A strange omittance occurred to me as I watched the 23rd installment of the “Bond” franchise. Let’s say you were an alien, who could only learn about human culture from Bond movies. First, you’d assume that the average woman was a “9”, with the sex-drive of a feral cat, incapable of pregnancy, and emotionally retarded. Second, you’d assume that everyone carries and uses a gun regularly, and is astonishingly unafraid of death. And lastly, you’d have no idea that hip-hop culture ever existed in any way, shape, or form. Not, that I’m a big fan of hip-hop in general, or feel an overwhelming desire to witness someone “represent” in a Bond movie… But, after 50 years of Bond(30 of which took place after 1982), how is it that there has never been a rap song, a rapper, slightly sagging pants, a sideways held Glock, or even a hint of an ebonic utterance from any character in any of the movies. I guess producers/writers have just felt like that might cheapen the vibe of the whole world-class, sophisticated secret agent thing. Although, I’d pay good money to watch Flavor Flav and/or Ice-T audition for the role of the next main villain. But seriously, I want answers.
Anyway, “Skyfall” was kinda good. It was certainly worth seeing once. I liked the first installment of the Bond reboot, “Casino Royale”, a little better than this one. But, I liked this one more than the last one(“Quantum of Solace”). Daniel Craig does a solid job as James Bond, and Javier Bardem proves to be an interesting bad guy choice as “Silva”. Although, maybe the writers let the audience get a little too much back story with Silva, as I became increasingly sympathetic to his character’s plight as the film went on. Maybe their goal was to paint a truly complex character with hyper-realistic motives. And while they succeeded in that quest, they simultaneously failed to allow the audience to fully fear and detest a Bond villain the way we are accustomed to. Perhaps a bit more of a clichéd, sharks-with-lasers, type of bad guy was in order. Although, one of the two best scenes in the movie was after about an hour in, when we first get introduced to Silva and we are treated to a two-minute, single shot, slow walking soliloquy which proves to be quite mesmerizing.
The other visually fascinating scene is the neon lights through a glass office building sniper dropoff in Shanghai. I realize that last sentence was a grammatical nightmare and generally uninformative, but I’m not in the business of giving a shit. Finally, I must begrudgingly admit that Adele finally did something that wasn’t entirely terrible, with her competent writing and performance of the “Skyfall” title track.
As a last side note, my wife made the observation that there were a lot fewer scantily clad women/sex scenes in Skyfall than a typical Bond experience. I can’t say I had a problem with this, since I’m not going to see a Bond movie so I can jerk off in the back of the theater.
Maybe back in the days before internet porn, I would have had a demand to witness more asses get paraded around, but that’s just not a necessary component anymore. There are really only three variables needed to calculate the formula for Skyfall :
Cool imagery + Decent acting – Hip Hop Culture = An entertaining night out.
Overall Rating : 7.7/10