Looks like I've got a little 007 theme going lately.
I've been going through Ian Fleming's books, and re-watching the Bond movies. After seeing Casino Royale a while back, it seemed like the film franchise was reconnecting with the roots. I also saw Quantum of Solace, and remember very little of it. If I had to describe it in one word, I'd say, "forgettable." But I'm usually willing to give someone another chance after falling flat, so I gave Skyfall a look.
I'll remember this one, so it's at least an improvement over the last Bond effort. But it's hard for me to classify it as a Bond movie.
Seems to me the film makers weren't trying to make a Bond movie--they were trying to make a typical blockbuster action flick: a formulaic Explosion Fest punctuated by chase scenes. In that they were successful. They also threw in a villain who is, basically, Hannibal Lecter without the cannibalism. And they tied it up nicely in the end to make it a reboot of the 007 mythos, with a new M, a new Q and a new Moneypenny.
There was a cameo by the 007 spy car from the Connery-era movies, too. The Aston Martin was never a very attractive vehicle in my opinion, so what happened wasn't as annoying as it was designed to be. But from the moment it appeared on screen I knew (modern action flick directors having a fetish for vehicular destruction) the sucker was toast. What goes through their minds, anyway? Do they fear that moviegoers will demand their money back if there's one less cinematic fiery blast in their cookie cutter plots? Or are they just too caught up in some kind of sick pyro-sexual thrill to think at all?
(It's also, like destruction of the Skyfall Estate, part of the formula: Take the character back to his roots, then destroy them. How many times is the Batcave going to be destroyed I wonder--or at least discovered by the bad guys and the entire population of Gotham City? As many times as you buy a ticket to see it, plus one.)
Skyfall is a crowd-pleaser, but could have just as easily been a Die Hard, Bourne, Taken or fill-in-the-blank series movie. Watch the videos--they sum up a lot of my thoughts on this movie.