James Bond always returns, and so do I. During a summer filled with crummy, uninteresting movies, yours truly stayed home and caught up on his Amazon Prime movie rentals. I watched dozens of films that were new-to-me, but since I, as a general rule, only write about movies I watch at the theater, I haven’t had cause to write a new review in quite some time. That is all about to change. I finally made it back to the theater to take in the latest and greatest Bond flick, Skyfall, and with the new Hobbit movie coming soon (as well as a few other catchy titles), I suspect you’ll find much more writing courtesy of me over the next couple of months. It’ll be awesome!!
I watched Skyfall at what must be the world’s smallest IMAX theater, the Tulsa Cinemark IMAX. Since it was Veteran’s Day, I thought the crowd might be a bit intense, but it was instead quite modest. My friend Emily and I arrived fairly late and were still able to snag center seats, two-thirds of the way up, or, in other words, the best seats possible. Perfect for Bond.
Going into this film, I heard a lot of good comments. It was supposed to be one of the best Bond movies ever, even as good as or better than Casino Royale (which I consider the best 007 film). That is a tough standard to live up to. Suffice to say, I wasn’t buying all the hype. BUT – I assumed it would easily be better than Quantum of Solace aka What? My expectations weren’t too far off.
In short, Skyfall is about a 7/10. It has a strong beginning and a strong ending, and those two things deserve at least a 7. Conversely, the middle was diluted and at times overly contrived. What I mean is, outside the open and close, the movie seemed to seek to serve too many purposes, ultimately offering a weak central plot. Without spoiling anything, this was definitely a transitional Bond film – there were tons of new characters introduced (or reintroduced), and each one was given his or her own scene with the main man. This was fine, but those scenes didn’t feel natural within the overall storyline. In fact, they really took attention away from the story of Javier Bardem’s villain which is a crime seeing how his character probably could’ve been a top five Bond villian, maybe even as good as Alec Trevelyan. I would rather have seen the new characters introduced like they were in Goldeneye. When Judi Dench became M, no one cried foul since she was not formally introduced. Instead, everyone just used their brains, filled in the gaps and accepted that a new M was in charge. I would have preferred the director simply leave the new characters to be introduced gradually and with minimal fanfare either in the next film or in very brief scenes in this one so that the plot could have received more polish. Alas.
This brings me to a GIANT pet peeve regarding movies these days. Directors seem to think they need to spell out everything for the audience lest comprehension be absent from the proceedings. I have seen this in several stories recently, the biggest recent example being The Dark Knight Rises. I believe movies (any stories, for that matter), have the greatest impact when consumers are allowed to imagine how events unfold, and it’s frustrating to see precious screen time wasted on explaining things that the audience can fill in itself. Let us fill in the gaps, directors!! We are smart and will figure it out! I promise!!
Okay, enough of that soapbox! Final thoughts: the music was good, there were several brilliant cinematographic moments, and Daniel Craig is a stud. I think he’s easily the best or second-best Bond. Combine all that with the awesome opening and closing scenes and I feel like Skyfall is an easy recommendation. Now go shake and stir yourselves to the ticket counter and watch the dang film!!
Grant Stevens is a tireless worker who ceaselessly searches for opportunities to enhance society with his advanced thinking skills and never-before-realized perspectives. He loves jazz music and hopes to one day become the first Libertarian president of United States of America, although he would settle for being the first Libertarian president of his Homeowner’s Association. He also does music junk. Check it out here: www.grantstevensgroup.com.