Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Right or wrong the new trend in movies is for dark and cloudy plots that have you leaving the theater feeling as sorry for every wrong you've ever committed against a fellow human being. Where as once we went to the theater to escape Wolf Blitzer and CNN Now we go to the theater to see Wolf Blitzer and CNN.
Skyfall is grand theater very well done and hugely entertaining. But its not escapism. That is no fault of the film. Escapism is simply just not in vogue anymore and The Broccoli's quite correctly want to give the public what is currently in and is going to make money. Just look at the reaction to the last truly escapist James Bond adventure Die Another Day and it's easy to see why they are not going back down that road anytime soon.
James Bond himself in Skyfall isn't even a man we fantasize about being anymore. He's dirty, with a beard and a hangover. He's now a Man many of us actually know. It's great he's human I guess and It's what we seem to want but I can't help feeling we're missing something along the way.
Trust me I loved the film. I rank it 4th behind On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Casino Royale 2006, and From Russia With Love. And I can see that ranking going up even from this lofty perch. Wasn't it great to see a psychotic villain again? You know one that actually put some fear in to you? No Offense to Le Chiffre or Dominic Green but those guys didn't exactly make you want to shake in your boots. Give me a full fledged lunatic anytime. Oddly enough it was the crazy Javier Bardem who brought along any "escapism" Skyfall possessed.
Much like QOS there is not a real Bond Woman in this one (perhaps more so than even QOS) but no Bond Woman is better than a bad Bond Woman. In-fact again the closest you get to a Bond woman is once again Judith Dench who has performed the role of M above and beyond anybodies wildest dreams. One would have to be a sexist on a grand scale to not acknowledge her greatness in the role.
One criticism of QOS that I didn't necessarily agree with is that it didn't feel like a Bond film. Skyfall most certainly does. Along with the return of old characters the puns even made a bit of a comeback this time around. As dark as the film was there was some humor in the film perhaps more so than recent outings. And the acting for the most part was pretty solid, Not a given in a Bond Pic even I'll admit.
The nods to older films and novels in Skyfall worked much more seamlessly than they did in Die Another Day. for one thing they didn't come at you every 5 minutes like they did in DAD. The back story of James Bond's childhood comes, with some changes, from the books. The Aston Martin was an ode to Goldfinger and *spoiler* even some nods to From Russia With Love and other classic films.
So Another Bond picture and another success. At the end of the film we were told James Bond will return and God willing I'll be in the theater. paying $5.25 (or more by then) for a drink and sitting through previews of bad sitcoms and 7 movie trailers I care nothing about. BTW after paying what a ticket cost, + concessions and then having to sit through a preview for the new season of Cougar Town is it any wonder we're going to the theater less and less?
Skyfall **** 1/2 / *****