I went with my family to see Skyfall, the new James Bond movie. We all enjoyed it. It has all the Bond film goodies: Daniel Craig, for whatever misgivings I have about how his character is scripted, is an excellent masculine action hero; Judi Dench is perfect as ‘M;’ there’s a compelling story line and plenty of action without it getting tiresome.
- One of the things that made James Bond, and the Bond film, so compelling, was that I could realistically aspire to be Bond. No, I’m not a spy, but some of my work involves behind-the-scenes derring-do. The previous Bonds were generally in good shape, but not fantastically athletic. I could readily imagine myself as Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan. But I get tired just watching Daniel Craig sprint through the streets of London.
- James Bond villains in the Daniel Craig movies are just not the same as before. The classic Bond villain is a megalomaniac with vast plans for world domination in one form or another. So far, we’ve had bankers in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, and an ex-agent with a personal vendetta in Skyfall. Which leads to:
- I thought the title, Skyfall, referred to some kind of atmospheric mayhem that the villain was preparing to commit. I was disappointed to find that it was the name of Bond’s childhood home. (Almost as bad as finding out that the ‘Desire’ in A Streetcar Named Desire was simply the destination of the streetcar.)
The first Bond movie that I saw in a movie theatre was Live and Let Die in 1973: my observations about earlier films are necessarily after-the-fact. But while the first two Bond films in the 1960s were good, it was the third effort, Goldfinger, when they finally got all the parts working together. And so it is with Skyfall: the new franchise is finally firing on all cylinders.
I’m already looking forward to the next one….