Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Movie Review - Skyfall

According to Wikipedia, Skyfall is the 23rd James Bond movie, and the 3rd featuring Daniel Craig. Frankly I've lost count. But I've seen them all.

The last Bond film, Quantum of Solace, was released in 2008 so it's been a long wait while MGM worked it's way out of bankruptcy.

I remember that we all liked QOS quite a lot but I'd be a liar if I said I remembered what it was about. Reading the plot on Wikipedia was helpful. In QOS, Bond had gone somewhat rogue to avenge the death of his girlfriend while still somehow defeating the evil Quantum organization. It was a pretty dark movie as I remember.

I haven't seen any reviews of Skyfall except to see that it had a 90% plus rating on Rotten Tomatoes. We were going to see it anyway. We all liked the movie, although not as much as we liked QOS. My feeling as we left the theater was, that the movie was a good, solid, competent James Bond movie. That doesn't sound like great praise does it? Let me try to explain. The chase scenes were excellent, the explosions well done, the plot was comprehensible (with maybe one gaping hole), the acting was good, and the locales exotic. There were some good edge-of-the-seat tension filled parts. But the parts didn't add up to something greater than themselves.

Two themes are explored here: the aging of the Bond character and revenge. I think we've seen these before. Certainly Sean Connery did the aging part and we had revenge in the last movie. Perhaps they are running out of good ideas.

There is some changing of the guard feeling here as well. For one thing there is a new Q. Ben Whishaw, who we just saw last week in Cloud Atlas, portrays Q as a much younger character than we've seen "You've still got spots!" exclaims Bond when he first meets Q. There will be some other changes which you'll have to see the movie to learn (too many spoilers for me to mention).

I had read somewhere earlier this year that this would be the last Bond movie set in contemporary times. The series was going to be re-booted to the 1960s. I'm guessing that this was incorrect. Craig is signed up for the next two movies and the end of Skyfall certainly promised more stories in the current vein.

In the trailers, there is a scene where Bond says, apparently to M, "Someone's coming to kill us. We're going to kill them first". This line seemed to sum up what the whole movie was going to be about. I kept waiting for this scene in the movie and it kept not showing up. Finally, way late in the movie, way after we knew that someone was coming to kill them, Bond finally delivers the line. The scene was completely different than what was portrayed in the trailer. Why does this sort of thing bother me?

And one last thing. You would think from the trailers that Skyfall was something big. A doomsday machine? Impending apocalypse? The title of a new Halo game? I'm sorry to say that it is something much less than this and you have to wait until the final climatic scene to learn what it is.

1 comment:

Jeff Wilk said...

Here is the most important question: did Bond bed a hot girl with a pseudo sexual name?