“Nobody does it better…” Then, as now, Carly Simon was spot on. Nobody does it better than James Bond.
Cinematically dating 50 years, Bond shows slight traces of age — call it maturity — but it wears well on him.
Every fan has their favorite Bond, dating back to Sean Connery. I like Daniel Craig. He is a tough Scotsman, athletic and rougher (if meticulously tailored) than his predecessors.
Craig does not distinguish Bond movies — films that stand out for their extraordinary production values — but he is strong enough to carry and boost the film at its ebb.
“Skyfall” is a more contemporary view of the usual end-of-the world evil that confronts Bond. There are no atomic bombs, space-based weapons, or environmental disasters looming. Javier Bardem plays Silva, a fallen 00 agent — like a fallen angel — who wants to destroy MI6 and M (Judi Dench), in particular.
The motivation driving Silva — a typically hideous bad guy — is personal, as opposed to, for example, world conquest. An unusual kind of intimacy develops between Bond and M as Bond returns from presumed dead to protect her and their parent agency. It is more personal, in that “Skyfall’ is the name of the Scottish manor of Bond’s birthright where the story’s climatic scenes take place.
One should watch a Bond movie almost as they would Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner — don’t take the circumstances too seriously and enjoy the fun. There are no ambiguities.
The cinematography makes you want to travel; the girls are beautiful; the good guys are good, the bad guys awful; the action is choreographed like a Fred Astaire dance sequence. Sam Mendes has directed a beautiful and impeccable film in “Skyfall” with no gaps.
Compared to other action flicks, “Skyfall” makes me feel sad for the rest.
Jim Wigge is a retired engineer, Cazenovia resident and film-aficionado, who reviews movies for the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached through the editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.