With rave reviews in the mainstream press, and a pretty impressive marketing campaign ‘Skyfall’ looked set to be one of the best Bond films ever. Let’s face it, for the camp Daniel Craig bunch, it’d hard to beat Casino Royale though. And of course, it didn’t.
The opening is a blinder and leaves you pumped for the rest of the film, Bond is in pursuit of a criminal who has made off with a soon to be not-so-secret list of the true identities of agents in terrorist cells around the world. It is here you see a jaw-dropping and daring motorbike chase across the rooftops of Istanbul, a far-our fight on top of a speeding train and, as the trailer shows, Bond being taken down and falling to his apparent death from a massive railway bridge. Now we know, from the trailer if nothing else, that this is not the end for 007.
After that highly charged, perfectly excecuted scene setter, you might’ve thought you were in for a similar treat for the rest of the 2+ hour film but sadly, it proves somewhat lacklustre. With the supposed death of one of MI6’s top agents and a top secret list in the hands of criminals you’ve got the beginnings of a mammoth storyline ripe for the picking; sadly, this is buried once Bond returns and the story becomes about one man’s quest for revenge on his former employer, M. Javier Bardem plays the perfect villain in the shape of Raoul Silva, a former agent turned bad – harnessing the creepy vibes of the Childcatcher with the hysterical criminally insane quality of the Joker.
Sure, there’s plenty of traditional elements, without which it just wouldn’t be a Bond film – the sexy Bond girl (Severine, played by Berenice Marlohe), whose part in this movie is way too short-lived and whose relationship with Bond borders on the ridiculous. The high tech gadgets, including a gun which responds only to oo7’s handprint, something you know will become important later in the film, and the power struggles within MI6. But it’s just a bit disjointed – mimicking other films throughout, be it Batman (the villain with sniffs of Two-Face) and even Home Alone (Bond rigging up innovative boobie traps in a big old house).
There are elements of booting Bond into the 21st Century with a focus on computer crime as opposed to good, old fashioned violence, extortion and vice. There are sniffs of the latter, with a seemingly endless supply of muscle to help Raoul on his mission, but the main crux of his power comes down to computer wires and hacking victories. It’s much harder to make this entertaining. Nevertheless, it’s a solid bond film – ideal for a few hours escapism; just don’t go analysing it too much.
Words: Laura Williams
by 247 Magazine