My son and I decided to have a mom and kid day last Thursday because I’m going to be going out on the road long haul trucking shortly, and the likelihood I’ll see him anytime soon over the next several months is practically nil since he’s in Job Corps and comes home only once a month or so himself. We decided to go see a movie. We went to go see Skyfall.
This movie was the perfect movie for a mom-son duo to go to. It was an action flick, with lots of explosions, stunts and hot girls. Perfect to keep the attention span of a nineteen year old testosterone laden boy. And, it had Daniel Craig as double O seven. Daniel Craig, y’all. So the movie had plenty to keep Mom interested, too.
Huh? What was I saying? Sorry, I was distracted by Daniel’s happy trail. Yeah, I’m on first name basis with the man. Well, in my imagination, anyway.
Um…anyhow….Generally, I’m very picky about movies. I graduated with a film degree, for crying out loud. I took something like five different script writing classes. I’ve taken film theory and film criticism and so I’ve been ruined when it comes to just being able to sit down and enjoy a movie without tearing it all to pieces afterword. I complain when movies have plot holes I could drive a Mack truck through. I complain about the acting. I complain when that suspension of disbelief thing that is supposed to happen magically doesn’t happen. It drives my hubby nuts.
But the Bond films are different. Since the Bond franchise took on Daniel Craig as the Bond character, I’ve become very impressed by the franchise. I very much liked Casino Royale, even though it did have some issues that bothered me (the love story between Vesper and James wasn’t developed enough before it went full-tilt,”You have no tells, that’s why I love you”). It had a pretty decent story line and there was even some character development. Compared to the other Bond movies I’d seen, Casino Royale was the best I’d seen yet. Of course, I’ve only been following Bond since the 80’s, and I haven’t really seen much of the ones before that except for bits and pieces, so I can’t speak to whether those films are better or worse.
I’ve been looking forward to the next Bond movie since the last one came out. Part of that is my bordering-on-stalker-fantasies about Craig. The other part is because, well, I’ve really enjoyed the Bond films lately. Even the ones that aren’t as good–they beat the heck out of the Dalton and Brosnan Bond films. And I remember back when Brosnan was chosen that I was excited about that because I thought he looked like he would be a good James. Then I was rather disappointed. I couldn’t quite place why.
I finally figured out why I love Daniel Craig so much as Bond. He’s a very good actor, to be sure, but that isn’t it. Brosnan and Dalton are pretty decent actors, too. I think it has to do with physicality. Craig is the first actor I’ve seen in this franchise who actually looks like he could pull off the stunts that he does in the movie. He looks big, strong, and tough. He looks like he could kick ass. His physicality is convincing. Also, he’s intense. The other Bonds tended to look all smarmy and charming and when bad shit happened, looked like it was no big deal. They looked cavalier when they had to do really tough things. Daniel is friggin’ intense. When bad shit happens, he looks pissed off. When he’s doing some supremely bad-ass stuff (fighting to the death on the roof of a train, or jumping from one crane 200 feet in the air to another, etc.), he looks so intense, calculating and fearless. This makes sense. I imagine somebody who is doing something intense would look intense!
Anyway, back to Skyfall. I went into this movie with some high hopes, because I had read some reviews that said it was pretty darn good. One article went so far as to say it was in the top five of all the Bond movies ever. Another review I saw said it was the best one yet.
I was not disappointed.
Oh. My. God.
Setting aside the sheer hunkiness of Daniel Craig, if I look at this movie with a critical eye, I am quite pleased. Do you know how rare that is? A movie that I have a hard time finding things to quibble about? After we saw the movie, I was raving about it to my son, who watched me with a bemused expression that said, “Yep, my mom’s gone off the deep end.”
This movie is awesome. It’s got explosions and lots of action-ey action stuff, which ought to please the action movie buffs. It’s got lots of espionage spying type stuff for those who like spy movies. It’s got the best Bond ever in Daniel Craig in my not so humble opinion. But even better, it’s got a story. A plot. And backstory. And character development. And we learn a bit about James’ childhood and where he came from. We learn that M stands for Mommy. We see James grow as a person, and see him suffer the physical pain when he recovers from being shot because he isn’t always perfect. We see Bond as human, with human frailties, with sensitivity that only Craig could deliver. And Javier Bardem is the quintessential nut-job bad-guy with a sense of humor. And he’s sexy, too, in his evil bad-guy way, especially when he’s making sexual innuendos toward Craig.
If you have been living under a rock since November 9th last year, when Skyfall came out, I suggest you go to the nearest theater showing this movie post haste. Even Roger Moore, a former Bond man himself who wrote a book about Bond movies, says that “Skyfall with Daniel Craig Is ‘The Best, Best Bond of All.”*