EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "Skyfall." Want to be a film fan? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 stars out of 4
After seeing the last 22 James Bond films, the latest entry, "Skyfall," easily makes one of the top five best. "Skyfall" has every aspect of a great Bond movie covered: beautiful women, high-flying action, a sinister villain, brilliant scenery and of course the super spy himself, James Bond. In his third stint as 007, Daniel Craig now owns the Bond character and has rebounded nicely with his best effort after a not so good "Quantum of Solace."
As is customary in every Bond movie, the beginning starts off in an action-packed, fast- paced, destructive chase scene through the streets of Istanbul and onto the top of a train with Bond fighting an enemy operative to recover sensitive information. As the story unfolds, Javier Bardem makes his debut as the lunatic cyber-terrorist Silva set on revenge and destruction aimed at Judi Dench's M and MI-6. Bardem lives up to the classic Bond villain with elaborate plans and the witty back-and-forth sparing with Bond. The action and dramatic scenes throughout the film are set in very colorful and exotic locations from a Shanghai skyscraper, a floating Macau casino, a deserted island, the rolling hills of Scotland to the subway tunnels and sewers of London. Director Sam Mendes blends superb acting and locations with a thrill ride adventure story that lives up to what we all expect in a Bond movie.
"Skyfall" is easily the best action film of the year and sets up Daniel Craig to be James Bond for many years to come.
-- Ken Gamble, Lawrenceville
4 stars out of 4
Bond movies are pretty much the male version of chick flicks. Most women don't get it -- car chases, cool gadgets, beautiful women. What's not to love?
Bond movies have become more serious over the years and the gadgets are gone. But where it lacks humor, it more than makes up in action sequences and a stealthy plot that doesn't just move full steam forward, it tears through the minutes relentlessly. It opens with a fast-paced action sequence that kicks things into high gear. Motorcycles on rooftops. Need I say more? Turns out someone has a list of British secret agents they are about to expose. And of course it's up to the best agent in the world to get it back.
A near death experience gives Bond a bit of rest before putting him back in the middle of the action and giving us a brief glimpse of an agent on the edge of falling apart in the process.
Both Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem are excellent and the film's action sequences are superb. They even manage a nice homage to days gone by. It's a perfect mix of old and new and well worth seeing.
-- Ron Adams, Statham
2.5 stars out of 4
James Bond has become one of us and he has become an old fart member of AARP. This movie was a tad long on the tooth and not as riveting as other Bond movies. No super gadgets, no new cars, no savory seduction of voluptuous damsels, just terrorism in the heart of London with a couple of action scenes that went too fast to savor.
I love my James Bond movies because they take you to a state of disbelief from your day to day reality for 1:15, 1:45 tops. This one is at 2:23 and you start wondering why are you still in the theater and when you add the never ending commercials at the beginning, this is a three hour ordeal.
That's it. Sorry to spill the magic beans. This fan is not happy with this latest Bond movie.
-- Alfred Richner, Duluth