SkyfallFeature Film |
Every generation gets the Bond that they deserve.
Every generation gets the Bond that they deserve, and we have gotten ours. Skyfall, for all of its callbacks to earlier Bond films, is firmly rooted in 2012. Skyfall is visually a great film; Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins constructed a careful, beautiful, and exciting visual spectacle. The film begins with Bond's "death." When he returns to MI6, the stubble he's let grow is graying. He fails the physical tests required for field duty. And his first meeting with the new Q, played by 32-year-old-but-looks-barely-22 Ben Whishaw, hammers us over the head with Bond's age. Sitting in front of a painting at the National Gallery, Q remarks, "It always makes me feel a bit melancholy. Grand old warship, being ignominiously hauled away for scrap. The inevitability of time, don't you think?" Not only is Bond showing his age, but M is as well. Against these old warships of M and Bond, we have the new Q, the new MI6, sleek, modern buildings, and the villain's supercomputer. What match can Bond be for 2012 if he's stuck in 1962?
A good match, apparently. The villain, Silva (Javier Bardem in a Truman Capote wig), is an angry, insane former agent of M's, now a hacker and freelance terrorist, bent on killing M. Even with Bond backed into a corner in the final act, he will return for films 24 and 25, the credits promise. It is the necessary film, both in the sequence of Bond films made recently and for audiences right now. The series reboot in 2006 was excellent, Casino Royale was a great film, but Quantum of Solace tanked that story. Another reboot was (unfortunately so soon) needed, and Skyfall achieves it by going back to 1962, a clever solution to the problem of celebrating 50 years of a cinema tradition in 2012.
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