“Skyfall,” the latest James Bond movie, which was released on DVD Feb. 12, is a mixed bag.
The film’s action sequences are competently done. They combine some impressive stunts with solid camera work and good direction, and are vastly superior to the sloppy, unfocused and confusing ones endured by audiences of the previous Bond film, “Quantum of Solace.”
Daniel Craig and Judi Dench return to reprise their roles as Bond and his superior “M,” respectively. While Javier Bardem plays the film’s villain, a mysterious figure from the past seeking the apparent destruction of MI6, the British intelligence organization Bond and “M” work for.
The plot, while it feels far too small and low-key when compared to previous works in the series, is adequate. Characters seem properly motivated, and the film has its share of action, drama and surprises.
It has a running time of around two and a half hours, which feels too long for a movie that’s basically about a remorseless government thug that goes around murdering people with impunity while tossing out the occasional snappy quip.
The film’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t feel like a James Bond movie, but rather a studio’s attempt to compete with other, more modern action-thriller series, such as “The Bourne Identity” films, by applying a beloved and well-known pop culture icon to an otherwise generic spy action/thriller movie.
Practically none of the elements that make a film a James Bond movie are present in “Skyfall.” The exotic locales of the old films are relegated here to little more than brief establishing shots.
There is no tough, second-in-command villain for Bond to square off against two-thirds of the way through the movie. The scale of the villain’s plan is much smaller than those of previous villains.
There’s no plot for world domination or an elaborate and outrageous scheme, such as a daring daylight raid on Fort Knox with an army of henchmen. Bond romances no women with absurd names like Holly Goodhead, Pussy Galore or Plenty O’Toole. And finally, Bond is given no gadgets to help him on his mission.
All of these are things I expect to see when I watch a James Bond movie, and “Skyfall” delivered none of them. They are all integral parts of the James Bond movie experience, and they play a large part in what differentiates a Bond movie from all of the imitators.
Not including them would be the equivalent of seeing a Star Wars movie that had no lightsabers or mention of the Force, both of which are iconic elements of their respective brands.
I realize the need for a long-running series to change over time to remain profitable and culturally relevant, but the James Bond series has lasted as long as it has because it has, for the most part, stuck to a tried-and-true formula. “Skyfall” deliberately goes out of its way to distance itself from that formula, and takes every available opportunity to decry it.
As a generic action movie “Skyfall” is passable, but as a part of a legendary film series spanning more than fifty years, it’s underwhelming and unacceptable.
I'm 5'10 and 130 lbs yet all nearly all of their clothes ...
They mean "revenue enhancement zones" cause that's ...