Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Skyfall Review Neither Shaken Nor Stirred

Director  Sam Mendes

Cast  Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes

My Rating  2.5/5

Sam Mendes is one of my favorite directors. His first film "American Beauty" is etched in my mind, scene by scene, frame by frame.  Followed by the crime drama Road to Perdition. Then came Jarhead, set in the gulf war, followed by Revolutionary Road, a multiple award winning intimate look at an extremely dysfunctional marriage. Away We Go, another favorite of mine takes you on a trip with a sensitive and satirical look at the American Family when a to-be parents couple goes hunting for a suitable "home" for their unborn child. He obviously knows America, Americans, relationships, intimacy and dark humor.

Cut to Skyfall. Celebrating 50 Years of Bond'age. James Bond, right, we love him. We love his dare-devilry, his hot persona, his panache, his British accent, his gadgets, his girls and his saving the day.

So when you mix Mendes with MI5, you expect nothing short of an engaging story, even if differently told.

Add to it the IMAX experience, where every frame is larger than life, every sound is magnified.

The opening sequence is absolutely phenomenal, pulsating, adrenalin pumping, shot fantastically. What a ride!

And then, the roller coaster faces a power failure and slows down... till it reaches a point where you feel stuck. The view is great, but you want more, you want the ride to continue, you want your gut to feel that whoosh. Sorry guys, Skyfall is a very well mounted film with some cool set pieces, but does it give you the thrill of a Bond caper? Well I say No.

The set up of one ever dedicated spy who despite a big let down by M is back and hungry for more, and another gone rogue who is out to destroy the very core of MI5 and Madame M with it sounded so good, but nothing is what it seems in this age of mega marketing blitzkrieg.

For me a weak villain has never worked, never will. Javier Bardem with all his nuances and veiled threats and theatrics, can not go beyond in a character which is surrounded by so many loop holes. He generates a good chuckle but not terror.

Daniel Craig is as expected, hands on action, some cool dialogues, but alas no babe! tsk tsk, no hot sex in this one. The so-called Bond girl in this one is just... Sad. In fact he is stripped off of a lot of Bond paraphernalia, thank god for the classy car in the end.

Sam Mendez has brought his touch, yes, but Bond has to be larger than life, he can not be ordinary, he was conceived as a Super Spy, a sexy Brit who is stylish, slick and smooth. Emotions are nice, but where is the thrill.

These things can only be turned around in a crisp tale, but here the movie actually takes off post interval. By then you have reached "I don't care".

Watch it if you must, like me, who can not miss a Bond film, even if it falls way beyond expectations like Skyfall.

Hope you are shaken and stirred, I was not.


  1. There’s a lot of the old-school stuff here for Bond that will make die-hard fans go insane, but a lot of other cooler, newer stuff as well that definitely has me more amped up to see where this franchise takes itself. Good review.

  2. Thanks for your response! Yes, Bond as a franchise is something which will keep tickling the fantasy of his followers for a long time to come, and I can understand this is for the new gen which likes instant noodles. I just felt the villain was a let down, and that was the beginning of the end for me. Thanks for liking the review. Cheers!