My take on…Skyfall
The new James Bond movie is shaping up to be one of the top ten dogroed (US domestic gross) movies of 2012 (see 2012 Movie Box Office: 40, 80, 1, 2 , 3).
I’d heard good things about it, and it’s possible I went into it with my expectations too high.
Oh, it’s certainly a good enough movie: nothing I would advise people not to see. It had some great visuals, and, more importantly, it was fun.
That’s been my real problem with the last two Daniel Craig Bond movies. Although Bond had superior abilities in those, he was such a sad sack, I felt sorry for him. I certainly didn’t want to be Bond…and I didn’t think Bond wanted to be Bond, either.
Skyfall restores the Bond who likes what he does, not ignoring that it’s often difficult emotionally (to put it mildly). He sincerely defends his profession, and his country.
Even though you might not use his skills the same way, you do wish you had them.
There were also some fun callbacks to the 1960s early glory days of James Bond in the movies.
That, actually, was one weird thing to me. The audience all seemed to accept that Daniel Craig was the James Bond who had been active in the Cold War…and was still active today. It’s not just that Craig doesn’t seem like an old guy to me (even though that was how he was treated by some people). It’s that he just literally isn’t old enough for that. The Berlin Wall came down when Daniel Craig was college age…and I doubt Bond would have been an agent at the same time he was playing Nintendo.
It just doesn’t make mathematical sense that Daniel Craig would be the icon of Cold War espionage.
However, no one seemed to question that…and that was a good thing. Everybody was along for the ride in the crowded theatre in which we saw the movie.
There were some flaws for me. There was a sequence which, while conceptually appropriate as a tribute to early Bond movies, had some really unconvincing CGI work. I expected more from Javier Bardem as a Bond villain…people really saw it as a comedy part, the way it was played. There seems like an obvious hole in the plot very early on (although possibly excusable), and the narrative wasn’t always clear. I say that because there was a point that my Significant Other and I discussed afterwards, and we are usually really good at following the narrative.
I’m carefully avoiding spoilers here, because that is part of the thrill of a movie like this. Maybe I’ll discuss some of the plot points more thoroughly later.
My bottom line: it was a fun movie, and looked great. Bond’s Tom Ford suits were spectacular, and Daniel Craig was always a properly imposing figure. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it nominated for cinematography. I didn’t find myself very involved with the characters, though, and that meant that it was less emotionally impactful. That can certainly be okay, but it seemed like they were trying to get us to care about them.
One last note: I heard someone saying that you couldn’t bring kids to it, but I think the PG-13 rating is appropriate. It’s not any more explicit (either in terms of nudity or violence) than, say, Goldfinger, in my opinion.
I would probably put it in the lower end of the top third of Bond movies. Worth seeing, but not entirely there yet.
I’d also say I suspect it may grow on me over time.
Feel free to let me know what you think by commenting on this post.
You may also find my review of the original James Bond novel, Casino Royale, interesting.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.