SKYFALL (2012) Director: Sam Mendes Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Judy Dench Rating: PG-13 for gunplay and explosions and martinis being shaken.
Unless you’ve been under a rock and headless for the last fifty years, you’ve probably heard of James Bond. Created by author Ian Fleming, agent 007 has appeared in novels, radio dramas, video games, not to mention the longest running movie franchise in the history of ever, and has been thwarting super villains and bedding femme fatales since before Jason Bourne was playing with his Hot Wheels.
James Bond has been portrayed by several actors over the last half century; Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Remington Steele to name a few. Daniel Craig is the current Bond, and the three Bond films he’s headlined are an awesome mix of globe trotting adventure and good ol fashioned ass kicking. The last Bond adventure Skyfall came out last year and made over a billion dollars worldwide, which means James Bond is now as rich as the evil geniuses he does battle with every movie. He should buy a hollowed out mountain fortress! Always a good investment.
As Skyfall opens, Bond is chasing an assassin who has stolen a list of secret agents and all the secret things they’re doing at that moment (which is something that should be carried around in some dumbass’s laptop), and in usual Bond fashion the chase devolves into mayhem and destruction as motorcycles, trains, and construction equipment wreck most of Istanbul. Bond is wounded, falls off a bridge and is presumed dead by the MI6. But before MI6 headmistress M (Judi Dench) can put up a help wanted sign in the window, the window (and a good chunk of MI6 headquarters) is destroyed by a bomb. Someone is targeting M and the other secret agent men!
Oh, if only James Bond were still alive to track down the culprit!
Oh wait, he still is.
Turns out Bond was just laying low and pretending to be deceased. When he hears about the attempt on M’s life, Bond decides that hanging out on a beach drinking and having casual sex is not the a good retirement plan and springs back into action!
Bond finds out the assassin who eluded him earlier in the movie is working for a strange blonde guy named Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem in a strange blonde wig), a cyber terrorist with a major league bone to pick with M.
Maybe M never gave Silva the positive reinforcement he craved when he was a top agent at MI6; like a little chuck on the shoulder and an “atta boy Silva” after finishing a really important mission or a positive performance review in his personnel folder – these things can make a difference between a good employee who works hard and is respected around the office and an unhinged megalomaniac who steals lunches from the breakroom fridge and tries to take over the world.
Happens all the time.
Skyfall deftly moves from one action sequence to another as Bond chases Silva in, around, and under London, trying to thwart his cunning plan to take out M. When Bond realizes Silva is really crazy and really well armed, he takes M to hide out at his family’s ancestral home Scotland where he sets a trap for Silva and his soldiers that involves improvised booby traps and a pissed off Albert Finney. Can Bond save his boss and keep the world safe from the deranged cyber terrorist who refuses to let go of the past and live in the now?
Spoiler alert! Bond. James Bond. That means yes.
I give mega props to the folks behind Skyfall for doing away with the usual Bond movie cliches like an overly complex plot that usually has to do with a mysterious evil organization led by a bald guy in a Nehru jacket and giving me what I really like in a Bond movie – James Bond chasing, then beating the crap out of bad guys.
Less talking, more punching. It’s a philosophy that I’ve lived by since I watched A Room with a View back in ’85. It’s made me the man I am today.