The first reviews for 'Skyfall' are overwhelmingly
positive. MI6 rounds up a non-spoiler summary...
Early UK Press Reviews
12th October 2012
Sony, MGM and EON Productions hosted the first
media screening of the new James Bond film on Friday 12th October
2012. All of
the British press and media seemed to be attending the
1,600 seat screening along with MI6. All of the press excerpts
to avoid plot spoilers.
Mendes has gone back to basics: chases, stunts, fights. At the
same time, he has subtly re-invented the franchise, throwing
in far greater depth of characterization than we’re accustomed
to in a series of films that are often proudly superficial.... Craig
again impresses as Bond. He switches without fuss from Roger
Moore-style self-deprecating comedy (adjusting his cuff
links in action sequences) to the darker, more intense scenes
which focus on Bond’s childhood traumas.
Craig is on cracking form as Bond, all rippling muscles and curling
lip and Dame Judi Dench puts in an elegantly melancholy performance
as M. Apparently director Sam Mendes lobbied hard to get Javier
Bardem on board as the villain and he does do rather a nice
chilling psychopathic monsters. Is he good here? The answer is
a qualified yes. He is not a villain in pursuit of world domination
like Ernst Blofeld, and he is slightly upstaged by his own
hair but he never
fails to surprise.That he can make us laugh at the same time only
makes him more menacing.
Mendes knows there’s a risk of appearing po-faced by omitting
the traditional pleasures of a Bond movie, and his approach seems
calculated to stick to the formula while moving things forward...
It's only in the second half of the film, which takes place entirely
in the UK, that you get the feeling that Mendes has
dealt the compulsory 007 cards that any Bond director has to
play. Now he’s properly able to get stuck into a more punchy,
more unified mix of action, emotion and story that climaxes in
a fittingly isolated and lonely final showdown between Bond and
his latest nemesis.
Skyfall is a hugely enjoyable action spectacular, but more grounded and cogent
than the previous and disappointing outing, Quantum of Solace. It finds the
right position on the spectrum between extravagance and realism: what I think
of as the imaginary line running from Bond's invisible car in Die Another Day
and Peter Guillam's Citroën DS in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy... From the
opening in Istanbul to the final siege shootout in the Scottish Highlands, this
is a supremely enjoyable and even sentimental spectacle, giving us
an attractively human (though never humane) Bond. Despite the title, he is a
hero who just keeps on defying gravity.
is a great British bulldog of a movie. From the moment the
orchestral sound of Adele belts out, sending a nostalgic shiver
audience’s collective spine, we know this will be a triumphant
classic Bond. Sam Mendes, the director, deftly balances fanboy
007 tradition with sophisticated film-making, and (apart from
Connery), nobody does it better than Daniel Craig.
Mendes has done a marvelous job and Craig is superb -- looking
super cool in a Tom Ford suit-- as a Bond who's still looking
suave after 50 years giving pleasure to all. Great actress that
she is the dynamic Dame still knows how to raise a laugh or two
even though M's in a thundering mood .Two new operatives, played
by Naomie Harris and Ben Wishaw, help 007 tool up to get after
the bad guys and I have to tell you that Bardem turns Silva into
one helluva Mr. Bad-ass.
When is a Bond film not a Bond film? It’s a question likely
to prey on the minds of the very many cinema goers who will see
this 23rd official 007 adventure. Skyfall shakes together familiar
elements of the Ian Fleming canon – the cars, the guns,
the exotic locales with the dames to match – into a blistering
comic book escapade that the old Bond, and one suspects Fleming
too, would find altogether alien.
British director Sam Mendes knows what has made Britain great
since the first Bond film came out in 1962 and that is being
cool. This film is stylish, witty and a class above the competition.
It’s also irreverent about its past. Daniel Craig again proves
himself to be a great Bond. Like a certain beer, which I won’t
identify because its an expensive piece of product placement to
have James drinking
it in Skyfall, Bond refreshes the parts other spy movies can’t
This is, you might say, the Diamond Jubilee Bond. You might have thought it would
be hard to surpass Bond’s role stepping out with the Queen at the Olympics?
Well, Skyfall runs it close.
The man with the golden hair - aka Daniel Craig - returns for what might just
be the best James Bond film ever. Enthralling, explosive and often very funny,
Skyfall doesn't just exceed expectations but shatters them like a bullet to
head. While Skyfall looks and feels like a Bond film - the exotic
locales, the memorable villain and an appearance from that iconic silver Aston
Martin - director Sam Mendes hasn't been afraid to play with the formula.
The ever-impressive Daniel Craig is certainly put through the
wringer in his third appearance as 007, in a story that boldly
delves into his past to offer a tantalising glimpse at what makes
him tick and where his loyalties lie. Overall, the one word that
really describes Skyfall is class. Mendes may have taken the series
somewhere new by giving the drama a heightened intensity, but he’s
only been able to do that successfully by embracing the franchise’s
past. Mendes’s film certainly stands out, and there’s
a sense that things may be slightly different from now on. This
is no reboot, more a recalibration of the format, or perhaps even,
as Bond himself deftly puts it, “a resurrection”.
Putting the "intelligence" in MI6, "Skyfall" reps
a smart, savvy and incredibly satisfying addition to the 007
oeuvre, one that places Judi Dench's M at the center of the action.
It's taken 23 films and 50 years to get Bond's backstory, but
the wait was worth it. In Sam Mendes' hands, the franchise comes
full circle, revealing the three-film Daniel Craig cycle to be
both prelude and coda to the entire series via a foxy chess move
that puts these pics on par with Christopher Nolan's "Dark
Knight" trilogy as best-case exemplars of what cinematic
brands can achieve, resulting in a recipe for nothing short of
The most significant reset of the 23-film series that's unconnected
to a change of the actor playing 007, this long-awaited third
outing for Daniel Craig feels more seriously connected to real-world
concerns than any previous entry, despite the usual outlandish
action scenes, glittering settings and larger-than-life characters.
Dramatically gripping while still brandishing a droll undercurrent
of humor, this beautifully made film will certainly be embraced
as one of the best Bonds by loyal fans worldwide and leaves you
wanting the next one to turn up sooner than four years from now.