Monday, 12 November 2012

Skyfall Commentary

So the reboot is complete.  I'm not sure why it took three movies to do this.  Quantum of Solace was completely unnecessary for the creation of a new James Bond.  But, all in all, I must say I'm happy with how the whole thing turned out.  More than the other two Daniel Craig Bond movies, Skyfall hearkens back to many of the things that we have come to expect in a Bond film and many scenes and elements actually reminded me a lot of certain films (eg. Silva is eerily similar to Goldeneye's Janus).  There are two girls (one working with him and one working for the bad guy).  There is an inexplicably well off super villain with an over the top plan and even a remote lair from which he operates.  There's the Q Branch, a martini and Bond acting detached and suave.

The difference is, they strip it all down to its bare elements (which is what they were going for).  There's very little window dressing and really "out there" stuff that Bond is known for.  Q Branch is more remote assistance than a toy store (something they acknowledge).  Bond's hot car is taken directly from the past and is cathartically and symbolically destroyed as if to say, "the old Bond is dead."  Even the remote lair is a no frills place with just the essentials for Silva to do what he needs to do.

So, with all of the elements there but in a different form, what about the action?  That is something they didn't get rid of at all.  While there are parts that move a bit slow for my taste, when the action heats up, it really heats up.  And they kept it over the top and very unrealistic which is something I like.  We watch the Bond films because we want to escape into a romantic super spy world where everything blows up and I think the producers realized that.  From the opening scene with the back-hoe on the train to the unbelievably thrilling climax in the Scottish countryside, all of the action sequences are very well shot and edited to make the viewer lose him or herself in them.

But the thing that impressed me the most was how, over three films, they really developed the character of Bond with his back story and motivations.  This one did a better job of that than the other two.  I don't want to ruin it so I'll just say that over the course of the 2.5 hours, they slowly reveal his character better than in any of the other films.  I think it's going to be able to take Bond in a great direction.  And it's a character that Daniel Craig plays perfectly.

Definitely see this movie.  It may wind up being my favourite Bond film yet.

1 comment:

  1. My take:
    The Bond character was very good. I still don't understand why he "died" at the beginning, or why he so abruptly returned, though. That portion of the movie felt sloppy. I also never understood why the partner girl, the one who shot him, was in the movie. Yeah, I know, she was there so Bond could have an innuendo laden conversation followed by sex. But that shouldn't be enough. Also, why, given their existing relationship, did she shave him? I have pulled that move, and similar, many times, and it has always wound up with me either shaving myself or having half a beard. Then again, I am not Daniel Craig.

    I also had some difficulty with the caretaker character, that old guy still living a the estate. He was completely unnecessary, and aside from shooting a gun and making M look completely helpless he does nothing whatsoever for the story.

    So from a clean writing perspective I would rate this film very poor. But... It's Bond. And I don't need the cleanest writing from Bond. Granted, they did remove the gadgetry that makes Bond so awesome. But on the whole I still enjoyed the movie, and loved some of the character work they did with 007. So I'm a bit torn, but ultimately hae to agree, this was a pretty good movie.