Confession: I have only seen the Daniel Craig James Bond movies. I like them, and I keep intending to watch the other Bonds, I just never have. I feel guilty for missing out on the history when I watch them.
Skyfall definitely has old-fashioned pacing. After the dynamic train sequence at the beginning of the film, it's a slow burn to the explosive finale. Oh, there are some little action sequences here and there, but director Sam Mendes keeps it simple until its time to break lose and let Bond, Silva (Javier Bardem), and M (Judi Dench) have it out.
I am enamored of the lighting and color in Skyfall. There are several terrific uses of silhouette, but none better than when Bond grapples with a hitman in a skyscraper with an open window. It's blue and beautiful and has lingered in my mind. So many action films are utterly forgettable and interchangeable, so I'd love Skyfall for that sequence alone.
But Skyfall isn't overly arty. It delivers everything a Bond film promises, what everyone expects whether they've seen a Bond movie before or not. Chases, a cool car, beautiful women, inventive attempts at murder. It's frequently funny, even the ruthless M providing plenty of humor. There is some musing over whether the ends justify the means, but the heroes of the movie are still unquestionably the heroes.
Some elements of the story are weak. One part of Silva's plan relies on Q, the genius of M1-6, to do something rather dumb. Of course he does it. But the characters aren't repeatedly stupid, so I can forgive a few missteps made for the sake of pushing the plot forward.
I really should watch the other Bond films, given how much I've enjoyed Craig's outings as the famous spy. And I'll definitely keep watching his tenure, and probably that of his successor.