So, Skyfall. [spoilers abound so be warned] It was great in many ways. I enjoy Craig as Bond. I enjoyed Bardem as Silva (I do understand that some might call his performance over the top and I agree to an extent. But he did the split between mad villain and toddler who wants his mommy, very well). I do have a bit of a problem with the characters in the movie talking about how awful he was and then we didn’t really see him do anything too awful. Sure, he does one awful thing, but for the rest, eh, not so much. I’m of the “show, don’t tell” school of action movies and so when I keep hearing about how awful someone is and then he never does anything particularly terrible, I get a bit nostalgic for the days of Mr. Goldfinger or Mr. Blofeld.
I do need to say that they have deviated a good bit from the formula of historic Bond movies so in the end, I guess it’s okay that they did what they did. I do miss some of the passion in the older Bond movies. There was grit. There was ferocity. There was depression. But there wasn’t a whole lot of oomph. Again, I heard about it much more than I saw it.
Mendes did a nice job with the direction, although, I would have liked a few less tips of the hat to “The Dark Knight.” I get it, Mr. Mendes, I get it. You liked the second Batman movie. You didn’t have to do the exact same kinds of shots so often. And the over the top, garish, over-saturated color pallette juxtaposed against the dark, bleak panorama of the rest of the film was just a little too close to the Dark Knight. It wasn’t necessary, although fanboys will be fanboys. 🙂
Skyfall was dark and rather morose, not much brighter in tone than Quantam of Solace. We got some nice back story on Bond, although I do need to say that when he is asked to word associate Skyfall [not so much a spoiler since it is part of the preview], he does not say what you would expect him to say once you know what Skyfall is.
There were few gadgets (though one of my all time favorite gadgets made a return appearance and I cheered out loud when it did). I thought the new Q was only okay. He’s young and cocky and that’s fine. But I believe you can only be cocky like that if you’ve got the goods to back it up, and he actually showed that he didn’t quite have the goods yet. There was a nice “What, you were expecting yellow spandex?” moment between Q and Bond that raised my opinion of him just a bit. I’ll wait for the next film to see if he does any better. (Oh and by the way, the Walther PPK that will only fire when held by Bond was a bit feh in my book because it pre-supposed that Bond would at some point lose his weapon to someone else. Once again, feh).
Honorary mention to Adele (and her co-writer) for the song. It was terrific.
Finally, I’d say this movie is not so much about Bond as it was about M and the relationships she has with her agents. Judi Dench, as usual, knocked it way out of the park and that actually made the entire movie worth seeing and I might want to see it again in the theater just to see her fab self.
Props to Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Javier Bardem, and of course Daniel Craig. They were a terrific supporting cast.