Skyfall at 10: 10 Things Still Hold Up Today

Skyfall At 10: 10 Things That Still Hold Up Today

The third of Daniel Craig’s five James Bond movies, SkyfallJust a few months remain until the 10th anniversary of the founding of, A decade later, SkyfallThis is the Bond movie that grossed the most worldwide and remains the highest-grossing.

Not every Bond film made by Craig has survived the test of time. Quantum of SolaceAnd SpectreRank among the lowest installments of the franchise But SkyfallThis is still one of my favorite 007 adventures.


10The Mind-Blowing Cold Open

Daniel Craig in the opening scene of Skyfall

The opening sequence of almost every Bond film begins with a dramatic pre-title scene. Skyfall’s opening scene is particularly action-packed. The majority of 007 cold openings are only one type of action scene. Skyfall’s is a few rolled into one. Bond chases an intruder on his motorcycle across Istanbul’s rooftops.

The sequence ends with 007 jumping off the roof of the train, and plummeting into the river below. Not only is this one of the most exciting Bond movie openings; it’s one of the most subversive. Most of the franchise’s cold opens are a victory for Bond, but this one is a near-life-ending failure.

9 Daniel Craig’s Nuanced Turn As 007

After three movies, Daniel Craig had perfected Bond’s portrayal. Skyfall. The actor perfectly captured the stereotyped gentleman spy. He’s effortlessly suave, ice-cool, and nails all the one-liners.

Bond was made more vulnerable by him this time. 007 makes a lot of money SkyfallDealing with a lot mental distress.

8 Sam Mendes’ Carefully Crafted Tone

The opening scene of Skyfall

Sam Mendes, Director of the Bond film in question, strikes the perfect tone for a big-budget modern Bond adventure. Skyfall. The film’s tone is pitched midway between the gritty realism of Casino Royale and the far-fetched fun of Roger Moore’s classic 007 adventures.

Mendes’ first Bond movie maintains the visceral, game-changing style that Martin Campbell brought to the table, but also nostalgically harks back to the series’ sillier roots.

7 The Moral Ambiguity Of Judi Dench’s M

Throughout SkyfallM says that she regards her agents as expendable. In the opening scene, M tells Bond that she will abandon a dying agent. When Moneypenny isn’t sure she can get a clear shot of the perp without hitting Bond, M orders her to “take the bloody shot.” The villain’s motivation is to exact revenge against M for hanging him out to dry in a similar situation.

Skyfall challenged the audience’s perception of M. M is usually a purely expository role, but Dench’s take on the character was given much more depth – and moral ambiguity – in her final appearance.

6 Adele’s Melancholic Title Theme

The opening titles of Skyfall

Adele’s “Skyfall” is one of the greatest Bond themes of all time. It was the franchise’s first title theme in over three decades to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Song (after Sheena Easton’s 1981 nomination for “For Your Eyes Only”), and the first to actually win the award.

After the uncharacteristically rock-‘n’-roll-style themes of Craig’s first two Bond films, Adele’s SkyfallThe theme inspired the moody lyrics, melancholic melody and moody melodies of Shirley Bassey’s classics that established the Bond theme traditions.

5 Javier Bardem’s Chilling Performance As Raoul Silva

Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva in Skyfall

Javier Bardem turns in a truly chilling performance Skyfall’s villain, Raoul Silva, formerly known as Tiago Rodriguez, an ex-MI6 agent-turned-cyberterrorist. Bardem was the first Oscar winner to portray Bond villains.

There are a few holes in Silva’s needlessly complicated evil plan, but Bardem makes up for it with one of the most memorable Bond villain performances of all time. Silva is charmingly silly, but he can be completely unnerving when pressed. Bardem steals every scene he’s in and chews on every monologue.

4 Dench’s Maternal Dynamic With Craig

Daniel Craig and James Bond and Judi Dench as M in Skyfall

007 traditionally only hangs out with M in a professional capacity, but her relationship with Craig’s Bond was different. Dench’s M became a sort of maternal figure to Craig’s Bond, and that mother-son dynamic came to a head in Skyfall.

In the final act SkyfallBond, like any surrogate son, puts his life at risk to protect her. Tragically, he fails to save his office mom – but he does everything he can right up to the end.

3 The Return Of Q’s Goofy Gadgets

Ben Wishaw as Q in Skyfall

When Casino RoyaleMendes revived Bond with a healthy dose realism. Many franchise traditions were also thrown out, including the ridiculous gadgets provided to 007 from Q Branch. Mendes graciously returned Q and his goofy gadgets to the series. Skyfall.

Ben Whishaw’s new interpretation of the character, a mild-mannered geek, was a fantastic one Skyfall introduced an awesome new gizmo into Bond’s arsenal: a handgun that won’t fire unless Bond’s fingerprint is on the trigger.

2 Roger Deakins’ Striking Cinematography

Fight scene in Skyfall

Roger Deakins’ striking cinematography from SkyfallThe Academy Award nomination was a rare honour in the action genre. Deakins’ visuals are some of the best in the franchise. Skyfall’s gorgeously shot action sequences.

A billboard with neon lights illuminates Bond’s fight against a sniper. The entire final battle is set against the pitchblack night illuminated with a blazing flame.

1 M’s Heartbreaking Death Scene

ames Bond-Skyfall-M-Death-Judi Dench-Daniel Craig

The culmination of Skyfall, M dies in Bond’s arms after he arrives seconds too late to save her. This is a much more powerful scene than any action movie death scene.

On rewatches, the inevitable tragedy of M’s passing makes the explosive climactic set-piece feel bittersweet. Plus, on repeat viewings, Bond fans can spot the foreshadowing of M’s death in the opening credits when her silhouette is seen at a cemetery.

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