SkyFall fails on almost Every Level. Michelle’s Review

Skyfall Movie Review

Where to begin, where to begin?  After being in limbo and bankruptcy heck for the last several years there was actually a chance that we would never have another Bond film. Many would say this would have been a tragedy because Daniel Craig was just starting to grow into the role. He had a lauded outing in Casino Royale but a dud in the follow-up Quantum of Solace.

As much as I love Daniel Craig as an actor, he is not my Bond.  Perhaps Skyfall and his previous efforts would have worked if the character was called anything other than James Bond. I know everyone loves the idea of a stripped down, gritty, realistic Bond more like the books than the films. But frankly, screw that noise!  My Bond is not some whiney, emo, staring at the wall, beer drinking “tough guy.”

My Bond loves women, has cool gadgets, a hot car that does neat things, beats the crap out of people and is actually proactive. He doesn’t sit around waiting for things to happen.  Now before everyone jump on me, I know Bond goes after the bad guys in this but he spends a large chunk of this film just moping. It gets annoying. You are James Bond! Have some FUN! There’s one point where he literally just watched a guy assassinate someone instead of jumping in to prevent it.

Skyfall Movie Review

The opening sequence in Skyfall has to be one of the most boring, by the numbers car chases that I’ve seen in awhile. It goes on way too long, but the payoff is great and the title sequence is beautiful. But what is up with Adele’s horrible theme song? We had the classic Bond rifts to remind us that we were watching a Bond movie, but a lot of Thomas Newman’s score was forgettable.

Skyfall celebrates 50 years of Bond and it seems like it is completely at odds with itself. The four people who wrote this movie, Sam Mendes and the producers seem completely schizophrenic. On the one hand it wants to celebrate its rich legacy on the other it spends way too much time belittling it and simply dismissing it. One example is when the new young, annoying Q (Ben Whishaw) says derisively “What did you expect? An exploding pen?” You are darn right I expected and wanted to see an exploding pen in this movie! I would have forgiven a lot if this wasn’t a Bond movie.

Skyfall Movie Review

What the heck was with Javier Bardem? His portrayal of the main bad guy Silva was just laughably bad, campy and silly.  The idea of a former agent going bad is a sound one, but was done so much better in Goldeneye. His goal is pretty simple and personal – he wants to see M (Judi Dench) suffer.

Dench is a great actress she was always the wrong choice as M for the Bond movies, especially the Craig ones. She always looks like she’s sucking on lemons and doesn’t want to be in these movies. How many times has she screwed over Bond and her agents? It seems like M exists only to sell out her agents. Do we really need to visit this well worn plot point yet again? Ralph Fiennes is fine as the Civilian oversight guy. The Bond women Eve (Naomie Harris) and Severine (Bérénice Marlohe) are laughably bad.

The entire movie is about the Past vs. Future with everyone clearly coming down on the side of moving forward. Its a metaphor for the entire franchise and it beats it over your head. “We are going forward, forget everything you think you love about Bond! We’re going to be different. Change is good!” Blah, blah.

Here’s the thing. As much as pretentious people claim Bond should be some tough, serious, rough and tumble emo badass. He’s NOT! He never has been. Books are different than films for a reason AND let’s be frank, how many people actually read a Bond book?

For the first time in my life I came close to actually walking out of a Bond movie, at the very least there were a few moments where I almost fell asleep. Almost fell asleep during a BOND movie? That should never happen. Then again I almost fell asleep on Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale. Craig may be good as Bond, he certainly looks the part but he just doesn’t act like he wants to be there.

Final Grade F

  • Filmix

    Absolute NONSENSE !!!!!!! Being a Critic I can’t tell to you is just not your thing. Hang it up REALLY !!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/Haltsdad Loren Wonderduck

      Art is in the eye of the beholder. He’s blind. Leave it.

  • I<3BondFilms

    I’m with the reviewer…this was the WORST Bond movie ever!.There was too much emphasis on the old ways vs new ways theme in this film and was horribly connected with the film. There was also the theme with M being the mother figure. But that just makes my point, when did a bond film become a drama film about themes and thought, i go to see bond films for the action. The villain was a horrible choice and its not about his sexuality. There was no personal hatred connection with the villain, all u saw was a disgruntled ex-employee and his backstory of being sold out by M seemed as if they just stuck it in there. Bond should be saving the world from a WW3 or stopping a terrorist from destroying a city, not some stupid ex-MI6 employee who is trying to get back at M (Goldeneye did it wayyyy better). And wtf was with that stupid “Home Alone” parody at the skyfall manor? i laughed during that whole scene. Horrible movie. Was the first bond movie where i seriously considered walking out and getting my money back, Only good thing I liked was the hot-ass French chick.

  • Michael Lanich

    Ok, here we go.

    I’ve watched every Bond film multiple times. I’m one of those people who become a couch potato for a day when there is a Bond marathon on television. Now there are some really good Bond films and there are some fairly atrocious ones as well. Most of the Connery films were between good and classic status and Lazenby’s single go around is certainly well regarded too. However, while Roger Moore may have the most films as Bond, his films often fell far too much into the campy spectrum with only “For Your Eyes Only” and “The Spy who Loved Me” being “good” Bond films.

    With the exception of “GoldenEye”, Brosnan’s adventures felt over-the-top and bloated while rarely featuring a compelling villan. I liked Dalton’s outings because they dared to go in a darker direction. However Bond fans were not yet ready for a darker Bond.

    To me, this version of Bond is amazing because it dares to actually ask questions about the character, his motivations, what this life and his choices have on his soul (I.E. killing people) etc. Were also in a different era that requires more from out heroes than before.

    The big danger of Bond after a while (and this is from a big fan) is that towards the end of the Moore era, Bond had become little more than a series of catchphrases, pretty women, gadgets, and over-the-top villains. The stories got weirder and the freshness of the series had turned stale.

    A franchise like Bond needs to adapt. You use the backdrop of the time your in. Connery’s films leaned heavily on the cold war fears of people which lent a level of seriousness amid the quips. This is an era of cyber-terrorism and a self-awareness that didn’t exist back then.

    The humor is there in these latest films, but it’s more subdued. The kind of joke that gives you a chuckle rather than a hearty laugh.

    These days we want growth in our characters. It’s not just about the story and fun toys. That may have worked once, but those days are gone. Bond cannot stay the same. The reason he’s much darker in the books is because anyone who does what Bond does doesn’t saunter into a room and joke and laugh. This life takes it’s toll on your soul.

    Three dimensional characters, smart storylines, inflection, intelligent and thoughtful questions/commentary and character growth are all necessary. Past movies were almost pure escapist entertainment with the occasional classic that was smarter than usual. These movies endeavor to dig deeper in this post 9/11 world.

    And I’m sorry, but if you slept through this and Casino Royale, it makes me wonder what Bond movie you last watched that kept you riveted?

    Oh, and I’ve read 6 Bond books (Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Diamonds are Forever, Dr. No, Moonraker and Goldfinger)

    • malexandria

      One day I’ll read the Bond books. Great post! Impassioned, articulate, good job!

  • http://www.facebook.com/pirromount Mark Pirro

    I just can’t identify with a Bond who looks like someone who should be fixing my plumbing.

    • http://twitter.com/Fiction315 Cory Jackson

      You sir are retarded.

      • http://twitter.com/JackSangsu Jack Sangsu

        and your a asshole, so what.

        • http://twitter.com/Fiction315 Cory Jackson

          You’re * and yes, yes I am.

  • Mona

    Listen I agree with you, Craig isn’t my Bond, too

    BUT!!! Only because you don’t like Craig it doesn’t mean, the whole movie is bad!!!

    It’s different! I agree, the Young Q was a strange suprise for me… but he’s a cute guy tough. I was a bit disappointed… I expected more Gadgets. Maybe not exactly an exploding pen but well… something with more “boom boom” ;)

    The girls weren’t extremely good (but they didn’t have much scenes…) I prefer Halle Berry or Teri Hatcher and Michelle Yeoh. Izabella Scorupco didn’t have much to do, but she wasn’t bad at all…

    Generally the movie was in a typical Craig-Style. But I have to be honest. Even if he’s not my Bond, SKYFALL was a good Craig-Bond-Movie.

  • 33-year old James Bond

    Read your review but you know what, you fail in every line. I’ll pick one line you’ve said and it failed already. For example “Sam Mendes and the producers seem completely schizophrenic”. You may address them schizophrenic because you didn’t like the elements of Skyfall but no, the way you did your review, you are the real schizophrenic. Shut up your writing you piece of abnormal shit! Skyfall is the best made bond films. Grade of Skyfall: A. But, Your Grade of Skyfall: F. It means you’re schizophrenic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1225321535 Marijon Benedict

      Your review of the review was quite poorly written. The grammar alone was atrocious. “there are elements in Skyfall that had a lot of something primarily antagonized your own” means absolutely nothing. So before you attack other people you might want to get an editor for your attacks.

      • http://twitter.com/Fiction315 Cory Jackson

        I love when people who really have no point and just want sound smart comment on other peoples grammar…. makes them sound like a douche. haha Get bent.

  • disqus_eJxnec4SdV

    So you dont like the film because:
    1- It has real emotion
    2- the characters arent bland. You can relate and feel for them
    3- Bond actually shows us hes not a terminator, but a human being

    Seriously, you have no reason to be a reviewer. Considering you just want things to go BOOM and the protagonist to kill people just for fun, stick to the expendables

  • MistaC87

    Not sure if troll or unintelligible human being.

    Michelle, if you think you have a career ahead of you in reviewing movies, you are incredibly wrong.

    • nick griffin

      I thought she wrote a great review. Bond isn’t supposed to be real life–it’s Bond, James Bond. It’s mastermind villains threatening the World, not a bitter former gay agent assassinating little old M. Bond is about confidence and competencethat is nearly immaculate. James Bond is a fantasy character who confronts and conquers seemingly genius villains. Skyfall may be good theater, but its not Bond, James Bond.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Art-Salmons/100001016539462 Art Salmons

    Love that Naomie Harris. Back when I was in Special Forces, our sniper corps was just LOADED with gorgeous ethnic girls with big afros. They were everywhere, you couldn’t run a mission without bumping into waifish supermodel gunners. That’s why this film is so realistic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1225321535 Marijon Benedict

      You’re wrong. The reason the film is realistic is that a guy who can’t pass a physical and is still recovering from being shot in the shoulder was able to hang onto to a rail at the bottom of an elevator for some 50 flights. And he didn’t even have spidey hands or a utility belt.

  • Souzajoel

    As film criticism, this was laughable. Not going to say how I felt about the movie one way or the other… but this piece represents everything that has gone horribly wrong with film criticism in the age of blogging. Poorly structured, poorly thought out and poorly executed. Congratulations, you failed on all three levels. Yikes. I’d say quit your day job, but I can’t imagine this actually being your day job as you’re so terrible at it. So I’d say definitely keep your day job.

  • http://twitter.com/Fiction315 Cory Jackson

    This was an awful review….and really, close to walking out? This seems like a cry for attention or even maybe you trying to be different than the millions of other reviews that were great. This film had everything. Intense action scenes, great script, stellar cast, amazing chemistry, and probably one of the most cynical villain (aside from Heath’s Joker in TDK) of all time. Craig’s portrayal of Bond accompanied by great scripting arguably is the most spot on portrayal of Bond yet. Everyone is of course in titled to their own opinion but this is a cry and a stretch.

    • Goldie

      That’s all there was action scene action scene, excuse me some cheesy dialogue thrown in. Are you one of the producers?? “great script” wow you’ve lost all credibility. Chase chase chase chase stupid dialogue chase chase stupid dialogue. I’ve heard the same dialogue in other movies that’s how bad the dialogue is it’s not even original bad dialogue, they had to rip off dialogue wow. You have to build up to an action scene, it’s not action after action after action, it’s not even action but men guns men running guns men blowing things up guns BORING!!!

      • http://twitter.com/Fiction315 Cory Jackson

        This film definitely was not all action. come on now. Also there is more depth to the characters with the way it was written. I really pity people like you that really go into a movie with the intention of hating it and you can tell this happened for you. I’m not going to get into a huge argument because I have better use of my time but maybe you should think long and hard about your comments because there is an outlined formula, I’m sure you could find ANY movie in history that rips off a little dialog for another haha, and there is arguably less action scenes in this movie than Craigs previous 2. Not only that but the action scenes were PLOT DRIVING and not just random crap thrown in there. Good luck watching movies to enjoy them when you nit pick petty crap.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1225321535 Marijon Benedict

      No, I considered walking out a few times myself. I found that much of the film dragged, and I am losing patience with directors who pad their films unnecessarily.

  • Dan_Post

    Well said, Michelle. I pretty much felt the exact same way. Was so close to walking out. So bored. So sleepy. How can I care about a plot about M being rescued when she’s pretty much the most villainous, unlikeable person in the entire movie? She’s the worst one to Bond the whole way through. It sapped the entire opening scene of any pleasure, and it continued throughout the rest of the movie. Lines that would be affectionately scolding uttered by another actress come off as contemptuous and hateful. Not to mention her utter lack of conflict over killing her agents. In the end, after being so willing to sacrifice other people’s lives to kill a target, she refused to do the same when her own life would be sacrificed. The only good part of this movie was the last five minutes, when she died. I clapped silently in the theater. And then seeing who the new M was, and how immediately there was more caring, warmth, and fun in his repartee with Daniel Craig than in every Judy Dench movie put together, made me so glad she was gone. What an incredible relief. Goodbye, Judi Dench, and good riddance. Learn to care about men someday, so you can bring it to your roles. We are in the vast minority, however, Michelle. These boring, joyless, “dark” films are all the rage now. I won’t even go into the lack of gadgets and the rest, but I’m with you on that, too. Sick of films that denigrate their progenitors.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1225321535 Marijon Benedict

      I thought I was the only one who didn’t give two figs for M. I don’t blame Judi Dench, she’s a very good actress, but they chose to write her as static. At the beginning and the end she has little moments of “shucks that’s a shame I had to do that” but then went right back to shrugging her shoulders, certain she was right about everything. Her final confrontation with the villain lacked any introspection on her part. This was someone she knew well and she does little other than stare. That’s poor direction and storytelling in my book. I disagree with the assessment that the actors who played the villain and the “Bond Girl” were “laughably bad”….I thought both their performances all but saved the movie…but this review has some good points.

  • Phil Philou

    Hey shithead I only got one piece of advice for you: Watch the FUCK out. I’m coming for you and I’m gonna beat your fucking ass.

  • http://twitter.com/OwnLessLiveMore Own Less, Live More!

    Thanks for the review. This movie looks boring and politically correct. Whenever too many hands are in the barrel, the soup gets spoiled.

    • Goldie

      It’s very much politically correct, the movie has a very clear political agenda, they don’t make movies with characters and story anymore (well rarely), it’s simply pushing a new reality on the masses through movies tv shows etc… that the masses will continue to accept.

  • Goldie

    I agree with your review. It wasn’t a film, actually they don’t make films anymore, let’s say it wasn’t a movie, it was a James Bond Video Game. So boring, so bad. Daniel Craig is a very good actor, but he’s not interesting at all in this move, he’s not sexy, he’s not masculine, he’s not strong, he’s actually very robotic which isn’t James Bond, very much trans humanist. James Bond is a character, there weren’t any characters in this movie. Enough with the brainwashing Hollywood, it’s getting old, still working though. Forget the past, welcome to your new future of control, yeah I get it, still boring though. Let’s make sure we’re all safe, the individual is the bad guy, and the groups are the good guy, utter crap. The sheeple are eating it up as usual based on the reviews.

    • http://twitter.com/Fiction315 Cory Jackson

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHHA OMG OMG STOP THIS IS TOO FUNNY HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

  • Mack

    I saw the movie and was very bothered by how overly cold the opening scene was. I was half expecting it to be a training exercise. M was very flat and so was Bond. The fights and chase scenes weren’t bad, but it reminded me of Bond movies from the 1980′s. It made me feel nostalgic, but I’m still not sure if that was their intention. The villain was bad in a good way, but his humorous homosexual comments should make everyone feel uncomfortable, especially gay people. It was a series of great locales and Bond’s physical transformation was impressive, but the dialogue was just so tit-for-tat that it got long-winded after a while. Casino Royale was the best Bond movie. This was either the second best or one of the worst–I’m still not sure. It was a movie trying to be a new/old Bond movie and it succeeded/failed.

  • Shady

    Horrible review. I don’t mind that you don’t like the film, but you can’t actually convince me why it’s bad except that you can’t accept a little variety on the portrayal of Bond. You can’t judge it to be bad just because it’s DIFFERENT from the previous image of Bond – it could a good change as much as a bad one.

    “What the heck was with Javier Bardem? His portrayal of the main bad guy Silva was just laughably bad, campy and silly.” Seriously? This is all you have to say about the villain? HOW is it laughably bad and silly? (Campy, maybe – but that doesn’t make it bad.) You are writing like a whining child. Sure, you are entitled to your own opinions, but at least give us a reason for it!

  • VagoDamitio

    I have to agree with you. This was the worst of the Bond movies by far. Time to let the franchise die if they are going to keep making them like this.

    • http://twitter.com/Fiction315 Cory Jackson

      Did you watch QOS or any of Roger Moore’s? lol What a joke you are.

  • ExJax

    And you hate presents at Christmas, parties, good meals, and multiple orgasms Some people complain about great things just to draw attention to themselves. By being contradictory they hope to paint themselves as independent and unique, even though they are actually needy and shallow. I suggest you seek therapy and stop taking out your frustrations by giving bad reviews to good movies.

    • http://twitter.com/JackSangsu Jack Sangsu

      And i hate people who just blindly follow the pack. Just so they can seem to be cool.

  • malexandria

    Due to my being a huge Bond fan, I was probably harsher with my final grade than I normally would have been. I did say I could have let a lot of this go if it wasn’t a Bond film. The Craig films just are not BOND movies. I’m sick of the “We’re new, we’re different, we’re re-establishing the character.” How many movies do we have to sit through before they get on with it?

    For the record, Roger Moore was my first Bond so I will always like his movies more than the others. It is popular to crap on his movies but for the time they were fun, entertaining movies. Yeah the last couple were indefensible crap (but still better than any of Craig’s movies) but Moonraker was a great movie (hated Jaws) with some amazing action set pieces, Live and Let Die had an amazing theme song and just the camp factor made it fun – even though it is bad I can never not watch it when it is on. When I was kid I hated For Your Eyes Only but that movie ages pretty well. The Man With The Golden Gun – eh.

    Brosnan I thought was a fantastic Bond stuck in so-so movies although I think Goldeneye was probably the best Bond in the last 8 films, Die Another Day while it got progressively worse had an amazing opening and I loved Brosnan’s intensity in it. Tomorrow Never Dies – eh, but Michelle Yoh was awesome. Connery Bonds are classic and can’t say anything bad about those and I finally watched From Russia With Love – completely sexist Bond but great movie. Still not sure how I feel about Timothy Dalton as Bond – I generally liked all his movies, just not convinced I liked him in the part.

  • Habeus

    Good review. I was wondering if I was the only one who found this movie disappointing and horrible.

  • http://www.facebook.com/royce.bable Royce Bable

    i completely agree with everything written here. this film was past the humorously disappointing stage and onto the level of just plain annoying. no gadgets. no pillow talk with a beautiful woman who somehow divulges information. no amazing car chase. no martini. No Bond!

  • Bruce Heinsius

    Reviews are opinions, so it is silly to insult a reviewer for having a different opinion than your own. Please behave.

  • John

    Michelle, I can’t agree with you-and neither do most other people. You need to proofread your reviews-I found two or three mistakes in this one! As evidenced by MOST of the reviews here and all over the net, Skyfall is arguably the best Bond movie ever-but you, of course, are entitled to to your own opinion!

  • Rich

    Agree with the Review.

    Everything that makes Bond great was missing from this.

    Personally I thought Casino Royale was near-perfect, and Craig’s performance in that was my favorite Bond on screen.

    Skyfall was awful for many reasons, let this serve to illustrate:

    Severine: “How much do you know about fear?”
    Bond: “All there is.
    “Severine: “Not like this, not like him!”

    …and turns out she’s talking about a camp blonde computer hacker with mommy issues.

  • nick griffin

    Michelle, excellent review. I agree with you. Where is the naked sex bomb painted gold, the cutting edge gadgets like a super magnet watch and state of the art car-submarine? There is no arch villain bent on blackmailing the Worlds’ governments or a heroin distributor cloaking his operations with voodoo rituals and a fortuneteller virgin. What happened to the suave ladies man who relentlessly bedded females, friend and foe, instead of the new Bond who tacitly admits he may be bisexual? And finally, the new Bond, unlike the old, failed to accomplish both of his missions–the secret files got away and M was assassinated. This isn’t the 007 my son’s Dad grew up with, that’s for sure.

  • Dapper_Dave

    Oh no! Someone has an opinion different than mine!! FLAME HER!!!

    This movie was garbage, made for the unintelligent masses, that just need flashy visuals, sexy actors on screen to call it a good movie. If you wrap up a turd in a box with fancy wrapping paper and a bow, it may look pretty but it’s still sh*t on the inside.

  • http://twitter.com/MikeJakermen Mike Jakermen

    I agree with people who are against this Review. How Dare this lady give a opinion thats different from our own smug opinions. And How Dare she ask that a movie to be enjoyable to watch. How Dare ask for characters who aren’t bland unlikable emo rejects. How Dare She. Because if everyone says its a masterpiece it must be true, right. Just follow the leader and follow the three blind mice. That all we ask.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mephistopheles.lux Mephistopheles Lux

    Your review was spot on. I don’t understand why so many critics liked it. The only thing I disagree with was your take on the theme song.