I'm prefacing this list with a bit of history about me and Bond. Liked Bond films as a kid but quickly grew out of them. In my more maturer eyes they just became too cheesy and I tired of the stereotypical portrayal of women.
Then Casino Royale came along, a new, more rugged Bond. Dame Judi as M. I gave it a go. It was a fresher more contemporary take and with a little more emotional depth. And we got to see Craig's buff bod in those teeny swimming trunks. A tiny step towards redressing the balance.
But Quantum of Solace went and ruined it again. No swimming trunks, a clunky script, Bond by numbers. I was done. My brief flirtation with the series was over. Wouldn't be seeing the next one when it finally appeared.
Then Sam Mendes got on board a director of quality and style. Then Stan fav Ben Whishaw got on board, playing Q and dragging the character (and the franchise) into the 21st century. There was no way I wasn't going to see this. And I wasn't disappointed.
So here are 10 things I liked about Skyfall in no particular order *there are spoilers*:
- The tongue in cheek nods to old Bond, Q to Bond: "Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don't really go in for those any more."
- The careful selection of just enough old Bond elements that we aren't quite ready to give up on yet such as the appearance of the Aston Martin DB5
- Javier Bardem, should get a spot just coz but... the blond hair and the flirtation. What baddie needs to hit Bonds in the balls to make him feel uncomfortable? "Are you trying to remember your training?" Puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.
- Rory Kinnear and Ben Whishaw sharing screen time together. He was Laertes to Mr W's Hamlet and Bolingbroke to his Richard II and it makes this sad fan happy to see them working together again.
- Ben Whishaw for being brilliant once again and rocking the cardigan look. His hair should probably get a mention all of it's own. He has the ability to make you completely lose yourself in the character he is playing which is so rare in this world of celebrity obsession. Long may he continue to be able to keep his private life, private and himself to himself.
- The beautiful cinematography. This Bond is visually stunning, I dread to think how complex lighting scenes such as the skyscraper in Hong Kong were but so, so affective.
- It made me wipe the palms of my hands on my jeans - I'm terrified of heights and that fight scene by the broken window a zillion storeys up had me, sweating and squirming in my seat.
- Trying to steer away from stereotypes (although more could definitely be done) such as not making Ralph Fiennes character a sit behind a desk, thorn in Bond's side.
- Another nerdy one, the geographically accurate London sequences. As someone who's lived in London for 20 years and got to know it's layout well there is nothing more distracting than when an actor gets on a Bakerloo line train only to emerge from a Piccadilly line station in. Told you it was nerdy but I can't help getting distracted by it.
- Dame Judi. A consistently feisty female character who is at the top of her game. She'll be sadly missed.
And one thing I didn't like:
- M aside although it is now applicable, why do all the women in Bond films have to either die or end up behind a desk. It's boring. Naomie's character had so much promise and then we leave her pretty much sitting at the secretary's desk outside Ralph Fiennes office. If Bond is going truly modernise it needs to sort this out.