Warning: some very small spoilers to follow
Skyfall, which is the 23nd James Bond movie is a movie currently released in theaters. Thus chronicling the further adventures of James Bond.
My reaction to the movie? It was quite awesome.
During the run up to the movie a wide variety of trailers were released, I do not know what clued me in, but I felt as though Skyfall was going to be a deep Bond movie.
Since Bond movies usually are formulaic in scope. They follow a set plot with set pieces. Bond romances a beautiful girl, gets a gadget from Q, battles someone’s henchman, and then kills the main antagonist in the piece. All the while being charming, witty, and beating the enemy often at their own games.
It is a formula that has served the movies well and made James Bond one of the most successful and iconic film franchises, and characters, in history. So when it breaks with that formula it can either make, or break it.
But this leaves little room for depth in a plot that has to hit so many of these things leaves little room for freedom. And after 22 movies this can get a bit stale.
So the challenge is keeping enough of the formula and keep it interesting to an audience.
Skyfall does this.
And Skyfall does this in such a way that not only is it deep for a Bond movie, but deep for a movie. And probably the most compelling movie I have seen in recent years.
This message, I contend, is the will of man vs. the supremacy of technology. Bond is forced into a situation where much of the technology, many of the devices and gadgets, and a lot of the things he has been forced to rely on is not only turned against him, but is used in such a way that during much of the movie he is outwitted.
Though some of the gadgets do work, it is only for brief scenes before Bond has to use something else to survive and escape.
This message is put into sharp focus when a group of politicians is questioning M (Judi Dench) on the effectiveness of her tactics and her agency that relies so much on manpower during the age of super spy satellites and communications intercepts.
This message is brought home in the final confrontation where Bond has to rely on make shift traps and weapons while his enemy has, well modern weapons and technology.
Throughout the movie they reintroduce many of the old elements of Bond that has been missing since the series was rebooted. But not only are they rebooted, but they are a part of the story, interacting, having a major impact. They are no longer part of a checklist that Bond has to hit, but an actual active element of the story.
And they put in enough classic call backs to the old franchise to wet the appetite of the classic fan.
If Skyfall has any flaws it starts slow, and there is a long time before anything major happens. But you can tell it’s because the plot is gathering, people are building to something, and when it explodes, it does with full force.
Over all Skyfall is not only a great Bond movie, but a great movie, and I highly recommend it for long time fans, and new comers alike.