SKYFALL – James Bond

Fortunately, I saw this movie yesterday. Fortunately, I saw it at home where I could do other things while it played on the TV screen. Fortunately, I did not pay a penny; I checked out the DVD from the public library.

Most Bond movies have the hero on a mission or missions, accompanied by beautiful babes who assist or otherwise engage James. The game between the producer and audience is do something ephemeral, spectacular and exciting and lead the audience to the empty, impossible over-the-top climax. Spycraft be damned. It is pure entertainment pumped up by special effects.

But in Skyfall, there is a lot of dull and dead time. I don’t want to see a babe shave James Bond’s beard. I want quips, hormones and hands moving before body-on-body action! The audience has been James Bond be tested and recertified to “00” status, albeit with other actors, Pierce Brosnan and Sean Connery. At the end of Sean’s retesting, he has a fight with a very large killer whom he disables with a beaker of his own urine before killing the enemy beast. That fight scene is memorable. In Skyfall the retesting is done straight and long, as though the producers were making the hero, Henry V facing death.

James Bond will never be more than a fake, fantasy character doing incredible, indescribable feats. Keep James Bond in that segement of the box office.

The story of “Skyfall” involves an equally incredible, fantastic bad guy, a former brilliant MI-6 agent (mid-fifties) who’s mastered computers, software programing, electrical engineering and everything else about the technical world and how it works. He manages to evade customs, passport, police and security controls and agencies world-wide, much better than Matt Damon did as Jason Bourne. He attacks the Houses of Parliament (I figure that’s where a Parliamentary investigation is being held). He causes the destruction of part of the London underground with a bomb.

I only only surmise the British were asking themselves, What is to be done? It’s time for tea. Bond figures out: “We have to get ahead of this guy.” (I’ve heard that statement on American TV crime shows many times.) Apparently Bond was the only guy in Britain who thought so, and the whole country follows his plan: Don’t lay an ambush. Go into the wilds alone, virtually unarmed.

My advice to James Bond is, Don’t try to play it straight.