When you have a bond film the excitement comes with the discovery of the plot as you experience it in the theater To give you an honest impression about this film, this franchise, which is as familiar to you as the nursery rhymes your grandmother told you, I have to avoid all mention of the story, the plot, the angle of attack, the nuance of character. I have to give you a feeling for the film that will allow you to say, yes, that’s my kind of place to be, or no….British super spy W.T.F? I don’t want to ruin the journey you get to take.
Bond films can be all alike. The Brits have a problem, they have a man they can call on. He can be vicious (Connery) Suave (Moore) Cartoonish (Lazenby), Rough (Dalton) or even ready (Brosnan). Only recently in the last three films has James Bond actually been a killer. Much credit goes to the writers of Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and the latest, Skyfall, for making a Bond we believe could do you some serious damage, while at the same time being a human being who does things for a reason.
So what can I tell you about Skyfall?
I can tell you those reasons are all there in Skyfall. Loyalty, Country, Anger, Vengeance and even Love are rolled into a film that is as much about the world of dysfunctional families as it is about espionage and action.
I can tell you Bond is damaged and has to face a threat like he’s never experienced.
I can tell you Javier Bardem gives a performance as the villain that is truly brilliant.
I can tell you it looks beautiful and despite some nods to the past it provides cinematography that is at the same time familiar and different to the Bond cannon. Sweeping cityscapes and romanesque labyrinths sit alongside neon glass houses and deserted cities.
What you do notice about this film eventually is that it is not about the physical journey. It is about the personal one. Who is James Bond? The director’s use of reflection, close up, the minutiae of expression all try to capture what has been for so long elusive, the reason for Bond’s being.
And at the film’s conclusion you are still in doubt. But during your journey you will have seen moments, albeit fleeting moments, of the truth of James Bond. You will have connected. It will have been with a look, a movement, an action or a word that pass too quickly for you to be sure. Because even the filmmaker cannot unravel and make bare the closed book, the quintessential Englishness of James Bond.
But trust me. By the time the credits roll you will feel you know him, just a little more.
What you know? Well that depends.