in HAYWIRE in his tux. Like fucking Easter Island. Good actor but he looks like a Thunderbirds puppet in a tux. Craig is terrific in SKYFALL. He's the best actor to play Bond, if not the most charismatic. I'd love to see Idris Elba as Bond, too, as per the rumours. It's be important and brave if they did it as they'd take a massive box-office hit from all the rednecks who wouldn't go and see it.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    @ Mr scirocco

    by cgih8r

    I'm sorry you had to do research to figure that one out but thankyou. They are infact bordering countries so EXCUSE me I just guessed by looking at the film and was not attempting to be clever. It in no way takes away from the gripe that I'm making about the film but I'll give you your little victory since you took the time. Next time maybe you can correct my spelling and grammar too eh? I encourage you to read my post again without splitting hairs on locations and you'll see the larger picture.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    @ larry_sanders

    by cgih8r

    thankyou for helping me out with that one. I get that she does it out of guilt but the very fact that she kills herself instead of actually getting killed kind of takes away from the whole "someone's gonna PAY for this!!!" feeling that Bond is trying to portray after attempting CPR on her for 30 seconds. I felt his revenge did not have a strong focus.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Nicely written dmwalker.

    by BenBraddock

    Seems there are a few of us now that agree that the critics have over-hyped this one

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    There always should be TWO Bonds - Movie-Bond VS. Book-Bond.

    by wtriker1701

    Those *fans* who craved for a more realistic secret agent should stick with their books. Bond on screen should always be Pop-Culture Bond, not grounded on realism Bond. Bond's greatest years have been the sixties and seventies. That's when he became iconic thanks to Connery and Moore. Dalton almost ruined the series, so did Craig. Brosnan did a very good job as Bond, though his entries TND and TWINE were very weak movies. GoldenEye and DAD were a perfect vehicle for him. So stop pretending, Craig defenders, that Bond came back with Craig, when it's so obvious that this Bond incarnation lives on borrowed time. Even the critics know that. Despite Craig wanting to play Bond for 2 more movies it's time to pull the plug and find someone along the lines of Clive Owen. It had been a bad decision to replace Brosnan so early.. but now it's time move on with another Bond, who's an Uber-Agent who corrects his tie while riding a tank through city walls. The Big Screen needs another Bond, James Bond. You all know, it's true.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Anyone else think the whole Scotland thing was uneccesary? *SPOILERS*

    by BenBraddock

    Much as I am fascinated by the character of James Bond, I don't want to know about his unhappy childhood, where he grew up or even to meet his gamekeeper! Bond should retain an air of mystery and the whole SKYFALL (shouldn't that be in Gaelic, anyway?!) revelation felt for me like too much information. His parents death was mentioned in passing in CASINO ROYALE and that was classy... this exploration of his past felt forced to me. Plus I don't think it was very well handled. It didn't ring true.. wouldn't Bond have sold the estate years ago? He hates the place and hasn't been back since age 11 (I believe it was) and yet it's all more or less still there in mothballs and his gamie is still on the payroll? Just weird..

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    @smerdyakov: DAD great final battle?

    by chinofjim

    Are you serious? That CG mess? Nearly as embarrassing as the 'surfing' scene. Agree that Rosamund Pike was ok but Halle Berry was just a complete non-entity in that movie

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    @peter skellen: No need to can the reviewer

    by chinofjim

    Its fair enough to call him out for saying that Casino Royale was divisive. That is mega inaccurate. Irrespective of what the reviewer thought of CR, the fact is that is one of the most popular and acclaimed of all Bond films

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Just saw this and it is in fact...good.

    by Sithtastic

    Now while there's been a lot of race to hyperbole here, after QOS consider that there was simply nowhere to go but up. The review by Mr. Sheath, while not spot on, does bring up the important point that you're dealing with a vulnerable Bond. Incidently, this theme actually was touched upon ever so briefly in the opening of Die Another Day, when Bond was taken hostage by the North Koreans and totrtured before reverting back to its comic book roots. Now, all this said, don't neglect this film b/c it isn't the end-all-be-all of Bond. Sam Mendes brought something here that the character really needed: balance. While the over-the-top aspect of the Bond films is represented in Bardem's Mr.Silva, Daniel Craig brings a real sense of vulnerability to man whose era seems to be at an end. The overriding theme is that with the rise of cyber terrorism, is human intelligence a la the Cold War worth as much anymore (again, I note the Bond films tried this before with Goldeneye, but not to any real success in my eyes)? Bond is aging, off his game and having come back from the dead, spends the first half of the film minus the opening, looking tired. Nevertheless, the supporting cast and snappy patter dialogue certainly make us feel like we're in a Bond film and that's what matters. Overall, while Skyfall is able to make a convincing balance of all the elements of Bond, no one of these is so overpowering to leave the viewer with the impression that they've seen anything other than a cut-above action film. So true it feels like a Bond film, acts like a Bond film and sounds like a Bond film, some of the residual realism of the Craig films will keep you grounded and perhaps wanting more out of its finale.

  • Look, Bonds have, with some honourable exceptions, been divisive. I thought Dalton was a great Bond, loved Licence to Kill, thought he was as Bond should be, mean, tough and a killer. Brosnan was too much a Moore man, slick, stylish, nice suits, etc. Craig is back to tough and mean again, and that's great. Casino Royal was brilliant. Quantum of Solace wasn't that bad, just wasn't a great Bond movie, but it wasn't as bad as Tomorrow Never Dies.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Skyfall was a fantastic night out with Bond...

    by Darkness

    and was adeptly handled by Sam Mendes. Primarily known for his trademark dark, dramatic structures - i also found his sensibilities conveniently perfect for Bond's handling of his inner demons. I also liked the small revelations towards the end. Daniel Craig does feel more confident in the role this time round, and the film heals the gaping wound left festered by the lacklustre "Quantum Of Solace" - The movie felt like a second unit extended featurette. My only gripe is this compulsion to tag the infamous gunbarrel at the tail end of the film instead of the beginning - i mean, it's the iconic identity of the franchise for god's sake. The film is up there with "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and "Licence To Kill", but they are my personal preferences.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Bond movies are like the pizza of cinema.

    by blackmantis

    Even when they're bad, they're still worth consuming.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:50 p.m. CST

    It was alright, about 13th out of the 23 I'd say

    by Brody77

    Nothing special & didn't really "feel" like a Bond film a lot of the time. A couple bits were great, but I wish they hadn't resorted to... *** SPOILER ALERT *** ..."Destroy the iconic vehicle syndrome" like so many other films & franchises. It was painful to see (which was maybe the point, but still there was no need to do it).

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:53 p.m. CST

    archiebald: Thanks to your preferenced Bond movies I know now...

    by wtriker1701

    ...THIS movie MUST be bad! Thanks again, Buddy, for your insight.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 12:21 a.m. CST

    Uh Russ did you like it or not? (Lorne Michaels voice)

    by SID 8.0

    It's hard to tell from that review. Not that it matters I'm going to see it anyway.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 3:49 a.m. CST


    by Ness

    I saw Skyfall at the first showing at the Odeon in Leicester Square - hell, TV reporters were interviewing audience members leaving the theatre - they didn't interview me though - boo-hoo. I did like Casino Royale - wasn't crazy about it though. I hated all the other James Bonds except for the Sean Connery series so a dyed in the wool Bond fan I'm not. Skyfall is brilliant. The action is blistering, fantastic. Who knew boring old Sam Mendes ("I wanna another Oscar") had it in him? I didn't. The cinematography has got to get an Oscar nom. Roger Deakins at his very, very best. Judi Dench has a leading role here. She's great (of course) and the chemistry between her and Daniel Craig is surprisingly electric given the age difference. She is one hot grandma. Daniel Craig is excellent, his deadpan delivery of some great comic lines, his timing are terrific. Javier Bardem needs an Oscar nom too - his Hannibal Lecterish villain is scary and very funny and somehow a lot more believable than any previous Bond villains. There are a dozen laugh out loud gags in here, none of them cheap. Unlike the reviewer, I loved the Scottish sequence. It had an elegiac quality to it that could have seemed tacked on (it did to the reviewer I guess) but it brought Bond full circle after 50 years. My favorite bit: how attached James Bond is to his old Aston Martin.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 5:47 a.m. CST

    Skyfall was terrific

    by huskerdu2

    Really well paced, sly, funny and INCREDIBLY character driven. It's like Goldeneye in so much that it's ABOUT Bond, but it has a lot in common with both Casino Royale and OHMSS. It's a very 'Fleming' film and the Bond on display here (Craig is at his best) is absolutely the character from the books, with a dash of movie magic. Totally disagree about the criticism of the final act at Skyfall. For me, it makes the movie as it focuses the key dynamics down to their bare essentials. It's a deconstruction of the usual final act in a Bond movie (Bond has a lair for a change!), while Mendes and his writers take Bond right back to his literary roots both literally and figuratively. He's Heathcliff with a gun! Cast are all great, but Dench and Fiennes are particularly fine. Loved Finney at the end too. But the real stars are Deakins and Mendes who make the first truly beautiful Bond since Lewis Gilbert left the directors chair. Sure some people will say it needs more action, more gags, more seriousness etc etc...but opinions about Bond films ALWAYS vary. This belongs in that special bracket of films that aren't just great Bond films, but really terrific movies full stop. Can't wait to see it again!

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Saw this 2 days ago; enjoyed it a lot

    by Chris

    I'd like to respectfully disagree with the reviewer, as I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Skyfall truly falls into the From Russia with Love type of Bond film; charter development, Bond trying to be an actual spy. Bardem' hair was off-putting in the trailer; however, it works well with the character he has created in this film. Silva is a nut job, with some extreme abandonment issues, and tries to use them to relate with and essentially recruit Bond. There is a subtlety here with Bond and his journey that the reviewer has totally missed. And that's sad, because he's missed out on a great film. If you go into this expecting Bond as Terminator, you will be disappointed. Bond does have an extreme coldness in this film (as evidenced by his love of Scotch) but that coldness is obviously a front for deep pain, a pain that Sylva wears on his sleeve. And unlike QoS, the action scenes were shot at an appropriate distance, and there was no discernible shaky cam use (thank god). And for the record, the title sequence is beautiful.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    MASSIVELY overhyped

    by Sinnerman

    Best Bond.. not even the best Craig

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    its g

    by JackGraham

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    its good. no more, no less.

    by JackGraham

    It has some very good moments, but also some misguided ones. The fight scenes in particular are a dissapointment. Gone are the brutal fight scenes of casino, these resemble the fights of Brisbane or Moore, swinging punches here, a kick there. No shaky cam but I missed the brutality of casino. I really liked the final scene where we are brought back to the m office of old which although just a room, still evokes nostalgia and is far more appealing than a room with 20 screens on walls like every bond since Brosnan. Best bits, javiers entrance, subway Chase, straw dogs meets home aone finale, Albert finneys lines and saying martins return. Weakest bits, both bond girls, the fight scenes, the underwhelming death of javier and the lack of real intensity. 7/10

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 1:27 p.m. CST

    thats brosnan, not brisbane, and aston martins return

    by JackGraham

    What do u want. I typed it on my cell phone.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Just seen it...Bloody good movie!

    by paul cook

    The names Bond..James Bond.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Best Bond:

    by Bob Craft

    MOONRAKER, of course.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    It's very, very good!

    by dude_gimme_tabs

    Just saw it. It is very good. Don't really understand any of the criticisms.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    F bomb

    by dude_gimme_tabs

    Also, any movie where Dame Judi Dench drops the F-Bomb is automatically awesome. FACT!

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 4:02 p.m. CST

    divisive does NOT equal BAD

    by mcgillj

    Sheesh people... CR and the direction it took the character was totally divise.. how many .. " bourne.. james bourne" jokes do you remember? It did not make the film bad.. or even people to not enjoy it. But i preferred the humor Brosnan brought into the role, even as the material got worse. But CR while a stylish and well executed spy thriller is a far cry from the previous entries and feels more like Bond trying to co-opt the style from the Bourne films. Even positive loved it reviews note that.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Will Americans like the film next week when

    by SgtHowie

    they find out there's no Americans in it?! I really liked that this time there is NO sense of Felix and the CIA being on stand by to sort everything out if Bond screws up.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 4:33 p.m. CST


    by Brody77

    I may have misheard, but to me it didn't sound like M said "fucked". Sounded more like flubbed I thought. But I could be wrong, as I doubt the US audience would get the slang term.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST

    yep, Americans will like it fine

    by Hipshot

    lots of Bond movies have had no CIA connection.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    An American in the UK's view

    by Full Tilt

    As an American working in London it seems American press is making more of the "best ever" talk than Brits. Local friends told me it was good and left it at that without "legacy" comparisons. I just saw the movie. Best ever? I don't know, if nothing else nostalgia probably prevents that title from being handed out (at least for anyone over age 19). But it is a really good movie & worked fine as both a continuation of the Daniel Craig arch and as greater "Bond" movie. I get that this is a website for uber-fanboys who do know and compare every line and scene of their favorite series, but come on. Much of the bad-talk in this review seems to stem from the fact that this guy didn't see it aligning with his view of James Bond as continuity. But I mean they've been making these movies for 50 years. There is no continuity, and no need for it. If it's about a globe trotting secret agent named Bond, it's a Bond movie. And if it's entertaining, as almost all of them have been to at least some degree, it's a good one. Settle down, folks. In this movie we have a globe trotting secret agent named Bond who engages in plenty of both plot and action to keep you interested. It's a good James Bond movie regardless of where you will rank it in the order of your personal favorites. *Disclaimer: Contrary to what you usually read on the internet, I really like the Roger Moore era (my fav Bond, & no I'm no old enough to have seen any of them in theaters). Campy at times, sure. But they're fun, which is all I want. James Bond runs through the woods in a clown suit which makes sense in context and people call it a disgrace. But a millionaire dresses like a bat and beats up a guy dressed like a clown for no real reason and it's a masterpiece of modern artistic political commentary since it's done in a "dark and serious" tone. Gimmie a break. Good movies are movies that entertain you in the end, regardless of how they get you there.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Casino Royale was terrible. Quantum was OK. Skyfall is...

    by The Awfulism

    ...alright. It's far too long and quite frequently dull. The bad guy is fun but underuesed, the more attractive Bond girl get about 10 minutes of screen time, the lack of exotic locations (Shanghi might as well be Manchester for all we see of it) gives it a drab, low budget feel and the film expects us to care about a character ('M') who has been nothing but a horrible cow since she first appeared. 6/10.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 8:34 p.m. CST

    The CIA and M fucks it up

    by SgtHowie

    I'm not knowledgable enough of a fan to analyse it in detail but I just got the impression that Bond films of the last 20 years have had a rather more frequent US involvement than in the old days. But the CIA were certainly there with Connery and Moore too so maybe I'm mistaken. Just how often have CIA agents turned up in Bond films? Come to think of it there must be a LOT of times. I really liked that there were none in Skyfall, it put everything on Bond's shoulders. And on the swearing I'm sure M fucked it up. :-)

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Easily the best Craig Bond.

    by Cal Mckinlay

    Have to disagree with the reviewer on several points, most notably his criticism of Silva. He's an excellent baddie, in fact I believe will be remembered as one of the best ever. As for the film overall Skyfall is Bond back on form, one of the best.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Adele sucks hard

    by smudgewhat

    I liked her a fuckload better when she was Amy Winehouse.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 5:49 a.m. CST

    Bond on a budget

    by matchboy1976

    I agree with this review. It was a good movie but certainly had a cheap feel to it. Silva was underused. Too much M (her impact is better in small doses). Far too much nostalgia (I know it's the 50th Anniversary but if I wanted references to previous Bond films I'd just rewatch them). But worst of all was the move away from the hard ass assassin feel of Casino Royale's Bond - it was like they wanted Craig to be like Moore or Connery with the "witty" one liners. Like I say, a good movie and I enjoyed it - but best Bond? Not a chance I'm afraid.

  • What a murderous thug I look, brother.

  • I do agree that there wasn't the "Wow!" factor when leaving the cinema. Don't get me wrong - I had a great time. But there was an awful lot of work being done underneath the surface, aiming to set up the next set of Bond movies, and this may be causing the sense of slight disappointment after all the hype. When they rebooted Bond with Casino Royale, then merely resurrected the action man brute (but with a brain and some residual emotions). Spy still meant the same as in the Connery days - undercover agent, gadgets, global politics. However, the world has moved on - and what (it feels to me) Skyfall is all about is providing a rationale for the whole concept of James Bond. The pivotal scene is the most unflashy: the enquiry into the function and future of MI6, and M's response to the politician's ostensibly reasonable belief that this is all bit out of date. The poetry is, I admit, a bit of a stretch for modern audiences - but poetry is all about the stuff that isn't necessarily logical. And M's basic point is all the more chilling for that: Do you feel safe? In the bright, 24-hour illumination of our civilised world we can forget the dark, the shadows, the bogeymen. But when that light falters, we need a few bogeymen of our own - ones that thrive in the shadows - and that is where James Bond lives. Spies are no longer what they used to be - and, post-Skyfall, no longer is James Bond.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 9:10 a.m. CST

    On a budget?

    by Hipshot

    Yeah, a 200 million budget. Please.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Savalas was NOT in two Bonds....just OHMSS as Blofeld.

    by Dan

    "and its actually these aspect that I would have liked to see more of. " Stop ending sentences in prepositions, please?????

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    There was no reviving needed after "Quantum...

    by Dan

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 10:08 a.m. CST

    by Dan

    if made more money than any Bond film to date. Someone liked the damn thing!

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 10:09 a.m. CST

    STOP with the damn elipses!

    by Dan

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 10:13 a.m. CST

    Casino Royale was bombastic, very fantastic

    by purplemonkeydw

    -says Shaggy

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 10:31 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    purplemonkey, that could be the next 007 theme tune.. *...They call him Mr Lubber Lubber...*

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Good enough

    by James

    Not sure Russ and I saw the same film. No argument about his overall take on it, but some of his review doesn't make much sense to me. First, Bardem is great. Mendes gave him a lot of free reign to create the character and it was a good move. On the one hand, he does pull it back more to classic Bond villain territory. On the other hand, while he is mad, and he is something of a scientist, he is not a mad scientist. He is not intent on world domination or aggregation of money. He is just out-and-out nuts, totally flipped in a way that someone in the real world credibly could be. It's not that Bardem plays the character in an over-the-top way, but that he plays a character who IS over-the-top exactly right. At any given second you don't know whether he's going to laugh, cry, scream or shoot someone. Second, two of the standout scenes occur in two exotic countries. In between this and the finale, which occurs in some beautiful Scottish scenery, there's a fairly brief chase in and around London. The review is tantamount to complaining that ANY of the film about a British spy whose HQ is in London should be set in Britain. It's certainly churlish to resent the Scotland-set ending, and there's plenty of exotic locations early on. The film is clawing back the old fashioned Bond style of Dr No -- it's another reboot to some extent -- and as such appears somewhat anachronistic. Also, swearing in a Bond film is a clear case of the writers and director taking the subject matter far more seriously than it warrants. Craig is a little flat too. Those quibbles aside, it's a strong entry. Very different while directing the future of the franchise back toward the traditional. Not sure if that's a good thing, but let's see.

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 7:02 a.m. CST

    It's good enough indeed, 7 out of 10, but...

    by Ricardo

    ... the whole bloody thing becomes HOME ALONE all of the sudden. WTF was THAT?!

  • Oct. 30, 2012, 1:02 p.m. CST

    Home Alone for adults was called...

    by James

    Straw Dogs.

  • Nov. 3, 2012, 4:19 a.m. CST


    by Dromosus

    Was necessary, not just because komodo dragons are dangerous, venomous animals but because they are a protected species. Crocodiles and gators are not. As for the film, I enjoyed it. I actually really enjoyed the final scene, though I can see how those that like exploding lairs would not. It's more of a From Russia With Love ending than a You Only Live Twice ending. I also marked out like a little fan girl when I saw a certain door with a maroon, cushioned leather back. Yes, apart from the opener (and the end IMO) the action was less thrilling than Casino Royal but I found the emotional centre of this film to be far more involving whereas the whole Vespa thing never really found its target (we were all waiting for her to betray him so he could start kicking arse again)