Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Matinee: Skyfall (2012)

 After having watched more than a dozen of them, there are certain things I have come to expect from a Bond movie.

Insane, unlikely chase scenes with daring leaps and big explosions, all in a well-tailored suit.

Hot women.

Hot cars.

Cool gadgets.

A stereotypical bad guy that oozes evil.  

A rocking theme song.

Every film has these elements, and generally the movies don't stand out in your mind because of them.  It just makes them FUN.

But when Bond is accidentally shot by his own agent, falls thousands of feet into a waterfall and dies, all before the opening music sequence, you get a niggling feeling in your stomach that this one might be a little bit different.  (And by the way, the opening music sequence?  Amazing.  Like jaw-hanging open amazing.)

Well obviously Bond isn't dead, else what are we going to be doing for the next two hours but eat popcorn?  But Bond is changed.  He is aging.  He has been permanently wounded.  He is depressed and has lost some of his mojo.  Suddenly our man is fallible.  He and M make a team of has-been, antiquated spies fighting a war that is fought with computers by faceless enemies.  Perhaps it is time to pass the baton over to those younger, stronger, more clever in the ways of the new world.

This alone sets "Skyfall" apart from most other Bond flicks.  But there is more, and for the Bond enthusiast, it feels like being a kid in a candy shop.

We get more time with M (Judi Dench).  In the past, she is always the mastermind that gives Bond his directives, always the badass mother-figure that lives in the shadows.  We pry back the brittle, titanium exterior to see a little of her history, a little of what makes her tick.  

We also, for the first time ever if I'm not mistaken, get a peek into Bond's tragic childhood.  With an epic finale filmed at a Scottish castle, Bond's family home.  This movie is all about roots.  It is more dark and more thoroughly developed that any of its predecessors combined.   

So then let's talk about our token evil dude, Raoul Silva, played by the most incredible Javier Bardem.  Bardem isn't just a hot guy, he is one hell of an actor.  He has played a gay poet, a terminally ill father, a sexy love interest, a stone cold psychopath, and a quadriplegic fighting for his right to die.  He has been nominated multiple times for Oscars and scored one as well.  So you just knew he was going to bring it.  And he did more than bring it.  He owned it.  He took the role of a cyberterrorist, a deeply damaged, psychotic meglomaniac and made him the highlight of the show, and probably the best Bond villain to date.  

Do we want to have a discussion about who is the best James Bond?  No!  I happen to love most of them, and maybe have a slight favorite in Sean Connery.  But Daniel Craig is no slouch.  He's ripped, he's smooth, he's attractive, he can act, he looks good in a tux, and well, what else do you want?  I'm quite satisfied with the franchise in his capable hands.

To summarize?  Best Bond film yet.  Best Bond villain yet.  Best opening sequence yet.  If you have the LEAST bit of interest in the franchise, I would implore you to see it.

5 out of 5 stars  


Jenny said...

Ooh I have to see this! Is the opening song the Skyfall song by Adele? I love that song.

bermudaonion said...

My guys really liked this movie too, but Bond just isn't my thing. I don't enjoy chase scenes and fight scenes in movies - yes, I know I'm odd.

annieb said...

I thought the movie was fabulous! Not only is Daniel Craig impressive in his Tom Ford gear, Judi Dench just may be my favorite actress or at least in the top three.

Anonymous said...

Finally, a movie I've seen! :-)

HB and I both loved this one! Especially all of the references to the other films...the exploding pen, and the car, and the classic Bond theme song that just got more and more noticeable as the movie went on.

Also, Q. Who was just adorable.

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I haven't seen a Bond movie in forever, but this one jumped out at me and I've been itchin' to see it. Even my husband is interested to go TO THE THEATER to sit down and watch it. I can't pass that up.

Jenners said...

Everyone is loving this! I should have gone to see that instead of the lame Breaking Dawn.

Brooke said...

Love, love, love Skyfall! My husband and I are huge Bond nerds and this one ranks really high in our list of favorites. Craig is definitely my favorite Bond - my husband is partial to Connery or Brosnan. This one didn't quite beat out Casino Royale for me, but still amazing.

Zibilee said...

I've never seen a bond movie, and you make me want to see this one, since you say it's the best of the bunch. I like the modern aspect of the technological world being involved, and I do have just a tiny thing for Bardem. I was sad to see that this movie wasn't playing when I wanted to see it, but it will be at the top of the Netflix queue when it comes out on DVD. Your enthusiasm for it really stuck to me!

Kathleen said...

I've heard others say that this is the best Bond film yet also. I really want to see it and love that it contains more of a backstory on Bond like the recent Batman movies directed by Christopher Nolan. This is definitely one I will be seeing over the holidays!

Nise' said...

LOL. I had to stop myself from leaning over and saying to my hubby, "He is so ripped!" more than once! I am a huge bond fan and loved this movie.

Heidenkind said...

Sounds amazing! I'm definitely a Bond girl. Wish there was someone who would go the theater with me to see it. =/

caite said...

I have a few vacation days this month and this is on the top of the 'to-do' list.

that and getting ready for Christmas.

Alyce said...

I really want to see this one, but I'm pretty sure I won't have time until it comes out on dvd. We have a small theater in our town and the movies don't stay in them for long, so we'll see. My favorite James Bond actors are Daniel Craig and Sean Connery; I was just okay with Pierce Brosnan.