Monday, December 31, 2012

Movie Review: SKYFALL

By: Michala T.

I went to the movies last night. I watched Skyfall, the new James Bond movie for those who don’t know.  Now I normally watch this with my best sis Amanda but wasn’t able to this time>>>sorry girl! 
What I am used to from the Bond movies is a lot of sophisticated animalistic sex appeal mingled with exotic locations, beautiful women, fashion, and of course danger and thrills, crime and action. I walked out of the theatre a little let down last night. Not a whole lot but a little. Skyfall was just different from the previous Bond movies I’ve come to love. It was an excellent film. I’m not bashing it in the least. I just didn’t feel as though it held to the nature of James Bond.
The setting for the movie is ‘shit happens…to everybody.” And it was. Bond’s world was crumbling. His boss M’s world was disintegrating. MI6 was collapsing. To show evidence of Bond’s world going to hell, he appeared unshaven and old, drunk and living life as though he didn’t care about crap. I didn’t like the old look but they refreshed him a bit later…but still the look of the old man lingered. This wasn’t fitting in my reality as Craig is a year younger than Roger Moore in his first Bond movie.

And what of the Bond girls? Most every movie has that one particular troublemaker…the female who is always bringing trouble to Bond until they decide to take on the world, battle the forces of evil, and Bond not only gets the bad guy but the girl as well?
In Skyfall there were three ladies. Judi Dench, who is soooo not the sexy bad girl, plays Bond’s boss-lady. Naomie Harris, who many of you know from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, is the sidekick kind of gal. Berenice Marlohe, who looked to me like an older and more sophisticated Jennifer Lawrence (from Hunger Games) until we moved past the first few cuts of her.

Now…as much as Bond deserves attention I must give these Bond Ladies some as well. Dench came onto the Bond scene in 1995 as M in GoldenEye and has continued to play the role up to Skyfall. I didn’t much care for her storyline in this film. I felt it weak and very unrefreshed.  I was honestly beginning to fear the writers were going to reveal that she was his mom or distant relative in this film. M was definitely for ‘motherly’ in this film. She was more concerned for the man than she was the mission and I just felt it was very unlike her. Yes she made a call (no spoilers given here) and that call was not motherly…and was all for the mission but then, I don’t know. It all changed. Did she regret the decision and then wreck her ability to be the role she was positioned for all this time? Who knows. Does it matter? Nope. Why? Can’t say.
Harris is a beautiful girl who was not allowed to be beautiful in my opinion. I suppose she couldn’t outdo the true bond girl. Harris played Eve Moneypenny, another MI4 agent; one who works beside Bond. She is exotic and I liked that until I realized they didn’t allow her to be too exotic. She is intelligent and witty and I really liked that. I loved her remarks and her ability to stand up to Bond and hold her own.

Severine, played by Marlohe had the looks of a Bond girl but none of the shrewdness and resourcefulness. She was weak, afraid (in a weak way), and very much reliant upon Bond to save her. She had the classic look of the Bond female and she acted reasonably well. I just didn’t like her as a Bond girl. No. Let me take that back. I didn’t like how they wrote her in as a Bond girl.
I believe Bond was written to hog the stage in this film. Eve did a remarkable job with her two scenes (one major and one minor) but beyond that it was Bond. Marlohe also had two scenes, again major and minor. Dench alone was the female who held up the female role in the movie and even then she was portrayed as a victim and weak and reliant upon others to save her. She’s never been incompetent and yet…all of a sudden she is? Doesn’t bode well with me.

There was plenty of Bond, as I said. And even the hunky Bond. Perhaps not enough? LOL. There were a wealth of amazing action scenes with Bond, some of the best I’ve seen. Not the best…but some of the best. Very creative and very worthy of the Bond movies. Bravo!! I would love to talk more of those scenes but that would be spoilers!  So let’s move on to the main antagonist.
Javier Bardem moves into the film slowly. He is there in the background constantly, an unknown force but when he comes in…at first I was like, um…no. Then Bardem starts to show his brilliance and he won me over. He takes the scenes easily.  Again, I could and would love to say more…spoilers. I can’t do that.

I don’t mind the dark side of Bond but I am fearful this attribute of him will force him into the pits…similar to Timothy Dalton but that’s another post. LOL Overall…this is definitely a must-see. Just because I delved deep into the logistics of the film doesn’t mean it  isn’t worth seeing. IT IS!
I can't close without making mention of the wonderful music score by Adele for the film. As always...her voice carried through the entire movie. LOVED IT!
Daniel Craig in the James Bond movie "Skyfall." Photo: Columbia Pictures / SF

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