Saturday, 9 March 2013
And I even liked Quantum of Solace. Despite near universal panning of this sequel, I thought it was a great continuation of the story started in Casino Royale. I think most of the objections boiled down to hating the pretentious title.
That said, there was very little chance I was going to give a positive review to Skyfall. I was prejudiced the moment I heard Sam "Floating Trash On The Wind" Mendes was going to direct. I am not a fan. His movies are dull. They might be visually impressive works of art but they are dull nonetheless.
This movie did not change that opinion. It is a gorgeous film. But I won't watch it again. The opening has a lot of movement but somehow still comes across as comatose. Props to the one shot of Craig leaping on to the remaining half of a train car and pausing to fix his cuffs. THAT'S Bond.
Then there's a lot of pensive angst and self-reflection. We meet Q, who is now the equivalent of computer nerd Garcia from Criminal Minds. I don't have a lot of hope for this take on this character. Seems very desperate to relate to the youngsters and their hacking ways.
Eventually we meet the villain. And I stress the word "eventually". I'm pretty sure we're halfway through the running time before he even shows up. And by that time we're already done with the ostensible Bond Girl of this movie. I think she had about 10 minutes of screen time which is about the same amount of time we have of Javier Bardem caressing Daniel Craig's chest. This conflict of traditional Bond character types had me googling "Sam Mendes sexual orientation". I was surprised to find he was married to Kate Winslet for seven years. Less surprised that they are now divorced.
Aside from making the villain sexually ambivalent, we also find out he's as good a hacker as Garcia. And he has history with M. And he has bad teeth. Yup. Not exactly the depth of character that wins me over. "I have to wear dentures! I have to kill the woman responsible!". And this is an incredibly weak argument against the entire character but that hair is ridiculous. Just ridiculous.
Eventually we find ourselves in Scotland as Bond seeks to draw Bardem out of his constructed plans and on to his turf. Two hours into this thing and I'm treated to an A-Team montage of fortifying Bond's ancestral home. Actually if the A-Team theme had come on at the exact moment of Judi Dench stuffing light bulb elements into 12 gauge casings, I would have loved this movie.
That didn't happen and it is a lesser movie for it. But conflict, conflict, bang, bang, conflict resolution. The movie ends and I shrug. Craig has signed on for two more Bond movies and I'm satisfied with the elements that have been left in place for future movies. Because there's a better Bond movie out there. There's one that has action and depth and humour. Just leave Sam Mendes out of it please.