Skyfall – Done

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I got a chance to see Skyfall this evening. I’m doing my movie reviews a bit out-of-order (haven’t talked about Wreck-It-Ralph yet, even though I really want to), but here goes. (Also, two posts in one day? CRAZY)

Get off the ground, you’re ruining your suit.

I’ve heard some people say Skyfall is a good movie, but a terrible Bond film. I’m not so sure I agree on either point entirely. Yes Skyfall was enjoyable, I’d even go so far as to say I loved it, but it’s kind of like The Avengers. A terrible movie if you look at it from a critical perspective as opposed to a fan’s, or if you judge it based on some deeper meaning you’re trying to find (because you certainly won’t). Skyfall was, as I feel most Bond films are, a glorified action/adventure made attractive by its iconic character(s) and utterly creative stunts and action sequences.

Now, I’m not the best judge of what is and is not a good Bond film by a long-shot. I’ve only seen the Daniel Craig movies (FOR SHAME, I know). I started with Quantum of Solace, which is really not a good place to start at all, and it wasn’t until several years later that I was sat down and made to watch Casino Royale, which ended up being flipping fantastic. Of the three Bond films I’ve seen, I feel like Casino Royale is the one with the deepest meaning and plot (but maybe I’m just partial to a love story. And the name Vesper). But Skyfall also has its meaningful thematic elements.

I guess really the overarching theme here was simply aging. Bond is getting older, unable/unwilling to remain in his position as 007. M is slowly being forced into retirement by what is viewed as lapses in judgement. Silver mentions how old Bond looks, and near the end, comments on how old men should not be running and jumping, as it’s so exhausting. Is it aging versus youth, as demonstrated by Bond’s interaction with Q? Or is it simply about aging with grace and dignity? I found the use of the old-school Aston Martin from Goldfinger (complete with ejector seat) very suited to this possible interpretation – because what can age with more class than a car like that? Or is it something more about overcoming stereotypes of age to meet your goals? There are many ways this aging theme can be taken, and I leave it to you to determine after you’ve seen the movie. I guess the argument about the theme of resurrection being central to the plot, but Craig’s 007 has gone off the grid, only to return to the MI6 fold in all three movies.

Since I mentioned him, let’s talk about Q. The man I would happily have the babies of immediately.

Sexy, sexy nerd-beast.

Yeah that’s all I have to say about Q. I love him. Moving on…

Javier Bardem did a really amazing job portraying another Bond villain that was not only sadistic, but also entirely off-his-rocker. The only other movie I’ve seen him in is No Country for Old Men, in which he plays pretty much a direct opposite of his character in Skyfall (minus the killing errybody party). Obviously he’s a great actor and I should go watch more things he’s been in.

The reason I titled this “Skyfall – Done” is not just because it’s a line from the movie, but also because it was originally supposed to be Daniel Craig’s last Bond film. Currently IMDB says there have been two more films announced, but I’ve also heard the Craig doesn’t want to continue because he’d only ever be remembered as being the iconic 007. I love him as Bond, but I also love him as Mikael Blomkvist. When I see Pierce Brosnan, all I can think is Bond. I don’t want that to happen to Daniel Craig. He’s too good of an actor to suffer the fate of so many in recent years (Daniel Radcliffe anyone?).

So M died. Didn’t really care much by the end of it. I loved her in the beginning, she was still her sassy old British lady self, but by the end she’s just kind of… crumpled. It was like watching the decline of an older woman in her steely prime to a weakened grandmother in fast forward. By the end it was like M had to rely on a man to save her, which I would have thought she’d grown out of. I don’t know… Judi Dench was good, but I just didn’t find myself adoring her character like I have in the past. I suppose it just shows how people age differently, some with more grace than others. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who didn’t see it like I did, but I’m just saying.

Oh I suppose we should take a moment to discuss the Bond girl in this. What was her name? I haven’t a clue. They probably said it, but I was definitely not paying attention.

Yeah, I said it, I don’t know what your name is.

Her real name though is Bérénice Marlohe, and she certainly looks the part of the glamorous and vulnerable Bond girl. Just gaze upon her beauty. Her death was… unfortunate, but honestly she wasn’t adding much to the plot. Her association with Silver was flimsy at best, and confusing at worst (I mean, wasn’t he implying he wasn’t exactly interested in the ladies?). Regardless, she played the role she was meant to play.

I think I’ve addressed all the things that came to mind as I was watching the film. It was really great, and I definitely do recommend fans of Bond, action, or spy movies go see it. Any suggestions on which film to watch next?

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