Saturday, November 10
Directed by Sam Mendes
2012 Action Drama
2 hours 23 minutes
From MGM and Paramount
It was a bloody hell of a good time, what can I say? I love the Bond movies and have never missed one. I have been through all 23 in this the longest movie franchise in history, through Ian Fleming, through Cubby Broccoli, through six James Bonds. The franchise has taken me all over the world, introduced me to exotic places I will never see in real life, allowed me to ogle some pretty fetching babes, some wicked villains, some exciting gadgetry and extraordinary plots. More than anything it has kept me seriously entertained from start to finish.
I want to go on record to say that I think Daniel Craig is the best Bond of all time and since that edges out the god of James Bonds, Sean Connery. That's a powerful statement on my part because all my adult life I have thought the sun rose and set over Connery's 007. But my boy Danny has brought a new sexy excitement to Bond, something four other gentlemen have not been able to do. Timothy Dalton didn't catch fire with the public and George Lazenby didn't catch fire with anyone. Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan are the same type to me... polished, aristocratic, refined, dull. That type of man doesn't shake my foundation on or off the screen. And they totally lacked in sex appeal which Bond must have.
Doubting Thomases came out of nowhere to snipe over the casting of Craig, some even criticizing his being a blond, for God's sake. But hasn't he proved them all terribly wrong? I love what he brings to Bond, which is some humanity in addition to guts and sex and attitude. And I love this man's face. Perhaps he's not the most handsome Bond of them all, but he has a face that is mesmerizing to me, so quietly expressive, born for a movie screen. I eat up those piercing eyes and especially those pursed lips. The bod ain't so bad either. It's been widely reported that Daniel Craig is the thinking man's Bond and I heartily concur.
This time out Bond's agency comes under attack from the bad guys with special attention focused on M. As she becomes a special target, Bond steps it up to protect his boss. The film's final gripping scenes take place at Bond's Scottish childhood home called Skyfall (didn't you wonder what the title meant, intriguing as it is?) with all the principals in place.
As directed by Academy Award-winning director for the oh-so-yummy American Beauty, Sam Mendes, this Bond is more personal, more emotionally-driven than any former Bond that I can remember. There is still great action, stunts and thrills, but there is another aspect that supercedes it all... thoughtful characterization of both Bond and M. True Bond fans may not be all warm and fuzzy over this fact. Touted as the best Bond film ever, there will be those that take exception to that. Even the Bond girl role isn't as prominent this time out. Actually, the Bond girl this time is really M. She's the female with the most screen time. I am not so sure that Skyfall is better than Casino Royale (although infinitely better than Quantum of Solace) or Connery's From Russia with Love, my own two personal favorites. But Skyfall stands on its own as a damned good Bond flick.
What the film also is is a fitting tribute to this year's 50th anniversary of the first James Bond. After all the various incarnations of the famous franchise, if this is what we get served up, we should be very pleased to come to the table.
A Sad Hollywood Story