Movie Review – Skyfall

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“Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?” asks Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman before he throws on plastic raincoat and butchers Jared Leto with an axe. With the swinging of that axe went the last classy serial killer. The reason I mention a thirteen-year-old movie about a psychotic yuppie is because I just recently had the chance to take in the latest James Bond flick Skyfall. My initial trepidation about casting Daniel Craig as James Bond turns out to be totally legitimate. Daniel Craig has turned James Bond into a classless and all-together remorseless gun-happy serial killer, instead of the suave, sophisticated serial killer that he used to be.

Continuing on in the tradition of Craig’s Bond having the most far-reaching premises, 007 is tasked with recovering a hard drive that has all of the personal information of British Intelligence Agents on it – cue up the jokes about Sony. Bond is shot and presumed dead – for the second time in his lively career, I might add. But, Bond has just been laying low, and when the shit really hits the fan – courtesy of the often spooky Javier Bardem – he springs back into action to save MI-6.

The inherent problem with Daniel Craig's Bond is that he’s never felt quite right. He looks too old, his features are off, the coolness that Bond embodies seems far too forced with Craig. Add to this list of problems that Craig’s Bond is far too concerned with personal vendettas and revenge. Bonds previous have had these problems, but the resolution always seems to come naturally, at least as naturally as a resolution can come in a film as contrived as the Bond series. But, revenge has never been an explicit driving force behind Bond’s every action and motive – not to the extent as with Daniel Craig.

Director Sam Mendes has thrown together a very nice looking film, speaking from a cinematographer’s perspective. Though, for the estimated $200 million budget, I would be deeply offended if the movie wasn’t visually stunning. Visuals can only get a film so far, though. It needs to be engaging – and engaging, Skyfall was not. Happy 50th Birthday, James Bond! Accept your gift of a one-way ticket into a long-term care facility, and thanks for all of the memories.

Kyle Leitch
A&C Writer

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