Monday, October 29, 2012
Dir: Sam Mendes.
I wasn't sure what to expect when my friend Helle and I sat in the theatre's darkness and the opening sequence began. Online reviews, from both professionals and from my cousin who'd seen a sneak preview the night before, were all highly positive, and the trailer looked promising too... but there was a nagging doubt regarding the story and it soon proved to be justified. This film has nothing at all to do with the secret organisation called Quantum and the plot line from the two previous films appears to have been terminated.
'Skyfall' was decent enough, in that it provided a lot of action, with the occaisional Bond-style silliness thrown in (Komodo dragons I'm looking at you) but the plot was also dragged down by a great many of the clichés that seem to have settled like rust on modern British culture. MI6 seemed to be populated by token ethnic minorities and Bond's age, ethnic identity and gender seemed to be what this film was really about. Even the bad guy Silva was a distorted reflection of Bond and his role in the film can be summed up as little more than an example of negative male attitudes towards matriarchy. Silva even refers to M as 'mother' throughout the entire film. Thankfully Judy Dench gets (finally!) replaced as M in this film by Ralph Fiennes so perhaps now we'll get back to the classic Bond format of stories about a secret agent who has adventures fighting dangerous super villains and we won't have to endure yet another crypto-lecture about modernity.
Craig continues to provide an excellent portrayal of James Bond, rivalling even Connery since he actually acts the part as opposed to simply trotting out glib one-liners. Whether or not we actually want Bond to be as realistic as he has become, is a question that I don't think I can answer. I like Craig's version of Bond, but I miss the 'silliness' too, and the sloping ceilings...