By Peter Hutson

The new Bond film, Skyfall, is a terrific action movie. When all is said and done, Skyfall could be considered one of the best movies of 2012. Skyfall will keep audiences interested and is well worth each of its 143 minutes.

SkyfallRated PG-13, Skyfall is a simple movie with a simple theme: Bond is back. This movie wasn’t so much of a story as a statement. Skyfall hit theaters in early November and is still showing in most theaters.

At 44, Daniel Craig is hardly an old man yet he is asked to play one in Skyfall. Craig’s performance as Bond is one to remember. He makes Bond believable, even in his current washed-up state. Craig easily shows Bond struggling with age and still delivers the timeless image of Bond that audiences expect: Bond is the best.

The acting in Skyfall is superb. Silva (Javier Bardem), the villain, could go down as one of the best Bond villains of all time. If Daniel Craig can work past the Quantum of Solace debacle he too could go down as one of the best actors to play Bond.

One of the things that Craig does well is the seriousness he brings to the part. Craig possesses an air of professionalism that serves him well. James Bond is not a silly, lighthearted man and Craig does a great job of portraying this through his facial expressions and reserved personality.

Javier Bardem plays an evil villain as well as Ralph Fiennes (ironically Fiennes also appears in this film). Bardem effortlessly portrays a deranged cyber-terrorist with an old score to settle with Bond’s boss. The ability to play an evil part is an underrated talent that Bardem clearly possesses.

The on-location filming is another one of the film’s high-points. Skyfall is not Star Wars. The crew actually went to the location the movie was set in. The movie is set in some incredible locations. The result is a string of well filmed scenes that lasts the entire movie and helps make Skyfall believable.

Despite all of its high-points and cinematic brilliance, Skyfall is marred by flaws. None of these flaws are fatal but added together they sometimes threaten the movie.

One of the more significant flaws is a lack in character development. Tickets to Skyfall should come with a manual explaining whom each of the characters is. Skyfall fails to fully explain the role or utilize the talents of Berenice Marlohe who plays a character named Severine. Severine is technically the new Bond girl; however, the total amount of time she appears in the movie cannot exceed 15 minutes. Her role is simple: provide Bond a road map that leads right to the villain’s front door. Oh and by the laws of Bond, she has to look good while doing it.

The villain’s motive is not made clear until well into the movie. He first appears as a random antagonist who MI6 would like to stop. His significance and the reasons behind his villainous acts are left out completely.

Another puzzling omission is the lack of futuristic gadgets. Ever since James Bond was first introduced in Dr. No, he has used countless futuristic gadgets. Skyfall’s creators clearly decided not to go for the jetpacks and exploding pens. Uncharacteristically, Bond has a gun and a radio which emits a distress signal. The classic Aston Martin “Bond Car” also makes an appearance but is used only in a symbolic fashion and does not add anything to the movie or affect the plot in anyway.

Surprisingly, Skyfall does not miss a beat and audiences will not even notice the lack of gadgets until the movie is over. The action scenes are believable. Everything that occurs feels humanly possible or at least possible for the world’s greatest secret agent.

Skyfall does a surprisingly good job of pulling itself together and wrapping everything up in the last few scenes. The movie feels complete and what questions the audience is left with are quickly answered by Wikipedia.

When everything is said and done, Skyfall could possibly be considered the second or third best movie of the year. During a year with so many big time films that is saying quite a bit.

Image Courtesy: The Guardian