Skyfall, with Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes & Naomie Harris. Sam Mendes, Director. Though passionate about movies, which is evident, I’m not a James Bond expert. I do know a good movie when I see one & am aware when an expectation is met. New is not always better & dressing old stories up with a new costume isn’t necessarily an improvement. Case in point, Shakespeare, affected with surrealistic sets or Pride & Prejudice portrayed with Capri pants & bangs. This film meets all the requirements of a spy thriller, escapade.
While Britain reels back & forth trying to balance its military with a budget gouged out by public entitlement spending, nanny-state style; Skyfall seems to portray a vital & important intelligence institution, MI6, that is beset with what some people in the world believe as the new & -only- enemy. State-less entities that aren’t pointing rockets & mortars, but smaller organizations. Armed with technological expertise, ready to disrupt & destroy our governments at a moment’s notice. As if they were omnipotent & unique.
It works as a plot. Since the new spate of 007’s has forgone the novelty of gadgets & mission-specific technology, generally; the concept of a world which now also recognizes (we hope) danger in forms other than heavy armaments, is a novelty. Perhaps this all helps to ease the less tech-adept, into the twenty-first century.
Dench is ever more elegant & succinct as a spy-master under fire for the theft of state secrets & the supposed death of 007, at the beginning of the film. This isn’t a spoiler as his assumed death is merely a beginning to the film. Of course, 007 isn’t dead but Dench is targeted by short-visioned government ministers who believe the world is a safe place & no place for intrigue & a viable intelligence apparatus. I’ve given up trying to interpret mixed signals from countries & peoples who are themselves confused by reality. But there are many leaders, the US president as an example, who believes that we don’t need ships, bombers & spies. That is, until the next attack on the country.
As if there are no more villains & disagreements, because somewhere the goodness of discussion & womanly values has banished & cleansed the earth of humanity’s basic tendency to be individuals & groups of individuals, each with agendas & morals of their own. Different & distinct.
I found this film’s villain, played by Bardem, to be shallow & grasping. Yet evil & insane, at the same time, as Bardem seemed desperate to give him a depth that was barely written into the character. Succeeding. His over playing his hand is usually a anathema to any 007 movie. But we all look forward to some sort of eccentric & mad, bad guy that wants to take over the planet or wreak irrevocable harm to populations &/or civilizations.
Fiennes supports the endeavor well, Harris makes a passable female sidekick. Craig repeats his well-honed 007 skills & is more than adequate in a role that requires him to be just so.
I do recommend this film for viewing.