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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Not as Lame as Quantum of Solace! Skyfall

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.


  1. Skyfall was in many ways almost an anti-Bond Bond movie — and that's why I really dug it. And that Anderson Wheeler double rifle. Unrequited gun lust!

    My review is here:

    Jim Cornelius

  2. Thanks, Jim. I'll check it out.

  3. I wonder, Hank if you were a Roger Moore guy. I've noticed that people's attitudes about the Daniel Craig Bong movies tend to depend on when you became a Bond fan. Moore fans seem to like them less, Connery fans more. Put me in the Connery camp and definitely pro-Craig.
    BTW, I don't get why people are down on Quantum of Solace. Not the greatest Bond movie, but not bad. The opening sequence is great, Olga Kurylenko nice on the eyes, love Joaquín Cosio as the evil General Medrano.

  4. Roger Moore was the first Bond I knew, but I liked Connery better when I discovered him. And I think Craig does a fine job acting. He was great in Casino Royale, which I thought was probably the most Fleming-loyal film to date (though Dr. No was close, and others thought that about OHMSS).

    I remember very little about Quantum of Solace except that opening sequence, and that the plot lost my interest.

    I don't blame the weaknesses of Skyfall on Craig, but on the director and screenwriter. But I do identify the last 3 Bond Flicks as "the Daniel Craig Bond" or some such label, which probably gives the impression that I hold him solely accountable. To be honest, I think Craig does a great job, and most of the cast put in fine performances.


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