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Newcomer's Review
While I have seen pieces of one of the Connery films (and of which one, I don't know), this was the first Bond movie I'd ever seen all the way through. I'm well aware of the popular image of James Bond, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect, given my lack of familiarity with the source content. Needless to say, I was quite surprised with this movie, but not entirely displeased.

What I liked:

  • The performances were all brilliant. Every last one. What surprised me most about it, though, was how understated the acting was. It was quite a bit more believable than I was expecting, and thus quite a bit more effective as well.

  • Presentation. As I understand is usually expected, the score was fantastic. The cinematography was excellent as well. I always understood the basics of what was going on, no matter how frantic the scene.

  • In terms of story, I appreciated the use of literary theming they had going on with the whole "old vs. new" concept. Heavy-handed as it may have been, it's still not something you see a lot of in your average action flick, especially since it's given the ambiguity treatment, because while the central protagonists are ultimately on the "old" side, Bond fails to protect his memories, as his house is destroyed, or his boss, the shining proponent of the old ways the MI 6 uses. I just wish they defined more clearly what they meant by "old" and "new"

  • Similarly, the villain was one of the more intimidating ones I've seen in cinema. While I've seen the comparisons to the Joker, Silva here doesn't have a large history or name recognition to draw from, and still managed to leave quite the lasting impression on me. Nevermind that I haven't seen the Nolan Batman films either.

What wasn't so good:

  • The opening could have been done better. The scene goes on for quite awhile, and while it does involve numerous well-shot action scenes, they don't explain what's going on until much later, making it hard to care.

  • The final scene with Q has him trying to divert Silva with a false computer trail. This plot thread is then unceremoniously dropped and never mentioned again.

Ultimately, I'm glad I saw Skyfall. It probably wasn't the best entry point, given that I felt I missed a lot of references, but the movie was strong enough in its own right. It deserves a watch.
IIRC, The final scene with Q has him cooking up some kind of magic computer thing to divert everyone other than Silva, IOW so the final confrontation can be between Bond and Silva with no interference. It's not mentioned again because it apparently worked.
comment #16989 luomo 27th Nov 12
It's not really clearly established how many men the guy has under his control or how many were on Bond's trail at the time, so I didn't really get that impression. I was under the assumption that all Q managed to do was slow them down, giving Bond and M time to prepare their defenses.
comment #16991 DeviousRecital 27th Nov 12
Huh. I thought they were pretty clear that Q's job was to make a trail for Silva leading to Scotland, subtle enough for Silva to get (and ONLY Silva), but not so subtle that he'd miss it completely. (I'm pretty sure that's exactly what Bond said he was doing in the movie proper.) How one would do such a thing is conveniently never brought up, but the movie still mentioned his purpose.

Sorry for harping on this one point. I agree with pretty much all the rest of your review. I was in a similar boat as you - this was the first Bond movie I've seen - and I still immensely enjoyed myself.
comment #16993 JackAlsworth 27th Nov 12
It is clear that Q was trying to send them somewhere, but the results of this weren't ever really explained unless he actually was trying to send them towards Scotland. If that's the case, I must have misheard them or something. Though if that is true, one has to ask why Bond would want Silva to come after him, and why Q would go through with that instead of sending Silva and his men towards a trap laid by a fully outfitted MI 6 team instead of one unstable agent and two people on the verge of retirement holed up in an old house with nothing more than a few shotguns, some explosives and a secret passage.
comment #16994 DeviousRecital 27th Nov 12
Basically, Bond wanted to draw Silva into an ambush, but he couldn't rely on a larger force, or indeed, anyone outside of the couple of MI 6 members who were already in on it. If a squad of SAS troops were deployed to Scotland, Silva would almost certainly find out about it, and avoided the trap altogether. Bond uses Silva's own brilliance as a hacker against him, getting Q to create "accidental", subtle tracks which lead all the way to the ambush site. Bond probably wasn't expecting Silva to materialize with an attack helicopter, however.

I like to ponder about that helicopter. Did Silva have to lead a huge attack against an air force base to get hold of one? Did he have to stop off at a Currys, so that he could deck it out with speakers?
comment #16997 maninahat 27th Nov 12
Silva seems to be fantastically rich, perhaps through e-theft, so buying a helicopter isn't out of the question. As I saw it, it was basically a transport with a machine gunner in it. Getting the gun and getting it all into Scottish airspace would certainly present some difficulties. I wonder why he didn't lead with that, rather than just sending some random goons in to get slaughtered.
comment #16999 luomo 28th Nov 12
Sorting Algorithm Of Evil. Mooks always go first. Always.
comment #17000 JackAlsworth 28th Nov 12
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