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The New Bond Film: Pure Fun Without All Of The Cheesiness

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-cheesy and not all that funny.

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.

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.

Roger Moore said in Vanity Fair that this was his favorite Bond film so far. 

“It’s the best Bond ever. I called Barbara Broccoli and said, “Dana and Cubby—the parents—would be so proud of them to give Bond another 50 years.” It really is an amazing movie. “

As far as strong female characters, it was exciting to see Naomie Harris cast as Bond’s partner,  Eve Moneypenny. Yes. Moneypenny. She remains alive at the end of the film. Yes!! 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: 

“It’s been a fantastic experience, but it’s been completely exhausting,” said Mendes. “Do I want to do another one? I’m a shadow of my former self. [laughs] No, I don’t know. I felt like everything I wanted to with a Bond movie, I put into this film. So I would have to be convinced that I could do something that I loved and cared about as much if I was to do it again. I think the great risk of repeating oneself is that one doesn’t have the great store of ideas that you have when you first tackle a project.”

Thank you, Sam Mendes for no cigar explosions. Not a bad theme either, Miss Adele.

Carry on then!

About Kristen Damasida

Writer and Photographer for Virago Magazine, Kristen grew up listening to vinyl and highlighting the dictionary. Her work has appeared in IrockJazz.com, The East Harlem Journal, Boston's Culturehive, the Ithacan and other publications. Her love of music cannot be eclipsed by her love of words. She's been coined the "Akira Kurosawa of Blogs" by such people as herself. An aspiring musician, she has a serious penchant for peach-flavored anything, multi-tasking, slow-paced thrillers and dreams of going back to South America, laying on the beach, and drinking from a coconut.

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