I am particularly piqued with Great Britain today, they get “No Time To Die” now, and we have to wait a week. I suppose it is acceptable since Bond is a UK export, but since we have added 18 months from the originally scheduled release, I feel like I have been more than patient. Anyway, as it turns out, AMC noticed that we were being tortured so in an effort to put balm on the sore, they are running “Skyfall” for a week at a discount price. This is good news since “Skyfall” is the best Bond film since the early 60s.
There is so much to love about this film, regardless of what you might think of the story (which I think works great). The addition of Eve Moneypenny as an active part of the story may have been easy for most to spot, but I still liked the fact that they wait for the reveal until the end of the film.
The fact that she nearly killed 007 makes for an interesting dynamic for future stories, and her active status makes her involvement down the road more believable.
When John Cleese was introduced as the new Q back in the Pierce Brosnan era, it was clear his persona would mimic that of Desmond Llewelyn, that of a prickly bureaucrat with technical know how. Ben Whishaw is still a bit officious as “Q”, but the humor is more a part of the story and less punchline delivery. His youth in contrast to Bond also makes some sense and adds some more places for natural repartee to exist.
I also thought it was a clever move to show us how “M” could have gotten the job in the first place. Gareth Mallory starts off as the political hatchet man for the administration in moving the previous head of MI-6 out of her role. When he picks up the gun and starts shooting back at the attackers in the Parliamentary hearing room, it is clear he is not simply a political animal. Ralph Fiennes could have easily been the choice for 007 a decade earlier, at this point he was much more appropriately cast.
The real treasure of the film however is the redoubtable Judi Dench, who made Eight appearances in the role, including one after having vacated the position. This is the meatiest storyline for the character in any of the 24 films from EON. I liked that she never lost her sardonic tone, even when the character is besieged by politicians and the antagonist of this film.
This film came out nine years ago, on the 50th Anniversary of James Bond on the Big Screen. Much was made of the fact that the gun barrel sequence did not appear until the end of the movie, but that was really just the exclamation point for the anniversary. There were so many things that were special about the film, it was nice to be reminded of them today. It may be a bit of fan service, but calling the Aston Martin DB5 back into action was a thrilling moment. The final act confrontation was very well staged and technically looked terrific. We also got a great 007 Theme song from Adele.
For me, the final thrill is in the new office for “M”, when Moneypenny takes her place and Bond enters through the padded door that felt so familiar, and he addressed Mallory as “M”. I was ready for the next film that minute. It happened again today when my screening was finished.
Somehow, I have to get through the next six days.