If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Hello there, fellow Spillios! This post is late. Very late in fact. Pesky stuff got in the way like work, and holidays, and travel, and some more work after that. Really, I've been trying to get more involved in stuff around here lately. Many things need to be done before hand but in the meantime, this should get the ball rolling. Hope you enjoy.
This wasn't a Lethal Weapon movie. And Danny Glover was nowhere to be found. But that didn't stop anyone from hinting to 007 that he just might be getting too old for this shit.
Yes indeed, it’s time for the latest in a long line of adventures for the world’s most famous spy, James Bond, just in time for the 50th anniversary. And having that in mind, it just might make sense in a full circle kind of way as to why this particular film turned out the way it did.
This movie starts as many would. With a mission-in-progress. James Bond and his partner are on the trail of a mercenary with invaluable information. He has stolen a storage device on which are the names and identities of every MI6 agent currently undercover in multi-national terrorist organizations. His job, of course, is to retrieve it and eliminate the target. As the chase reaches its apex, Bond is downed by friendly fire and the man escapes with his priceless cargo. Bond goes M.I.A., believed by most to be dead, until news of the attack on MI6 in London prompts him to return. His objective to now recover the list more critical as top secret information is revealed to the world.
One thing this film had plenty of was questions. There were questions of authority. Questions of trust. As my opening line suggests, there were many questions of the endurance of Bond and even the practicality of secret agents working as he does. This, along with the massive leak of classified information, leads to the question of the efficiency of MI6’s brand of espionage. “Validation” seemed to be key.
I must say that I've really only had a passing interest in the Bond franchise overall. There are certain films I like more than others; certain portrayals I like more than others. But this iteration of the James Bond character (taken up again by Daniel Craig) has perhaps had me the most intrigued. Even as one whose knowledge of the books and universe overall is limited to say the least. Expectations weren't exactly lofty but they weren't non-existent, either. So as the name of this review alludes to, Bond went back to basics.
007 was ruthless when he needed to be, heroic when he wanted to be, and wasn't afraid to get sentimental, either. On this, the third installment of this era of films, it does seem like they've gotten closer to the mixed bag of tricks we were initially looking for. Giving hints and nods to the many quirks and ticks that make Bond, well, Bond but were also quick to point out that crazy gadgets like “exploding pens” aren't really their style. But that doesn't stop the Bond-villain archetype from making an appearance. Javier Bardem turns in an infectious performance as Silva, a former MI6 agent with revenge on his mind who is as charismatic as he is dangerous.
It’s the 50th Anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise and the folks who made this film are all too aware of this fact. Clever callbacks and references are abound including a cameo by one very famous car. Fans of Bond will have no reason not to like Skyfall; casual observers may just be surprised by how things turn out. Even I must say that this is the best Bond we've seen in some time. It succeeds not only because it’s a solid piece of film, but also because it’s not afraid to revisit the roots of 007. The new direction is clear and the team moves bravely forward but they do afford themselves a fond look back. It’ll be interesting to see where things go, but it should work out as long as they remember that sometimes it’s just better to do it the old-fashioned way.