I’ve never been one to adhere to the precision-like smarminess of my father’s Bond films.
In fact, I always found them super-hackneyed and sexist.
And even as a child, my suspension of disbelief didn’t extend that far.
So when a friend asked me to go see the new Bond film, “Skyfall,” I championed for a different movie, ANY movie.
A few folks convinced me that this was a different type of movie; smart dialogue, excellent effects, good fight scenes, etc.
Mendes being my kind of director, I conceded. And they didn’t lie.
Daniel Craig was more on the side of a Bourne character than a mawkish Sean Connery in “Never say Never again,” or “Gold Finger” rolling around in the dust of a detonated cigar-bomb, the fodder for every Austin Powers movie.
Dame Judy Dench was remarkable as “M”, at once tough and vulnerable, her character heeded warning against a new cyber-world throughout the film, most notably in the courtroom scene where she champions all of humanity against the evils of this new type of cyber-villain, one that’s embedded in almost every film nowadays.
The new world is spearheaded by “Skyfall’s” cyberterrorist, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a walking day-mare, who, although a convincing menace, frankly looks too strange to even turn a computer on let alone hack into an elaborate military network.
Bardem’s socio-pathology is pitted against the aesthetic backdrop of Sévérine (Bérénice Lim Marlohe) a typical Bond-like exotic-hybrid aka Marion Cotillard/Lucy Lui, who has been a victim of Silva’s underground, sex trade. She escapes, of course, with the help of Bond and a steamy, almost laughable get-together under a yacht shower-head. But no Bond girl ever lives. It’s as if Ian Fleming has a statute of limitations on all Bond girls, post-coitus. Yes, Ian Fleming, we think you have Mommy issues.
Fiennes and Finney round off the film with decent acting, albeit limited roles.
“Skyfall” was nonetheless a rousing play on a changing world. Bond returns to his childhood home, a fortress in Scotland, held down by one Kincade (Albert Finney) who builds a poor man’s battleship alongside M and Bond.
In the end, Bond, stripped-down and disarmed with nothing but a knife defeats technological terrorism and wipes out his childhood trauma with the help of his friends. Well, his friends and the enormous, military complex. Aww. That’s so cute.
Roger Moore said in Vanity Fair that this was his favorite Bond film so far.
As far as strong female characters, it was exciting to see an African-American woman (Naomie Harris) cast as Bond’s partner, Eve Moneypenny. Yes. Moneypenny. She remains alive at the end of the film, because she doesn’t have intercourse with Bond. We’ll see what’s up for next time, although Mendes says he’s not likely to make a sequel in an interview with the Metro:
Thank you, Sam Mendes for no cigar explosions. Not a bad theme either, Miss Adele.
Carry on then!