Study Guide

Skyfall Genre

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Action, Spy, Drama

Secret Agent Man (and Woman)

The James Bond franchise is the ultimate spy movie franchise, going back to Dr. No in 1962. In fact, it's the longest-running film franchise next to Godzilla (source).

But hey, after half a century, it's necessary to shake things up, right?

Skyfall changes the formula in an attempt to keep the franchise moving forward, but it also pays homage to the past. This push-pull dynamic shows in both Bond's and M's inner conflicts, as they wonder what's the best way to fight their enemies—with tried-and-true old ways, or with new technology?

Shout-outs to past Bond films include the classic Bond Aston Martin, the classic Bond music, and multiple references to past Bond films, like For Your Eyes Only. However, the plot itself is a modern one. Bond isn't fighting a vague Soviet threat; he's fighting a threat of his own. And Bond isn't alone: M is practically a co-star. The movie is as much about her as it is about Bond—maybe even more so.

We think Skyfall does a great job of modernizing the Bond formula, while not leaving fifty years of history in the dust. Though if the franchise needs to go further to shake things up, we do suggest putting Godzilla in a tux.

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