Classic Movie Reviews are occasional posts in which I review a movie from the past. It might have to do with a movie coming out that week or just a personal favorite of mine. These reviews may contain spoilers.
As I’ve done in the past, I’m reviewing several previous movies in a franchise before a new installment (Mission Impossible movies, Terminator movies). This time I’m looking at Casino Royale and Skyfall before Spectre comes out. I’m leaving out Quantum of Solace because I don’t like it and didn’t want to rewatch it to give it a proper review. As always, these reviews will be a bit shorter.
Daniel Craig kicks off his Bond career in my favorite movie of the series. I’m a huge fan of his style of Bond. I like the grittier, darker tone these movies take. You get it straight from the start with the brutal black and white fight scene. This movie has a little bit of everything- great action, awesome stunts (one of which made my top 10 movie stunts list), the funny quips, a good villain, a stunning Bond girl, and manages to make poker fun to watch. Don’t get me wrong, poker is fun, but not so much to watch. But this movie makes it intense and interesting. Bond and the villain, Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), have some really good back and forth moments. There isn’t much I don’t like about this movie. I will say it’s a little long and the story loses me a touch at points but not enough for me to be overly confused. It’s a very entertaining movie that has high rewatchability. Again, it’s my favorite in the series. Casino Royale gets a 4.5/5.
After the disappointing Quantum of Solace, I was cautiously excited about Skyfall. It didn’t disappoint. It turned Daniel Craig into my favorite Bond. It’s one of the most gripping Bond films to date from the opening chase scene to the last fight scene. It also takes the humanizing of Bond that Casino Royale started and expands it. He is a somewhat broken man with a troubled past that makes him relatable to the rest of us. He makes mistakes and isn’t perfect but is always doing his best for his country. It’s a great take on Bond. Speaking of great, let’s talk about the villain. Javier Bardem as Silva is one of, if not the best Bond villain to date. You see it as soon as he is introduced with his one shot monologue about rats. He’s fun to watch and it’s one of the reasons the movie is so interesting. His plan doesn’t make any sense at all but you don’t notice it because it’s so fun to watch. This movie also has one of the best Bond songs ever. The movie does a lot right, but has a few flaws. My biggest issue is the movie neglects to show how Bond somehow survives the gunshot and thousand foot fall of the bridge in the beginning. It shows him lifeless in the water and then all the sudden he’s on a tropical island with an unknown woman playing drinking games with scorpions. I mean it’s cool but how did he survive? It also has some weak Bond girls at best (nonexistent at worst). Who are they? He has the girl at the beginning, flirts with Moneypenny, and there’s the girl who gets shot whose name I don’t even remember. The Bond girls are a big part of this franchise and this movie doesn’t live up to past installments. It’s not a huge deal but noticeable. All in all, it’s a really good movie with a very interesting story. It’s my second favorite Bond movie, just behind Casino Royale. In fact, they are so close that they get the same score. Skyfall gets 4.5/5.
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