Thursday, June 13, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Skyfall (2012) ***½

PG-13, 143 min.
Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan, Ian Fleming (characters)
Starring: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Lim Marlohe, Rory Kinnear, Ben Wishaw, Ola Rapace, Albert Finney

You can read the majority of my thoughts on the most recent James Bond film, “Skyfall”, in my original review. What I want to concentrate on in this first Penny Thoughts for the movie are the reasons why I didn’t go all the way and give this movie four stars. Many called it the best Bond ever. I can see where they’re coming from. I liked this one almost as much as the last two. In some ways I liked it even more, but there was a little intangible something missing for me.

Although, “Skyfall” celebrates the 50th years of Bond in the movies by placing many references and much homage to past Bond films throughout and reestablishing some Bond signatures that were missing from the past two movies, it doesn’t feel entirely like a Bond movie. “Skyfall” is more contemplative than most Bond films. It has a brain and a heart and it concentrates on those aspects even more so than on the action of Bond, or the wit. Those are there, but their presence isn’t as keenly felt in this Bond as it is in others. To some degree, this Bond isn’t quite as fun as the rest. It’s almost too grown up.

I know. I know. This is the ultimate in purist pickiness. I’m not a purist. I love what J.J. Abrams has done with the “Star Trek” franchise. I don’t want Bond to never change. If he hadn’t, I’d never have seen the best Bond films ever made. Of which, “Skyfall” is one. But, there’s something about real catharsis in a Bond film that just seems out of place. That’s not to say I didn’t like it being there. I did. I enjoyed it very much, but in a subdued way, not a “Holy shit!” way, if you know what I mean. 

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