I always hate it when you really want to love something, and instead you just feel a great big meh towards it.
And this applies very heavily to the latest Bond adventure, the entry called Skyfall.
As a child I watched all the Bond movies in order, on late night television, when a local station played them over the summer. They are all magical the first time, tales of suspense, action, adventure, and love. All united with a blastingly great pop song to woo your senses with. When watched later in life, your critical senses would kick in and realize some Bonds are better than others.
While I quite enjoyed Die Another Day all those years ago, I understood some of the logic behind a reboot. And with this mentality, my Bond Geek mind was blown away by the majesty that is Casino Royale. The happy happy joy joy filtered all through me with what is considered by so many the Best Bond Ever. All those patchwork psychoanalysis attempted half heartedly over the last few films was finally done right, all wrapped up in an action adventure tale of epic proportion. They unfortunately followed that up with Quantum of Solace, a movie that became an uneven mix-up of Casino Royale’s dangling plot threads and some over the top rejected 1970’s Bond wacky villainy.
So along comes Skyfall. The Bond people know they mistepped with some of the throwbacks in Solace, so they wisely picked this one up with a clean break. This I am happy with.
This brings up my thoughts on what Skyfall does right and not so right.
We begin with a punch of a chase sequence, filled with the classic Bond derring-do, humour and thrills. This entire section is wonderfully done, and leads directly into the opening song theme.
And after years and years of lackluster, boring Bond songs, we are graced with the power of Adele. She brings a gravitas and operatic quality to the proceedings, making the song fully fit with the journey Bond is about to embark on. Great, great song.
We now skip ahead to the ending. After the big, final, climatic battle, we witness a brilliant coda to this saga. In fact, this conclusion can really encapsulate this Bond era, and move forward in a unique way. Not to give away the ending, but longtime viewers will know where I am leading with this.
But the big problem with this movie is the entire middle. While I have a few quibbles with the opening, this section has so many wrong turns and out of character moments, it surprised me they went this way. From Bonds demented reasoning after the opening credits to the entire closing battle, my head was shaking with the illogic used. Not impressed with all the movie rip-offs they employ along the way either. And this Bond villain was very laughable and elicited no sympathy from me. Major fail in virtually every way here.
My gut tells me this might have been somewhat of a rushed job storywise, then I saw the credits. John Logan, who penned that monstrosity called Star Trek Nemesis, helped write Skyfall. So many answers to my problems right there.
Here’s hoping for the next Bond movie that will shake off the cobwebs, just like they did for Casino Royale. The ending might lead to this. I certainly hope so. My little kid self hopes so as well.
…is currently reading Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston.