All good things come to those who wait is a very apt phrase given its been four years since ‘Quantum Of Solace‘ not to mention the extra 5 week wait for us movie fans in Japan. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the release of ‘Skyfall‘ which heightened by the fact that its also 50 years since the first Bond film, ‘Dr No‘ was released. That shouldn’t affect one’s judgement of this third film to star Daniel Craig in the secret agent role. However, I have to say that this isn’t just a great Bond film but it is indeed a fantastic film in itself.
First things first though, and one disappointment at the outset is that there is still no traditional gun barrel opener. The pre-titles Turkish scenes in Istanbul and Adana were thrilling and left me short of breath as the opening titles kicked in. Adele’s lovely theme tune is, unlike the last couple (which I do actually like), one where you can actually sing the title of the film.
I was pretty much spoiler free going into this film (albeit not quite to the extent of that of ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘ back in the Summer) other than knowing that it had something to do with M’s past coming back to haunt her. Judi Dench’s character comes out from the background of past films to basically co-star alongside Daniel Craig. Together in this I think were both absolutely brilliant with the latter wrestling with both his emotions and his physical and psychological attributes which have served him so well.
Unlike ‘Quantum of Solace‘ the plot of ‘Skyfall‘ is actually understandable and very topical of modern times with its storyline but there are also a few other bits to keep us fans really happy such as the introduction (re-inroduction?) of Q, the backstory on Moneypenny, some of Bond’s family history and the return of the Aston Martin DB5 car (from 1964′s ‘Goldfinger’) which doesn’t make too much sense but it’s a nice nod to the past.
As ever there was a good range of locations taking in the aforementioned Turkey as well as China, England, Scotland and even Japan with Hashima in Nagasaki a.k.a. Gunkanjima (Battleship island) kind of being used as the ‘Dead City’ island retreat of antagonist Silva (Javier Bardem) although in the film it’s off the coast of Macau. The long shots are real but sadly this was all filmed on set at Pinewood Studios. Nevertheless, I’d still love to visit this island one day.
I really did love seeing the scenery from back home of London and the Scottish Highlands or maybe I’m just a misty-eyed Brit living abroad! It was also nice to see BBC News’ Huw Edwards as well as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer perform their cameo news anchor duties within the film.
The name Skyfall refers to Bonds family estate and childhood home in Scotland (filmed in reality in Surrey) where he retreats to with M leaving a trail behind so that Silva can find them and thus turn the tables as they had always been one step behind him up until then. Along with the innkeeper they then basically defend from within with limited resources akin to that of ‘The A-Team‘ or even ‘Home Alone‘! The ending took me by surprise and I was so thankful that I didn’t know what was going to happen beforehand. It is a long film but its 142 minute entirety thankfully passed me by with relative ease.
I’m now just relieved that I can finally read other reviews, listen to a backlog of 007 related podcasts and look into adding to my already substantial list of Bond movie locations visited. Bring on the next installment.
Tokyo Fox Rating 9/10