Nanu Contributors Review Skyfall

Skyfall Review

The latest James Bond film seemed the perfect opportunity for us to try out a new feature on the site. As a collective we will be going to cultural/lifestyle events, so that you have a balanced opinion we will then each individually give you our thoughts. This is our review of Skyfall. More opinions will be added over the course of the next few days. Enjoy.

Angus Niven

Skyfall, Skyfall, Skyfall. Am I right?


Yes I am

End of review? I wish, frankly that’s all I feel is necessary. If you have seen it you understand, Skyfall is sublime. Skyfall constructs and deconstructs and then recoonstruc again some of cinemas best known but under defined characters. M, Bond and Q are the headlines of course, but there are some other surprises tucked in there also.

The development of 50 year old characters aside Skyfall is the epitome of British action cinema. The second unit direction is flawless, fast paced ludicrously beautiful sequences are scattered amongst the luscious development arcs.

Shanghai and the Highlands play host to my two favorite action sequences. No qualifications, they are two of my favorite action sequences ever full bloody stop.

Now obviously I have avoided spoilers, I have rewatching the advert it is clear I can talk about two things I enjoyed (without spoiling the film).

1) Q. It’s no secret that q is back, back and younger than ever. There is a good deal of complaints regarding his hipster glasses and youth. Well those moaning myrtles can shut it. The youth of Q is a pretty accurate representation of GCHQ’s current batch of Boffins. Barely 2 weeks ago William Hague was at Bletchely Park to begin the recruiting drive for the Foreign Offices team who are “a little bit naughty”. Taking on the best and brightest naughty folk within the cyber community is the only way for modern security to keep up. Q is vital in any future iterations of Bond whether you like it or not a convincing spy thriller will require some key tapping cyber warfare. Q cracks wise, wears cardigans and designs algorithms personally I would prefer to have him at the keyboard than James (or a square).

2) Ralph Fiennes finery. Tom Ford has once again been called upon to transform Skyfall into the greatest cinematic showcase of Sartorial elegance since Giorgio Armani’s turn In “The Untouchables”. Of course Bonds Dinner attire in Macau is the highlight and his figure hugging daywear is ludicrously revealing (which apparently is popular with some people). I however felt it was Fiennes slightly retro assortment

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of suits where the costume department were really showing off. Drawing on everything from double berated waistcoats and his ever present braces Fiennes creates the most ludicrously well tailored public servant since Anthony Eden.

So go and see Skyfall because somehow, 50 years and a few thousand martinis on James can still pull an honest to god classic out of the bag (and seduce you with it).


Elyse Jamieson

I had high hopes for Skyfall; so high that I actually got out of bed on an incredibly cold evening and travelled all the way across Edinburgh to go and see it on its day of release. Thankfully, it did not disappoint. As ever, Daniel Craig is a superb Bond – the perfect image of a spy, cool yet considered – but the central focus shifts a little towards M, wonderfully played as ever by Dame Judi Dench. It was great to see a strong female character with such a prominent role in a blockbuster movie. The same applies to a lesser extent to Eve (Naomie Harris) and Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe), although her story is not given the attention it really deserves.

It is also nice to see Bond’s creators acknowledging that nowadays, threats to the state are likely to be of a technological nature rather than an all-guns-blazing kind of affair. Of course, there are still a few (major) explosions, but the gadgets utilised by Q (Ben Whishaw) and the main thrust of the plot, a stolen hard drive, seem to give the film a greater relevance while still providing an indulgent escape from reality.

Skyfall is also a beautifully shot film, especially when its protagonists pay a visit to the heathery hills of Glen Coe. With a solid, if basic, storyline and a fantastic cast to back it up, this Bond is certainly one to get on board with.

Finlay Niven
After all the hype that preceded the release of Skyfall, including a week of Bond related content on this very site, I was excited to say the least. Going into a film with such high hopes has led me to disappointment before and I was almost afraid that Skyfall would befall the same fate as Star Wars Episode 1, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Prometheus. I am pleased to say these fears were unfounded and the film was a total success.
The film strips away a lot of the baggy excess of previous Bond films and yet is entirely recognisable as exactly that. This is Bond refined. Director Sam Mendes has been quoted in interviews saying it was like being given a house to build around the furniture, to stretch that metaphor to breaking point he seems to have restored the furniture as well. Bond is the centre of the film, but not like before, the character work that began in Casino Royale is explored in more depth here. M, as played by the wonderful Judi Dench, is transitioned from supporting character to leading role which is a stroke of genius. The other supporting cast also get more of a focus; Q is back in an updated role, new to the series is Eve a field agent that helps Bond on mission and Ralph Fiennes is exceptionally strong as the public servant that stands in M’s way. The Bond villain receives similar treatment, played by Javier Bardem who is as camp and over the top as any Bond villain but is grounded by character motivations that drive the whole film forward. That last act of the film is potentially my favourite Bond moment of any film, propelling Danial Craig to potentially be the best Bond yet. I won’t spoil it here but as soon as the Aston Martin DB5 shows up the film changes, it’s unlike anything seen in a Bond film before and it’s brilliant.
The credits start with the often seen caption ‘James Bond will return’, with Skyfall he already has.

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