His name is Bond, James Bond. He dodges bullets, runs across the tops of trains, swings from planes, drives cars fast, shoots straight, fights the bad guy , has new futuristic gadgets, makes love to beautiful women, and drinks his martinis shaken not stirred. This is the Bond we have known from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig.
The Bond we meet in Skyfall is a little different. He still does all those things but we finally see an aging Bond. The film begins as all 007 films do with lots of action but this time Bond is shot, falls into the water, taken to the debts of the sea, dead. But of course, even though everyone else thinks he has gone to the spy headquarters in the sky, we know somehow he has survived. He is living the quiet life on an island enjoying his unscheduled retirement, until he hears that his beloved leader, M (Judi Dench) is being targeted, not only by a deranged person who is trying to kill her but also by the bureau who feels that she and the M16 agency are just too old and out of date. Bond comes back to save the day but finds that his body isn't as it used to be. (He still looks above average to me but who am I?) M puts him back on duty and Bond sets out to find who is behind all this. Along the way he meets his new Q (Ben Whisaw) a young twenty-something who feels he can get more done than Bond ever could by just sitting in his living room with his laptop in his pajamas. Another reference to the young knows all and the old ways are just that, old.
This film is interesting because in you are a “Baby Boomer” you can really relate to idea that father time is real and as you get older things are being invented you just don’t understand. You are being negated because of your age and not your experience. Skyfall is brilliant at bringing this out. It makes James Bond and M seem real and almost like us.
Javier Bardem is fabulous as the insane Silva, an over the top, completely out of his mind ex-spy. He worked under M and was one of her best. We all know that M will do what needs to be done to save the world, even leave one of her men behind. Silva swore to get even and he spent years devising a way. He found it in using the almighty internet. I can't imagine anyone else pulling off this character.
All in all, Bond finds his man; there are a lot of things blowing up, car chases, young and old coming together and surprise endings.
And as in any Bond movies there are the Bond girls with their interesting names. Eve Moneypenny is played by Naomie Harris. I enjoyed the relationship she and Bond had with their implied sex and innuendos. She’s normal, not like the overly beautiful, conniving women in the other Bond movies.
Sam Mendes' direction of the film is amazing. He has truly humanized the characters. Don’t get me wrong, James Bond is still “The Man” and can still do all the things we know him for, he is just being allowed to do them a little slower. Mendes choosing Adele to sing the title song was a very wise choice. Her voice gives it a haunting feeling.
I say SPEND THE MONEY and see Skyfall at the theater.