If you are reading beyond this point, you have been warned.
I just watched Skyfall, the latest installment to the immortal Bond franchise, and I need to share my thoughts in order to digest my experience. There will be spoilers. I will hold nothing back.
Once again, turn back now if you haven't seen the movie yet and don't want to runaway from my blog crying.
Alright, I believe I have given everyone fair warning at this point, now I start putting my thoughts together.
First, 50 years and 20+ movies later, Bond still looks damn good. Daniel Craig can do no wrong. He has an ass made to bounce quarters off. But this post isn't entirely about objectifying him. I just thought to get that out of the way.
On to the serious stuff.
I walked away from this movie feeling torn.
Because I think Skyfall is my favorite of all the Bond films so far.
But I say I'm torn because after I've had a minute to think about it and had a lengthy discussion about the film with my brother on the way home in the car, I can say that Skyfall might not be the best film in the bunch. There are several reasons for this.
1. The Bond Girls.
Or should I say the lack of showcase. One of the aspects Bond films are known for are the Bond Girls. Don't get me wrong. Skyfall has two hot mamas, but they weren't used effectively in this film. We have the introduction of Moneypenny. The flirtation is there between Bond and Moneypenny, but it's twisted where it becomes such a departure from the franchise. Then there's the second Bond girl who is killed halfway through the film. In fact, she becomes so insignificant to the story that I question her status as a Bond Girl in the first place. Oh, by the way, Moneypenny is no Bond Girl. So, at the end of this paragraph, I realize Skyfall has no real Bond Girls. *le sigh*
2. The Villain
The Bond films are known for their villains. They either want to take over the world or destroy it then Bond foils their attempts and saves the world. This time around, the villain's aim is more personal: a vendetta against M. I'm torn here too because I like Silver. He's a former agent, so he's got more than what it takes to go toe to toe against Bond. But a knife in the back at the end of it all? Way too easy. It's a cop out. I like how psychotic his character is, but I don't believe it puts him among the hall of famers in the Bond villain universe.
3. The Storyline
What makes the Bond films so wonderful to watch is the storyline. Like I mentioned earlier, the world is in danger because of something the villain is planning. Skyfall's beginning showed promise where a list of the names of agents in deep cover among several terrorists organizations is stolen. That already tells the audience the movie will be an explosive one. When the identity of the agents are revealed it will be a bloodbath. A hint of this is shown in the movie, but this storyline is completely abandoned for the personal vendetta of Silver against M. I mean, if the studio wanted to go with the M vendetta, then they should have led with the explosion at the MI6 HQ. That would have made it very clear without the need for this list of agents' names nonsense. Like my brother said, "If they weren't willing to take it to the worldwide level, why introduce the plot line anyway?" I agree with him. They basically wasted awesome potential there. If they wanted to kill M at the end, they could have still used the "list" scenario.
4. No Gadgets
You got that right. For a franchise known for introducing cool gadgets to aid Bond in his hunt for the villain, Skyfall has none. NONE! The only gadget is a gun only Bond can fire, but he loses that quickly enough and it becomes irrelevant to the story. The lack of gadgets makes Skyfall the runt of the family. This alone will anger a lot of the die-hard fans. Okay, they reintroduced the original Bond car, which they blew up by the way (broke my heart, that), but that alone isn't enough to make Skyfall cool. The new Q had nothing to give Bond. As in NOTHING. I feel sad.
5. A Family Tie Hint
Okay, this is me being a conspiracy theorist, but toward the end of the film, there was a hint that M was Bond's mother. Why do I jump to this conclusion? Because Silver, upon walking into the chapel, looks at the gravestone of Bond's parents. Then when he sees M in the chapel he says it was an appropriate place for her to die. WHAT? Maybe I got my "read between the lines" mojo crossed somewhere, but it makes sense M is Bond's mother. She's hard on him more than she is on anyone else. There's obvious affection between them. I'm stopping. I'm pretty sure I'm wrong. But being wrong won't stop me from putting the though out there.
6. No Sex
We all know Bond is a ladies man. *shakes head* Skyfall is probably the most PG of all Bond films. We don't even get a bed scene. There's a steamy shower scene, and when I say steamy, I mean the shower and not what is happening inside it. There's that island girl Bond falls into bed with, but it was ten seconds of back-on-wall and nothing more. I'm not one to make such a big deal about sex in a film, but this is James-freakin'-Bond we're talking about! In many ways he's the type of Alpha Male who leads with more than just his head.
At this point, I don't remember what made Skyfall my favorite of all the Bond films. If you've ignored my warnings or if you have watched the film and read up to this point, then I will admit to being as confused as you are. I'm scratching my head. Just six reasons and already I don't know why I liked this film. Maybe that's a testament to the filmmakers. Skyfall is a mind-rape of a film. While I was sitting in the theater, the words "I really like this" kept scrolling across my mind. But now that I've written this post, it seems like the statement scrolling along the ticker-tape in my mind was a complete lie.