Last night, I went to see “Skyfall” on opening night, which is rare for me because of my insanely low tolerance for people and my judgment on their entertainment tastes.
With exception to “Casino Royale,” many of the Bond movies didn’t impress me. Hell, I couldn’t distinguish between the plots even if you threatened to withhold food from me for a week. My opinion of Daniel Craig was equally uncertain. He didn’t fit the image of Bond; he was too stocky, too brusque and too human.
However, this Bond movie straddled the lines between artistic and compelling, finding the perfect balance to create a wholesome storyline that forces the audience to root for his survival. Craig’s performance, in addition to new secondary characters, as he battles his demons is equally well done.
First of all, can I just say that the theme song, “Skyfall” by Adele, is exceptional? Unlike the Brosnan era, I think Craig’s theme songs have generally been slower and more emotionally powerful, which makes sense because Bond confronts deeper emotions in Craig’s era than any other.
For those of us old enough to remember, this Bond movie contained a lot of throwbacks to the older Bonds, pre-Brosnan in the sense of using the traditional Bond theme song more prevalently throughout the movie, the repeated scenes of the traditional Bond walking in the gun hole scene, the appearance of the old Bond car, and the overarching theme of “getting away from technology” throughout the movie. It was more plot focused, unlike the ones before when they tried to fit as many action scenes as they could in between some plot and still have it make sense.
This Bond movie, however, was different. It was thought provoking: allowing Bond to question himself and the stability of his relationship between MI6 and him. Allowing us a Bond villain maniacal enough to creep you out. The Bond villain was outstanding this time around, taking on almost a Jokeresque quality—the I do things for entertainment, not for any other reason. But he was very well-written in that his motives and hatreds ran deep.
Yes, there were some slow scenes and it’s less Americanized in that it wasn’t just action scene after action scene. The parts nestled gently between the awesome action scenes were done almost artistically, in a way that let the audience really feel the build up of whatever emotion the director chose. These scenes were evident of the new director’s handiwork I know that they chose an unorthodox and unique angle to go on this one and I have to say that it worked.
What the Bond franchise is stepping away from, potentially, is the traditional Bond girl. In this one, none of the women that appear in the movie would be considered Bond girls, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Bad, because it means that women become less prominent in the major franchises—seeming to align with other popular blockbusters that feature little to no female leads—but good because Bond discontinues his objectifying of women.
Also, potential hot nerd sighting:
Even though I have a soft spot for hyperintelligent, quirky, funny nerds, I’m still on the fence about this one. What’s throwing me off is that he kind of looks like Freddie Highmore Jr. + 20 years. Leveled-up FHJ.
However, the loss of Judi Dench, who plays M, the only woman in the Bond movies in a position of power and with no sexual relation to Bond, is a devastation. Especially since it appears that she will be replaced by yet another white man. Are we leaving behind all independent female roles in the Bond franchise from now on? Will we only see women objectified by 007, in secondary roles that are basically nonexistent?
So, I highly recommend you go see this movie sometime in the near future! This Bond movie shows that the work Daniel Craig has put into the Bond franchise is working—it’s a call for a revamping of the Bond fans!