Skyfall: A Review

We finally got around to watching the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall. (Spoiler alert.)

Quite disappointing.

Dripping with the moral confusion of post-modernism, Skyfall was very different from the classic James Bond movies.

First, the good stuff:
The opening action sequence was par for the Bond course, meaning very good. The bad guy was psychologically interesting. The sexual element was not as heavy, which was nice. (Still there, just not shown so graphically.) The bureaucrat who takes a bullet for M was a creative touch and a subtle point well made about the need for government oversight not politically motivated. That was a nice development from the standard flat “dumb bureaucrats and politicians” motif of the past.

Bond didn’t smile for a second the whole time – not the happy warrior of old. The personal backstory on Bond was way out of character. His callous rejection and destruction of his own home was disturbing. The homosexual element (half a minute or so) was just weird.

The worst moral confusion was about the woman, which is no surprise given the influence feminism has had on our culture since Bond began 50 years ago. The woman is either supposed to side with the bad guy and die, or help Bond and he saves her. Instead, Bond observes she is a former sex slave, offers her an escape (very Christ-like, actually), but the next night he has sex with her! This didn’t fit at all with the somewhat-compassionate offer the night before. (Might for the delusional guy, but not the former sex slave.) The producers must have thought the sex trade element would be “cool” but still wanted the standard Bond love scene. Quite reprehensible when you put them together, though.

But it got worse. Only half way through the movie, the bad guy unceremoniously kills the girl in front of Bond while Bond shows little emotion. M becomes the stand-in “girl” Bond is trying to save for the rest of the movie, and even she dies in the end. This was also a very feminist and dark revision to the Bond theme: men can’t save or help women, so they die. The story isn’t to stop the bad guy and rescue the girl anymore. It’s just stop the bad guy. While the girl always looked like an accessory in the old Bond movies, now she really is optional. A depressing trend in our sexual ethics as a society.

I’m glad the director Mendes is not doing the next one.

1 comment:

  1. She says:
    The good stuff: same as Steve says, but he forgot two great parts - the old tricked out Astin Martin makes a come back, and the new Q is very cool. He is young but level-headed under pressure and self-confident enough to not let the flack from Bond rattle him. He's the star of the movie

    Annoyances: an old, blonde, blue-eyed Bond? Wrong. Who opens a months-old wound and cuts shrapnel from his own shoulder, then never flinches from the kick-back from a rifle? Not buying it.

    The Worst: the feminisim/mixed up morals really tears the film apart. A Bond who is a pill-popping, over drinking agent who's unsure of himself just doesn't fit the Bond motif. The lack of emotions upon the death of the girl I think were a needed cover up; however, it was refreshing to see Bond concerned about an injured agent in the beginning (but then he ditched him upon orders from M).

    I missed the punny one-liners, the sense of style and panache, and the tuxedos. Miss Moneypenny was a nice surprise with a bit of solid character behind her.