Thursday, November 15, 2012

Skyfall (2012)

Being late to the game in internet terms, a whopping five days after its US premiere, a lot of this has already been said about the new Bond movie: overall I liked it, but I didn't love it. It left me hoping that the next Daniel Craig-Bond movie will be the real "Bond Is Back" moment. I feel like the last three Bond movies have been setting up for just that moment, but we don't quite reach it in Skyfall.

Skyfall lies somewhere in between Casino Royale, which I love, and Quantum Of Solace, which I didn't care for. Sam Mendes has learned to shoot an action sequence where previously in Quantum Of Solace, every action sequence was wasted with whatever he was trying to do with a camera.  The action sequences here, especially the initial one, are done really well.  Someone gave him really good advice on how to film them.

I will just add my same opinion to the top of the same cinematography opinion pile - the film looks amazing thanks to venerable cinematographer Roger Deakins. I wouldn't be surprised if he got an Oscar nomination for this, which would be funny after all the dazzling work he's done with the Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men, True Grit).

Every actor nails his/her part. Daniel Craig should just be James Bond and not get distracted by other movies. I initially liked Javier Bardem as the villain, Silva. In theory he had a really good reason for wanting revenge. He was at his best when he spouts off an insane monologue about rats. But his story arc was weirdly wasted in making it too personal, too narrow.

I was excited for the final battle on the Scottish moors, which again looked amazing when the muted blues and grey erupted into fiery yellows and orange (the ice scene - breathtaking!), but it had too many people along for the ride.  And the stakes seemed pretty low when it was simply two people fighting to the death.

In conclusion there is a lot to like, even more to love, and with all the components finally coming into place (the new Q, Miss Moneypenny), I feel like they are getting closer and closer to something more thrilling. There was a brief scene where he fights in a pit with some Gila monsters that has a payoff that felt like something out of the Roger Moore era where he could have been running across some rubber alligators like in Live and Let Die.

I just hope that every subsequent Bond venture from now on doesn't focus on him trying to overcome childhood trauma but rather puts it all behind him and gets down to the ass-kicking business. 

Oh, and our generation's sake, Adele should do all the Bond themes from now on thankyouverymuch.


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