Early reviews are in for Sam Mendes’ Skyfall, the latest film in the James Bond series. Reactions have been overwhelmingly positive so far with the phrase “Best. Bond. Ever.” being thrown about. While it may very well be true, those of us stateside won’t know for sure until Skyfall debuts on November 9th. In the meantime, we’ve trod carefully through the spoiler-laden minefield of reviews to bring you the latest word on Skyfall from those in the know. Plus, we have a new clip to share with you that should tide you over.
Skyfall stars Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Helen McCrory, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Berenice Marlohe and Naomie Harris. Hit the jump to check out the new clip and early reviews.
Here’s the new clip from Skyfall first, in case you want to avoid even the most remote spoilers for the film (via Yahoo!). The reviews and Tweets follow below.
Here’s a sampling of the reviews so far. Digital Spy echoed a common sentiment, calling Skyfall “a significant improvement on its ramshackle predecessor Quantum of Solace.” They go on to say that “007 fans have a film that respects Bond’s lengthy screen history while pushing its hero into new territory.” Head over to the above-mentioned link for their full review, but here’s their closer:
Skyfall‘s clean, direct narrative, blistering action sequences (a neon-lit Shanghai showdown deserves to be singled out) and strong performances across the board elevate it to the upper end of the Bond movie spectrum. There may be an awful lot of Heineken and a few minutes too many, but you won’t walk out of this disappointed. Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks.
The Times gave the film five stars, saying:
Skyfall is a great British bulldog of a movie. From the moment the orchestral sound of Adele belts out, sending a nostalgic shiver down the audience’s collective spine, we know this will be a triumphant return to classic Bond. Sam Mendes, the director, deftly balances fanboy worship of 007 tradition with sophisticated film-making, and (apart from early Connery), nobody does it better than Daniel Craig.
The Daily Mail, another five-star rater, gave this odd description of the film:
Skyfall was a fantastic combination of 007 meets Bourne meets Spooks meets Home Alone.
And although I’m not familiar with Spooks, I can’t wait to see how the hell Home Alone fits into Skyfall. The review also chose to highlight M, played by Dame Judi Dench (slightly spoilery quote ahead):
Bond is back and he’s more dangerous than ever but so is M who is the most ruthless character in Skyfall.
As played by Dame Judi Dench, the security services chief is like a lioness in winter as she prowls her office ordering an agent to ‘take the bloody shot’, a move that puts Daniel Craig’s craggy James Bond in grave danger.
A sinister force from M’s past, played with delicious relish by Javier Bardem, has stolen the identities of M’s agents.
Finally, The Playlist draws a comparison between Mendes’ Skyfall and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, saying, “many of the qualities that Nolan brought to the “Batman” series are present and correct in “Skyfall,” both in the good and the bad.” Still a positive review, it wasn’t quite as glowing as the rest. See below:
There are some other missteps along the way. At nearly two and a half hour, the film doesn’t drag, but it feels a little over-extended, particularly in a climax that doesn’t quite live up to what went before. A couple of green-screen shots, especially early on, are a little ropey. And while the nods to the series’ past in its 50th anniversary are welcome, some come across as groan-worthy rather than clever (there’s one moment in a Macau casino that feels like it must be a deliberate nod to the more out-there moments of theRoger Moore era, because we can’t see what it’s doing there otherwise…)
But Mendes get a lot more right than he gets wrong, and in the process has found a confident new identity for the franchise — not afraid of its past, but not chasing its competitors, or being scared of the future either. It might take another viewing of each to see if it exceeds “Casino Royale” as the best since the Connery days, but at the very least, it makes clear that, after the disappointment of “Quantum Of Solace,” that Bond is back, and he’s not going anywhere. [B+]
Some #Skyfall Tweets: