Skyfall is opened with an explosive race scene. They – Bond and another agent, one Eve Moneypenny – find a room with a dying agent and a stolen hard-drive. They chase the villains by car, on a motorcycle and on top of a train. Well, Bond chases the villain on a motorcycle, across a market rooftop, through buildings and right on top of a train. Eve is following by car and when M gives her the order to shoot, she manages to drop 007 off the train and into the deep gorge below.
This was the first and last exciting chase scene in the whole movie.
A few things stand out:
1) Bond Girls
Bond is famous for the women he loves and leaves behind. The bond girls are sexy and smart. They help him save the world and also betray him.
Skyfall has three women: Eve Moneypenny, Séverine and M. Yesterday, I couldn’t imagine M as a bond girl and even today the idea boggles my mind. She’s not sexy enough. 😉 But neither Eve Moneypenny nor Séverine have that something that makes a Bond girl. They are sexy, yeah, but their role in the movie wasn’t big enough.
He slips into Séverine’s shower on a boat and Eve Moneypenny flirts with him. Eve Moneypenny shoots Bond and Séverine leads him to the enemy. That looks like it’s enough to turn them both into Bond girls, but something feels lacking to me. I am not sure what. That leaves M and if the relationship isn’t sexual, it is maternal. Which, yeah, isn’t quite the stuff Bond girls are made of either.
Q gives two pieces of tech: a gun only he can fire and a radio signal. Bond loses the gun before he use it, but no one can shoot him with it, either. The radio signal gives of a distress signal when he needs rescue.
Nothing else. No fancy car, no other improbable bits of tech.
Q even says: “What did you expect, an exploding pen? We don’t really go in for that any more.”
IMO, they should go for it. So much more exciting.
A car from another Bond movie make it in, and they rig it up nice, with guns and all. But it’s not the same.
3) Bond Enters Middle-Age
I never really thought of Bond as old or even middle-aged.
Which in this movie, he is. Middle-aged, if not old. Bond has a white beard, he struggles through his fitness tests, and his hand shakes when he’s aiming.
A lot is made of his age, that being a field agent is a young man’s game. He implies it himself, in an exchange with M.
Plus, he seems tired. Possible ready to quit the game entirely. That is, until the last scene, when he says he’s ready for the next mission.
4) Beautiful Scenery
He goes to Shanghai. There, the movie has a beautiful scene at the top of a glass tower, he wrestles with the bad guy. Sadly, the bad guy falls off a broken glass wall without first stating who he works and other important information. This whole scene, where he clings to the elevator and then stalks the bad guy through the glass tower, it’s fabulous. Fabulous!
There are a lot of truly eye-catching backdrop settings. Like, the abandoned island. Also, at the end, frozen lake and burning house in the background. The chase through London subway. The casino with its glittering surfaces and its very own komodo dragon.
5) Bond Acquires a Past
He was always the enigmatic, mysterious spy. Debonair, stylish and sexy. Not the guy you want to lose your heart to, but still fun to play with.
Skyfall delves into Bond’s history. I don’t know if the writers made it up or if they got it from the books. But before this I never really thought about Bond’s childhood. Or what makes him what he is.
I never really thought about if he has a wife or kids or parents. His parents are dead, btw. The movie doesn’t go into specifics, but Bond had to hide in an escape tunnel and was never the same afterward.
The main baddy feels like the Joker out of a Batman movie. Seriously. The laugh was similar. It was just so odd.
The ending took me by surprise. I kept thinking, surely there will be some miracle. She will be saved. She will live. Didn’t happen.
Probably a lot of people will say it moved too slowly – it slowed down a little in the middle – but I don’t mind. But I rarely mind.
Also, there is a gay scene. The bad guy is caressing and seducing him and Bond is all: What makes you think it’s my first time? So Bond has seduced guys before?
I liked it very much. But I wouldn’t watch it again.