Movie Reviews: Skyfall
When the last 007 movie, Quantum of Solace, opened in 2008, critics railed at the decision to turn Bond into an action hero. He is too good for that! remarked Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. He is an attitude. Violence for him is an annoyance. Peter Howell commented in the Toronto Star: This is the contrarian's 007, the Bond for people who would rather watch The Bourne Identity. Now, four years later, Ebert writes in his review of Skyfall, I don't know what I expected in [Solace], but certainly not an experience this invigorating. And Howell remarks that Skyfall could make you fall for James Bond all over again, or to discover him at the moment of his vital rebirth. Most of the other reviews from the major newspaper critics are equally enthusiastic. Manohla Dargis in the New York Times comments that the movie plays like something of a franchise rethink, partly because it brings in new faces and implies that Bond, like Jason Bourne, needed to be reborn. [A most subtle pun, if that's what it is.] That is the theme of many reviews -- that Skyfall has revived a fading franchise effectively. In the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan praises director Sam Mendes for turning out a thrilling new chapter in a franchise that by all rights should have been gasping for air -- which really makes him the hero of this saga. Saving Bond, after all, is rather like saving the day. There are a few dissents. Skyfall, writes Rafer GuzmÃ¡n in Newsday, is so busy recapturing the past that it has trouble moving forward. Wesley Morris in the Boston Globe makes a similar point, noting that Mendes must have felt obligated to follow the road map laid out in previous Bond movies. The result, he writes, is that the franchise has atrophied into the kind of nostalgia that calls into question going on with this enterprise at all.