Skyfall

Nov. 12th, 2012 02:48 pm
lhskarka: (Default)
[personal profile] lhskarka
Movie review time. Warning, spoilers ahead.

You certainly get your moneys worth as far as running-time goes. The downside is that it seemed like two entirely different movies, with the slower, smaller, less interesting one at the end.

Of the Craig films, I say it's better than Quantum, not as good as Casino Royale. Largely based on the first half of the movie.



Pluses:
Beautiful cinematography overall. Bonus - a director who actually knows to shoot action sequences. The motorcycle chase and the back-lit fist fight were gorgeous. Totally makes up for the choppy, too close editing in Quantum of Solace.

Fantastic, "realistic" stunts. I love that they still have Bond doing impressive, yet believable things. (And not, say, wind surfing a tsunami.)

Locations, locations, locations! I want my Bond films to be full of gorgeous, interesting places, and Skyfall delivers. Mostly in the first half, of course, but even rainy Scotland is pretty.

I found the "first movie" highly enjoyable, with only two problems that I will address below.

Well-played villain. Stupid origin of same villain, but well-played. (Also, not a critique, just a comment - Xavier Bardem is HUGE. His head is like twice the size of Craig's.)

Minuses:
Why did the director think it was a good idea to give the first half of the film a huge, gorgeous build-up, then scale down into a smaller, duller story for the end?

I'm not really fond of the "M" as Batman thing, where she creates her own worst enemies.

Bond "quipping" at the death of Severine about it being a waste of good Scotch. Bad form, Mr. Bond. And Mr. Craig. And whomever wrote that line. I do realize that my opinion of Bond and women is largely formed from reading the books, rather than the movies, but even on film he should have shown more emotion than he did. Yes, many of many of the women Bond has slept with over the years have fared badly. More than a few have been used as human shields, by Bond himself. But I would argue that the only deaths he "quips" over are the ones who betray him, or those that he knows are villains from the start. Severine, who was frightened, and brave, and helped him (and had gorgeous eye make-up, BTW), did not deserve that line, or that callous dismissal.



As has been said elsewhere, about Star Wars and origin stories - "I don't need to know how the things I like got to be the things I like." He's James Bond, not Jason Bourne. And no one who has read the original Fleming books will be surprised by the "revelation" of Bond's ancestry.

Parts of Skyfall reminded me of the film version of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", and not in a good way, but rather in a "This never happened to the other fellow," kind of way. Three movies in, they shouldn't still be trying to "prove" that Craig is Bond. He'd achieved that by the end of Casino Royale. Why belabour the point?

While I LOVE Bond's Aston Martin DB5, and I enjoyed seeing it's special features used effectively in battle (and yes, I'm pissy about it getting blown up), its inclusion here feels odd. Again, goes back to Bond is Bond, and not Jason Bourne. He's one man, not a cover identity. The way that works is by getting the audience to accept that whichever actor they are watching, he IS Bond, at roughly the age of the actor. When you re-introduce the car that the character drove in the 1960s, it snaps your suspension of disbelief, because he then either has to be in his eighties, or else not be the same man.

And finally, Bond as burnout? Already? Yes, Craig has been Bond for eight "real" years now. I don't mind the implication that he has had other, off screen adventures, but this is only his third film, and we just saw him earn his "00" designation in the first one. This doesn't mean that I need him to be rubber, with everything bouncing off of him in unbelievable Moore-esque fashion, but can he not be so damaged all the time? Thanks.

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