So as the title says, I went to see last night on the Tuesday matinée the newest James Bond film, Skyfall. As shown above, is the poster that was featured at the theatre I went to. I like its design, it works for me; reminds me of a comic book cover. So with the way the films mechanics work in this movie, despite the modern technology presented in the film, like modern cars, modern weaponry, and computers, etc, etc. The movie at its very core elements, are prequel, where as Quantum and Casino Royale, they had this core element too, it was lost in the action scenes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Casino Royale, it was a great movie.
Quantum however, I like in some regards, it’s just way too action heavy, and I can understand why. Unlike Casino Royale and other books, Quantum was a short story, there just isn’t a whole lot to it. The idea of Quantum as a story is to tie up loose ends with Casino Royale, what we got in terms of a movie, while connected to it, kinda left us with more questions than answers.
To sweep all the confusion away with Quantum, Skyfall is the best of the 3 films, it’s also the strongest with its plot, and action layout. Now because these are technically prequels, in this move we see a transition from the action heavy Bond that Craig is previously known for, to that of a more plot driven Bond, like that of Sean Connery. You will definitely see this in the film, because all the big, gigantic chase scenes with big explosions and big establishing shots, are all done early into the film.
Rightly so, as to illustrate a spoiler, that’s shown in the trailer, Bond is shot, and presumed dead. As such, he lets himself go a bit, drinks heavily, and no it’s not ALL Heineken, only one scene shows the bottle, and its only when Bond is in the middle of nowhere with a woman, while in voluntary exile, where Vodka Martinis are scarce. One note, they mention painkillers, but we don’t actually see them… Kinda odd, why mention them, if they don’t show them.
Putting that aside, we get more core characters that we would normally see in the franchise. Q is introduced as a young technician whom invents things that are mostly software in this movie, but he does give Bond a couple of gadgets, but they’re minor. Both of which are shown in the trailers, a Walther PPK, with a hand print scanner in the grip, and a radio frequency transmitter, much like the one in Goldfinger, just a bit bigger.
The other key character introduced, is Moneypenny, whom we don’t really know until the end of the movie. Some other characters we get, that are important to this story are: Mallory, with a long title, which I’ll just sum up to as a Defense Minister, but with a specific task of overseeing the more secret operations of the government, as played by Ralph Fiennes, whom we all know from Harry Potter, and Red Dragon. The other is our villain, and god damn Javier Bardem is awesome in this role. I don’t want to say too much about his character, as its integral to the story, so go see the movie to know more about him. I’ll say this about him though, the trailer only shows a small taste of what he’s like.
Special effects are grand as always, one nitpick. If you as a filmmaker, are going to have Komodo dragons in the movie, don’t CGI them, they look so fake. The only other CG you can tell is in the movie, is when Bond is in the first chase scene of the movie, and due to the extreme danger of this part of the chase, they had to CG Craig’s face onto the pro dirt bike rider. That I knew about before hand, watching Top Gear’s Bond 50th special, but could see the CG in the movie. Other than those two instances, any CG used in the movie, you really can’t tell, unless its computer software, because most of the time, software looks like that.
Story is rock solid in the movie, we have a clearly defined villain, we have our hero, we have the consequences of both of their actions, and the choices they make in the movie. It definitely feels like a Bond movie, which is a good thing. It’s rightly deserving of its high rating on Rotten Tomatoes. We have supporting characters that don’t feel useless and shoed in. Everyone in the movie has a purpose. Granted the computer hacking in the movie is a little exaggerated, but the basic ideas and principles are there. Definitely a great story overall.
What I like most about the movie, other than Javier Bardem’s awesome job as the villain, is that it bridges the gaps between the action heavy plots of the previous Craig films and the Sean Connery films, where it was more about the story driven elements, rather than the action. Also, they bring back the DB 5 from Goldfinger, with all its toys, although its role was short, it’s definitely memorable.
I wholeheartedly would like everyone who reads this, to spend a little cash and see the flick, not necessarily the usual 10 bucks for tickets, go for a matinée, whether it’s the weekend afternoon, or the Tuesday evening, like I went to. The nice thing about seeing this movie, no 3D to pay for, so its only 5 bucks at the theatre. Also, the intro feels like one of the traditional Bond introduction sequences, with the women in it, and Adele does a fabulous job singing the theme song. I’ve been hearing it on the radio, and I got a copy and its easily one of my favourites for Bond themes.
So, with that, I’ll end this off. There maybe another Christmas movie review towards the end of the year, like I did with Sherlock Holmes 2, when I started this blog, it all depends on what I see. Also there maybe another review next week, depending on what I see on Tuesday for a matinée. If you’re a Bond fan, go see this movie!