Sunday, October 28, 2012

Skyfall - James Bond film

The Vue, Cribbs Causeway, was full to capacity for the 12.40 pm performance - on a Sunday?!?

When we left at 3.30 the queue snaked out of the building. They were showing Skyfall at 30 minute intervals on 5 or 6 screens. I don't care what it cost - they are surely making a mint with this one.

You can no longer make Bond films merely out of mindless stunts and explosions, libertine sexual attitudes/practices and the odd joke. Standards have gone up: we're more serious, and locker-room male chauvinism seems so twentieth century.

The answer with this Bond is to give him some hinterland and personal issues without slumping on the stunts, which are extraordinary. Bond, it turns out, has childhood-trauma, while his antagonist has analogous angst: the film takes a Freudian view on all this.

Skyfall (the title is explained late in the film) also gives a nod to the perennial conflict between HumInt (the use of agents such as Bond) vs the use of signals intelligence/hacking as a pre-eminent form of espionage. M is forced to defend her use of such 'dinosaurs' as Bond against an unsympathetic government; it turns out Bond has his uses.

So half marks for deepening the Bond concept, but only half because the script doesn't really do this in any profound way. In the end the film is sophisticated candyfloss: delicious but insubstantial; very good but not great.

Still, it's better than 90% of the films you get to see, holds attention throughout and is loads of fun. Definitely worth it.