November 13, 2012

Guys Movie Night: Skyfall

Bond has cut closer to the heart than ever before in SKYFALL.
Bond never actually hits a target
with his gun in this movie.
In the Daniel Craig Era, Casino Royale presented Bond as a impulsive, not-quite-ready-for-double-O-status killer, and Quantum of Solace was a underbaked, implausible mess (thank you writers' strike), this third 21st century Bond film tests Bond's body and soul. His body is tested with a shaky rehabilitation from a gunshot wound; his soul is tested with questions of his purpose, his mortality, and his roots.

Javier Bardem is compelling as the villain. His introductory scene is a single, motionless, shot: Bardem approaches us across a great room, growing slowly in size onscreen until he's literally in Bond's lap. He tells one of those folksy stories which become more and more creepy as they go along. By the time he's done, he has the audience in the palm of his hand.
Bardem's blond hair, and especially his fake blond eyelashes, were terribly distracting.
The major flaw in the movie is the plot. The machinations of the story are cobbled together from spare parts of other movies. I am not asking a James Bond story to reinvent the wheel, but when Bond hides out on a tropical beach, I expected him to pass Jason Bourne jogging by. When the villain escapes, I expected the Joker to be riding shotgun, or perhaps Loki?
It's still gripping, high-quality entertainment: (My grade = B plus), but the Bourne trilogy has raised the bar on spy movies, and I can sense the Bond franchise is playing catchup.