Bond.  James Bond.

After the somewhat, erm, poorly received Quantum of Solace (2008), many were somewhat skeptical about the latest offering that Daniel Craig and co were going to bring to the table.  Excited yes, as rumours spread that it was back to the ‘Bond of old’, but still worried about what director Sam Mendes would dish out.

Well.  Sometimes it’s good to have standards lowered by a shitty previous film, because then you can be doubly happy when they return back to tip top form.

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING DOES CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS

Plot:

James Bond appears to be dead, when he’s seen shot and apparently drowned out in the middle of Turkey.  Except, it turns out he’s just taking a long hiatus; boozing it up, sleeping around, etc etc and so forth.  Life’s good.  Until there’s a terrorist attack on the MI6 and Bond realises its time for him to let everyone know that he is, in fact, still alive.

Once he’s back, Bond, under orders from the stoic M, has to find the man who is trying to desperately to bring them down.  A computer hard drive was stolen with a list of undercover agents, and as the days go on, more and more undercover agents are having their true identities revealed…which of course, means they end up getting brutally murdered.

So whose behind this diabolical plan?  Why, an old 007 agent, considered the very best, of course.  Only thing is, back in the day he ended up being brutally tortured while ‘on the job’ and as a result, blames M for it. What next? Oh just a full-on crazy, extremely skilled and intelligent, ex-spy tracking down M, and subsequently Bond, to finally finish her off.

Shit.

What was good about it:

  • Can you like a film franchise simply because it’s English?  Well, whatever, for me that was a stand-out of the film.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a massive Pommie fan or anything, in fact English accents make me swoon less than the average woman, but there’s something so…British, about James Bond that I love.  While they, as they should, skim over the unfortunate traits of the English (their crap weather, terrible teeth and inability to tan), they highlight all the bits they’re proud of; their Aston Martins, ability to use perfect grammar no matter the situation, and a finely cut suit.  What further supported this ‘Britishness’ was the cast full of British heavyweights; Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and Daniel Craig.  Honestly, the only thing missing was Colin Firth, and let’s be honest, James Bond isn’t really his ‘scene’.
  • The baddie, Silva.  A crazy guy with part of his face missing, skills to rival Bonds and an oedipus concept?  Cliche maybe, but entertaining?  Heck yes.  Javier Bardem does a perfect job of a rogue assassin who can’t get over his fixation with his boss, M, and while we know that Bond can’t actually die (legitimately that is), I was still thoroughly convinced that this guy was going to do some real damage.
  • The action scenes.  Something I really like about Bond films is that they don’t pretend to be more than what they are; a blockbuster.  They’re films that you don’t really have to think too much for; yes there’s a storyline, there’s bad guys, plot twists etc etc but at the end of the day, you can very easily switch your mind off as the guns go “Bang. Bang. Bang”.  An added bonus of course is that because of this, you’re very unlikely to find yourself sitting next to a pretentious hipster at the cinema.  Win win.
  • The ‘homo-erotic’ scene.  I don’t care whether something is gay, straight, transexual,bisexual, bilingual (hang on), whatever.  Whatever floats your boat is my motto, unless it doesn’t piss off the boat next to yours.  Or something like that (it’s a metaphor I’m still working on).  Saying that, there is a scene in Skyfall that provides copious giggles.  I’m referring to the one where Silva makes several remarks, double entendres if you will, that insinuates he wants to get into Bond’s pants.  And Bond seems all for it.  And really, a spy that can keep his cool when a crazy, oedipal maniac with half a face is making a move on him, is a spy that is all class.

What was bad about it:

  • Somewhat long winded.  It had the slight air of being one of those films that could have finished about 3 times in the film….but didn’t.  Sure, by the time the film finished I went “ooohhh” but until then it was a little…eh.
  • The treatment of women.  I know that Bond is known for being a womaniser who loves to sleep with beautiful women and hey, that is something I wholeheartedly agree with.  If you’re going to be a spy that gets shot at approximately 582 times a day, then you want the perks of it.  This isn’t a problem.  However, I felt that the portrayal of Bond girl, Severine, and Bond’s feelings towards her only further emphasised the somewhat misogynistic society we continue to live in.  The line “what a waste of good scotch” upon the callous shooting of a girl he’d just slept with left a bad taste in my mouth, and while I realise it’s a stab at the dry British humour that they get so right in the rest of the film, I was still not pleased.
  • Daniel Craig’s pout.  What the heck is going on there?  Surgery gone wrong?  A perpetually bad taste in his mouth?  Who knows.  Anyone?  Please?  It was bugging me the whole film.

Overall?  Go see this film if you want to go to the movies, have a bit of a chuckle, take in some ridiculously attractive people and overall just entertain yourself for a couple of hours.  Sure it isn’t going to produce any revolutionary insight into well, anything…and I can’t see anyone winning an Oscar from it, but hey!  That’s show biz!

Not really…that line is stupid.

Have you seen Skyfall?  What did you think?  Are you a James Bond fan?

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