Thursday, May 15, 2014

Really overdue film review: Skyfall

I get the feeling everyone looked at their watch and said, "Ohh, time to make a James Bond movie." And that's all the thought they put into the script. By its nature, the James Bond series is going to have some recycling, but "Casino Royale" managed to recycle things so well, it all seemed new. "Skyfall" seemed like minimum effort script-wise.

And I'm not talking about the standards: he must be in a tuxedo in a casino, he must have a doomed lover, he must have a physically deformed villain. I'm talking about plot elements stolen without any hesitation.

Judi Dench in jeopardy just like "World is Not Enough"
James Bond resurrected like "You Only Live Twice"
James Bond being told he's too old and must undergo training, just like "Never Say Never Again"
The rogue MI6 agent from "Goldeneye"
The palm-reading gun, just like from "License to Kill."
Bond breaks into M's flat, just like in "Casino Royale," and that was only two films ago.

But then there's the scenes overdone from other movies:

The criminal mastermind being questioned in his super secure standalone cell from which he'll escape,… from "Silence of the Lambs," "X-Men 2," "Avengers," and last night's episode of "The Blacklist."

The last act was like "Die Hard," except without the henchmen with individual personalities

Head scratchers:

How did Javier Bardem hack into MI6's computers? He worked there ten years ago and they still have the same computers with the same passwords?
How did he escape from the super inescapable cell? And how did he kill all the guards?
They introduce the new Q and all he has to offer is a gun and a radio? Why bother?

If the Daniel Craig films represent a reboot, where did he get the Aston Martin with built-in machine guns? There's no reason he should have Sean Connery's car except to get cheap applause from the audience.

(And the headstones at Skyfall disprove the Internet theory that "James Bond" is just a codename passed down from agent to agent, just like the 007 designation.)

The Moneypenny introduction was cute albeit unnecessary. Samantha Bond was still probably the best Moneypenny.

Great action scenes, great cinematography, great locales, but, nothing original.

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