2012 - Skyfall
￼Alternate Title - Orphan Issues Ranch - OR - Tragic Backstory Manner.
PG13 - 143 minutes
Director - Sam Mendes
Actors - Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney
Review written: 10.8.2015
Can’t believe I’ve put off this movie for 3 years already. Especially considering that I really wanted to watch this in theaters but never got around to it. I wanted to watch Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace again before heading to the theater but never quite made it. But I’m not making that mistake again! That’s why I’m watching all 3 Daniel Craig Bond movies in one day, so I can go watch Spectre with the right frame of mind. Not that it would actually matter but still… Also, I love Javier Bardem so this will be fun. Here goes:
- Starts off with a random sequence, obviously. I also notice another Bond movie trope: he will exit a building and immediately someone will stop the car and pick him up. Do they just circle the building over and over until he comes out or is everyone on the same mental wavelength that Bond is? It’s fucking weird. I love when Bond chases someone through the alleyways and staircases of some third world shithole without any respect for the citizens. Dirt bike chase on the roof of the Grand Bizarre? Fuck it. Why not? Bond hits a bridge to land on the train, he does but the bike does not. They have a cut-away shot of the bike landing in the dirt….fucking why do I need to see that? During the train sequence I’m starting to see that Daniel Craig is getting too old for Bond. He just looks tired and disinterested. Looks like he hasn’t slept in a few days. Close-up of Bond’s watch made me remember that they did watch ads for this movie. Christ… Eve (Bond’s partner) goes to shoot the man Bond is chasing but shoots Bond instead. He falls way too far into water.
- The scene is almost over and I can smell the Adele song coming. Here it is! I actually do think this is a pretty good song, especially for a Bond song. It does however suffer from something a few Bond songs suffer from: the title is in the song and it doesn’t make sense. Moonraker is the prime example of this. She does say “Let the sky fall…” But then says “At Skyfall.” So she does her best to make it make sense. The title sequence is pretty badass because it’s blood in the water themed because that’s where we last left Bond. It also does a Rorschach test theme that goes into Bond’s grave. Very excited to see Thomas Newman’s name in the credits. Especially considering that I’m pretty sure I saw a swastika again in the credits. (See my Quantum Of Solace review)
- I’m remember the last time Bond “died” when he was folded into a bed and shot. Then they put his casket in water and he was picked up in a submarine. I hope this time it isn’t as stupid. I have a feeling it won’t be because we’re in good hands with Sam Mendes.
- Ralph Fiennes is Gareth Mallory and he is basically forcing M to retire. I’m just curious as to why Dench was M for the Pierce Brosnan Bond movies and then later when they rebooted Bond with Daniel Craig she plays an older version of M because that’s how time works. It’s confusing why they have the same M. It’s not like they made a joke out of it like they did in Wet Hot American Summer. At any rate, her office is blown up and a bunch of people are killed.
- Bond really is reminding me of Sterling Archer in this movie. Which is weird because Archer was made as an over-the-top spoof of Bond. Bond is literally fucking, then drinking a Heineken in bed (the second advertisement if you’re paying attention.) Then Bond takes shots with a scorpion on his hand.
- I can’t tell if they made Bond a drunk early in the movie as an attempt to cover up Craig’s aging or if it is just really good make-up. There is a random training montage in which Bond is briefed. Bond also forgot how to shoot a gun somehow. How fucking long was he away for? While doing a word association with a shrink, Bond is asked to say the first word he thinks of for Skyfall. He doesn’t do it. The fuck is it? Bond then pulls out metal from a wound to be analyzed. I thought he was just a cutter gone mental on account of the booze withdrawal. Maybe I’m still right.
- Ralph Fiennes tells Bond that being a field agent is a young man’s game. Fuck me if these two actors don’t look exactly the same age. One just happens to be in great shape. I looked it up and Ralph is only 6 years older than Craig. Un-fucking-believable. I thought I was exaggerating but turns out I wasn’t at all.
- We have a new Q! I had a feeling in Quantum that they didn’t really want to set up that boring dude as Q. Skyfall Q feels more like the Riddler from the Gotham TV show than the old dude from the original series. Were they aiming for the Doctor Who crowd with him? Because I have to admit…I know nothing of Doctor Who. Either I just hit an awesome reference nail on the head or I’m way off. Either way I don’t give a shit.
- Shanghai, China: So, when I write my books I listen to a lot of Thomas Newman soundtracks. Mostly The Shawshank Redemption and the ones like that. But I also have the Skyfall soundtrack on there. I was writing and decided to listen to it and let me tell you, it’s not fun on its own. It’s very distracting without an action movie to accompany it. Listening to it during the movie is way easier than just alone. Oh, and Bond just grabbed the bottom of an elevator and held on for the entire way up a building. This means he has super human strength. He could barely even do pull-ups in the testing montage earlier. Maybe the real Bond died and this is cyborg Bond? When Bond catches back up to the dude he was following on the elevator, it feels more like Underworld meets Blade Runner than a Bond movie. It must be holy goddamned irritating to live in Shanghai because there are constant bright-ass neon lights constantly flashing through your windows. It all leads to the typical Bond “who are you working for” death scene.
- Whoever stole the names of agents is releasing them on YouTube 5 at a time every week. Bond finds out while shaving off that stupid fucking facial hair he’s had since he was Archer-ing around. What follows is a very sensual shaving experience between Bond and Eve. She calls him an old dog after the shave. So let me get this right… Bond went from fresh rookie in 2006 to old dog in 2012. Shit, being a secret agent is like being the president. You age at such an accelerated rate. Hardly seems worth it. Makes me wonder if he’s doing Bond throughout the years while the other movies would be chronologically shuffled in between them. Like between Casino Royale and this one, the rest of the movies took place. This is of course if you don’t assume the “Bond is just a codename for multiple agents” theory is correct. Personally, I do. Even if I do have to ignore the grave visiting scene that destroys this theory.
- Bond meets Severine at a casino and they both can tell exactly what type of gun the other person has on below their clothes. No. Just no. Turns out she’s in a sex-trade. Bond claims he knows when a woman is afraid but is pretending not to be. That’s a very rapey statement. Bond wants to meet her boss. Who I fucking hope is Javier Bardem, I’m sick of waiting for him. It’s 62 minutes into the movie and he’s still not in it.
- Women beware, lock your fucking doors or Bond will sneak in and shower fuck you. They barely even set up the sexual chemistry between him and Severine but sure enough, he’s inside her.
- Severine tells Bond that Silva told everyone on an island that there was a chemical leak so it was evacuated. He’s a real tough guy. Javier is here finally! And he has goofy blonde hair. He tells a haunting story about rats in an oil drum as he walks toward the camera. It’s an awesome scene. Silva was an agent back in the day. He tells Bond that M (he calls her “mommy”, supporting my previous theory) lied to Bond about being ready to go back into the field. Silva starts touching Bond a lot and it’s fucking hilarious and unexpected.
- Afterward, Silva makes Bond shoot a shot glass off of Severine’s head in the courtyard. It’s an awesome scene. Silva kills the girl and then Bond takes out all the men and captures Silva with backup. But… why not do all that before he shot the girl? He just let her die, pretty much. What a dick.
- M and Silva share a Hannibal Lector scene when Silva is in a glass prison. Silva claims that M betrayed him, leading to his capture and torture. He tried to kill himself with a cyanid capsule. He says “Life clung to me like a disease.” Amazing line. He shows M what the pill did to his face by removing a large section of his upper jaw. It’s super fucked up looking. His name was really Tiago Rodriguez and M gave him up to get 6 agents back after he went too far with hacking. I don’t really care about any of that because he’s awesome without a backstory. Just like Hannibal, Silva breaks out after hacking into MI6’s computer and opening the doors. Bond tracks him and Silva has cops working for him. The fuck is Skyfall? Seriously. I keep remember the title of the movie and wondering why they haven’t gone near it again. This whole movie is about the old vs. new way of doing spy work. Espionage vs. computers. Is that Skyfall??
- Silva blows up part of the underground tunnel to make a train kill Bond. It’s pretty badass. When Silva gets into a cop car and starts loading guns it became very apparent to me that this particular Bond movie is The Dark Knight of Bond movies. Silva is the Joker. He’s doing everything in the same way as Heath Ledger’s Joker. Awwww…..M’s husband whose back we saw in Casino Royale, died. She then reads a poem and even that’s like The Dark Knight closing where Gordon reads at Harvey’s funeral.
- Holy shit, Ralph Fiennes just saved M and got shot in the process. I thought for sure that he was going to be a bad guy, since they already used Sean Bean in Goldeneye.
- Being American, whenever they are casually driving around in England, even at a casual pace I think it’s a car chase scene because I keep thinking they are on the wrong side of the road. Obviously I know they aren’t but there is a second or two where my heart beats a little faster.
- Tanner’s character just drank a Heineken. He works for the government and is officially on the clock. But he drank a fucking Heineken. Christ, movie, really?
- We finally got some Bond backstory. Bond grew up in the country before his parents died. Did Skyfall kill them? Did something fall from he sky to land on his parents? Were they so scared the sky would fall like chicken little that they lived in fear and ultimately killed themselves? What is Skyfall? Holy shit…they just showed what Skyfall is! It’s a house. They also finally showed Albert Finney (Kincade). He calls M, Emma. That finally answers the joke from Casino Royale about M standing for her name. And also, apparently his name really is James Bond as his Father was A. Bond. So that kills the different agents using the same codename.
- Kincade, M and Bond rig the house like Kevin McCallister because all they have between the three of them is an old shotgun. Meanwhile, a dozen men show up with machine guns. This plot could be resolved if they just shoot all their guns through the house and call it a day. They are all taken out one by one in Home Alone fashion.
- Silva approaches in a helicopter like Apocalypse Now. M and Kincade go into a cupboard down to an underground tunnel. M is bleeding and it was obvious she got shot before so it wasn’t a surprise at all. Bond blows up the house and it causes the helicopter to crash. Silva looks fucking amazingly terrified when watching this. As far as houses exploding in movies it’s one of the better ones. Better than Timecop. That’s apparently the benchmark of explosion quality that I’m working with.
- A better name for Skyfall would be Orphan Issues Ranch. Or Tragic Backstory Manner.
- Bond is standing above the moors with one of Silva’s men and he makes the man shoot them through the ice. That’s all fine and good except it’s not nearly cold enough outside for there to be a thick ice layer over that water. There isn’t even snow on the ground but the moor is iced over? Sure, you can kinda see their breath but it looks like October at the latest. That water has no business being frozen over.
- Starting to realize this is about more than just revenge for Silva. He clearly has mommy issues with more than just M, but he’s taking them out on her. Unfair, dude. He puts a gun to M’s head and his head next to hers and asks that she free them both. Then Bond being the puss he is, literally stabs him in the back.
- M’s dying words are, “I did get one thing right…” The fuck? Did she mean trusting Bond? What a depressing thing to say. I feel like they set up her husband’s death earlier so that it was okay for her to die now. I had a feeling she wasn’t going to live through this one.
- I also get the feeling that Eve will be the new Moneypenny. If she isn’t then I’m confused as to what they’re setting up with Eve declining going back out into the field. Holy shit, the second I finished writing that she introduced herself as Eve Moneypenny. I only knew her as Eve because IMDb lists her as Eve. This also makes Ralph Fiennes the new M it seems. Which means as of now we have a new M, Q and Moneypenny. With the next moving having Spectre, it feels like it’s catching up to the previous movies.
- One last thought before the summary: I stated before that his name actually is James Bond. But if he’s the FIRST James Bond then it could make sense that the Bond name could be a codename in honor of the original. It’s a longshot but I like to see it this way. To hell with proof and common sense. Plus, this means Moneypenny gets very white over the course of her career with MI6. Maybe her successor is white and keeps the same name just like Bonds do? Maybe. Fuck it, who knows?
- Overall, hate to say it… This is my favorite Bond movie to date. It managed to surpass Goldeneye and I didn’t think that was possible. I know people will disagree with me on this but I don’t care. It was the first Bond movie in a while that had a very clear plot and didn’t stray away from it for any amount of time. Quantum was all over the place and was about almost nothing, Casino Royale was great but a large section was just poker. Skyfall has a ton of stuff I loved, an amazing villain with a clear agenda, backstory on Bond finally, great action sequences and it both wrapped up the movie and set-up the future of the franchise perfectly. I’m officially pumped to go see Spectre in the theater now.