|"It isn't fun. It's annoying." Roger P. Smaltz|
Starring: Craniel Daig, Bavier Jardem etc.
Much like Smaltz, Bond's back after a four year hiatus. Schmaltz, of course, is a fan of the books and the ten or so films that resemble Ian Fleming’s stories. So I had high expectations for this. It saddens me to say, then, that I found it to be a crushing disappointment.
Just to clarify, Skyfall’s not a bad film. The cast is excellent - I really like the way Bond and our perception of Ralph Fiennes’ character changes throughout the film - it’s beautifully shot, and the theme song is really good. In fact the production as a whole is impeccable.
The problems nearly all come down to the writing. Firstly, this is a celebratory Bond, it being fifty years since Dr. No. As such the writers thought it would be fun to re-introduce all the old clichés the last two got rid off, namely Q, Miss Moneypenny and slightly cringing one liners. It isn’t fun, it’s annoying.
Not only does it ruin the good work done by the last two films did but completely undermines the new direction the film tries to take. By new direction, I mean it wants to be like The Dark Knight. As such, it never feels like an Ian Fleming Bond story.
The second big problem is that the character of Bond is not quite right. One scene springs to mind, in particular. It involves Severine, a mysterious young woman who has been in the employ of Silva (Bardem) since she was twelve. Her story is clearly tragic yet Bond seems to think it’s okay to get in the shower with her unannounced. To me this felt very inappropriate and out of character. In fact, even if Smaltzy tried that out, he'd get a slap in the ying yangs.
His relationship with Camille in Quantum of Solace (another very vulnerable character) is handled much better, bringing to mind the restraint shown in the Moonraker novel where Bond’s fellow undercover agent is wearing an engagement and he doesn’t know whether it’s genuine or part of her cover.
Other problems include the plot about a stolen hard drive full of undercover agents that gets forgotten about half way through, the nonsensical timeline (how is Bond too old in this film when in Casino Royale he has only just got his 00 license? And how does he have the Aston Martin from Goldfinger??) and a ponderous score.
The biggest kick in the pants however is the films last scene which might as well turn to the audience and say ‘you remember the last two films…you won’t be getting another one like that’.