And then Sam Mendes said, "Well. Fuck that."
Skyfall reminds us exactly why we loved the Bond films in the first place. If nothing else, it's a very loving homage to the Bond of the good old days. Bond is no longer clowned up and jumping around like a kangaroo on cocaine; he's a genuine spy. Yes, he's still the bold, brash bastard we all know and love, but he's a little more in control of the situation. Of course, the genius of this movie is that, for most of the movie, we get Bond completely out of his element. He spends the first half of the movie a battered, alcoholic mess with a very, very bruised ego. After twenty-three movies of a perfect shot, there's something extraordinarily satisfying about watching Bond miss his target. So not only do we have a highly competent organization set out to trip up Her Majesty's Secret Service, but we also have a damaged Bond struggling to keep up. I mean, why didn't anyone think of this before?
I think I've said all I can through my teeth. The twists in this movie are so epic that I would have to throw myself onto a Hattori Hanzo sword if I thought I spoiled this movie for anyone (even though, if you're a rabid Bond fan, you can see most of them coming ahead of time, it STILL doesn't change the fact that the "big reveals" are massively satisfying). That said, the spoiler portion of my review is under the cut! Otherwise, just see it, yeah? Or I will judge you. JUDGE.
Did we put the kids to bed? Yes? Okay, now here are the eight very spoilery reasons why Skyfall is better than Chuck Norris' chest hair:
1. M.an old recasting of 007, I was fairly certain no man could even replace Judi Dench. However, if someone had to take over the role, it had to be Ralph Fiennes. They build up Mallory's character brilliantly and--let's face it--that last scene looks like it was taken straight out of the old Sean Connery films. Ralph Fiennes is the old, stick-up-his-ass M. Even though I'm going to seriously, seriously miss James Bond's mommy issues, I'm going to have fun watching Ralph Fiennes do his best to keep Bond in place. Actually, even talking about the fact that Judi Dench has stepped out of her M. shoes depresses me. MOVING ON.
3. That fucking awesome car.
It's no secret that Q. makes an appearance here. Ben Whishaw is a young, arrogant little thing, but good at what he does. They maybe had played up the age difference between the two a bit too much, however, since that was the only thing that really threw me. That said, as soon as he pleaded with Bond to bring his equipment back in one piece, all was right in Bondverse again.
Really, the only thing that distracted me about this movie the first go around (and I've already seen it twice, thank you midnight screening) was the fact that they did poke holes in the fourth wall here and there. Maybe one too many allusions to the fact that "things aren't like they used to be." And, yes, I get that this is purely for the die-hard fans to chuckle about, and I did appreciate that. But I'm not going to lie--the perfectionist in me was scratching my head for the first twenty minutes trying to figure out how exactly all the pieces fit in with the rest of the Bond series. And I get that it's never going to be a perfect fit--we have different faces for different Bonds, no characters have any real consistency. Still...I think a young Q. and an old Bond threw me into a tailspin. That said, I'm fully aware I just have to stop being so fucking literal. This is a Bond movie, after all. Apparently, I can fully believe Bond would jump from rooftop to rooftop on a motorcycle, but a young Q. trips me up. Now where'd I put my meds...?
5. Silva.now it has my attention. Javier Bardem is brilliant. Seriously. I couldn't stop watching him. He's charismatic and he amps up the tension in every single scene he's in.
6. Gay Bond.
I stand by him and hope to see him in many more Bond films to come. Also, Craig has voted for a gay Bond scene. I would literally die happy. Possibly in my theater seat.Well. CONSIDER ME DEAD IN MY THEATER SEAT. Not to mention, I've got to say, I think that scene had more chemistry than Bond and his girls throughout that movie. Though it's probably just for the awesome line, "What makes you think this is my first time?"
A fellow blogger really said it all: "I, for one, applauded Bond’s response. It was the correct response, because, for one: he’s Bond and he’s never going to appear shaken in front of anyone. And two: who cares. I mean, seriously. Who cares?"
7. Bond Girls.
8. That fucking awesome car.
It had to be said again.
In short? I. Fucking. Loved. Skyfall. I loved Casino Royale. Quantum of Solace had it's moments. But if this had been Craig's one and only movie, I think he could have slept easily at night. It's a great Bond film, a great origins film, and now that we have the crew together, I cannot fucking wait for Bond 24. Bring it.
PS: So if M. dies, does that means Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace come first, then all of Pierce Brosnan's movies happen, and then Skyfall? Really, why do I put myself through the torture of trying to make sense of a Bond film?