Monday, February 18, 2013

Skyfall

Everyone's favorite British super-spy is getting a fresh start. After failing a very important mission due to being accidentally shot by a fellow agent, Bond "enjoys" being dead for a while, but James Bond can never stays dead for long. When he hears that MI6 has been attacked, he dutifully returns to lend his now significantly diminished skills to M, who ignores his failed evaluative tests, reinstates him, and puts him right to work. Because if agent 007 can't save Britain, no one can.


Sadly, despite his best efforts, our hero doesn't save much of anyone or anything this time around - besides himself by the suave skin of his teeth. Yeah. It's one of those movies. It takes two and a half hours to accomplish a plot line that could have been squeezed into a tv show. But as technically unnecessary as about an hour of the movie might have been, I didn't mind it one bit; I was too busy enjoying myself with the spectacle.

Visually, at the very least, Skyfall is a masterpiece. This whole film is a feast of light, shapes, and colors. Strikingly beautiful, unique locations and sets abound, and are displayed with style, completely free of cheap effects and frills - a great reflection of the persona of the film's hero. And I just love it when fight scenes are actually choreographed. Never take the little things for granted.

My favorite of many visually stunning moments.

Judi Dench as M is just as she always is and always should be, and I'm looking forward to more of Naomie Harris and Ralph Fiennes. Daniel Craig has never really fit my idea of how agent 007 should look, but I will give him that he can definitely act the part. So well if fact, that I can forgive his less than perfect "007" appearance. He is nearly overshadowed, though, by the villain. It's not Javier Bardem's fault - he simply can't be a normal, forgettable bad guy. Mr. Silva is very up-to-date, and has everything a villain needs these days. Understated creepy looks, a calm and cheerful disposition, sympathetic back-story, and even knew to include in his evil scheme that important point where you get captured on purpose and held in a glass prison for a while.

"An ant has no quarrel with a boot." No, that's not right...

Oh yes, and one more - they put Q in this movie. Played by Ben Whishaw. He looks like a hipster and is undoubtedly the best addition to the movie, as were his scenes of bantering with Bond. I give his hair and 11 out of 10, and the epic-ness of his speaking voice - while a little nuanced - rates squarely between Benedict Cumberbatch and Richard Armitage. This is all high praise from me, for anyone who may not know.

If I had hair like that... I'd stay out of high wind.

But here's what really made this movie: the references and illusions to the classics of James Bond films. "My name's Bond, James Bond" may be cheesy beyond compare in any other movie, but here it's necessary. He's gotta wear the tux too, and the martini's gotta be shaken. These are the moments that make me happy and these are the reasons I watch these movies. And director Sam Mendes was happy to give us these things plus some. He must know that sometimes going back to the classics can be just as fresh - or even fresher - than scrounging up a weak, but "original" film. Especially when it comes to a certain British secret agent.

Where else but a Bond film can you reasonably see this sort of thing anyway?

It seems that 007 is back from the dead.

- 4/5 Stars

3 comments:

  1. "Ant, meet boot." Totally what i thought when I saw the glass prison! :-D

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  2. Being a Bond fan, I have to say that this might be my favorite along with Casino Royale and Goldfinger. I really liked the deeper plot and characters and all the references where fun.

    -James

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    1. Glad you like it too! The references were totally my favorite part... along with the cinematography.

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