Review:“Skyfall” is every anglophile’s dream film

Ryan Morris

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

James Bond fans rejoiced as the latest installment in the “007” franchise opened in theaters last Friday.

“Skyfall” is the third Bond film to star Daniel Craig as the leading role.

The title is a reference to Bond’s childhood home in rural Scotland, where the final, major battle is played out.

The most descriptive word that comes to mind after seeing “Skyfall” is “British.” In a way, “007” is one of the last great remnants of the British Empire, and this film acknowledges that and accordingly focuses heavily on what makes one English.

From M and Bond’s cool aloofness and arching accents to the frequent shots of London’s skyline and union flags, Bond’s Englishness is ubiquitous.

Perhaps as a nod to the 50th anniversary of the franchise, “Skyfall” makes frequent references to past Bond movies – most notably with the inclusion of the iconic Aston Martin car from “Goldfinger,” which is the very same down to the license plate number and sticker on the back.

And no Bond film would be complete without a perfectly vile villain. Javier Bardem fills the role so completely in the character of Silva, a former agent of M’s who holds her responsible for the years he was tortured by the Chinese.

With such a personal mission, Bond’s loyalties to Queen and country are tested and the relationship between M and 007 is unveiled a little.

This is also a Bond film that takes death much more seriously than previous ones. In an especially poignant scene, Dame Judy Dench as M stands with her head down in front of a line of Union flag-draped coffins, as if asking herself “is this all worth it?”

In fact, that is a theme that runs through the entire movie. The film plays with both Craig’s and Bond’s advancing age.

Frequent references are made to the tune of whether or not 007 has “still got it.” One example is the hiring of a cheeky tech guy who looks about 12 years old but clearly knows much more about computers than Bond ever will.

Predictably and endearingly, in the end it’s clear that of course he’s still got it.

He’s Bond. James Bond.

 

Rating: Four out of four stars

Story: EMMA SPECKMAN, Senior A&E Reporter