James Bond's 23rd official feature film gives the iconic secret agent something to stew over: an existential crisis.
Ah yes, that old “hard drive with the names of every secret agent on it has just been stolen” chestnut.
Rock-chiselled star Daniel Craig’s first Bond movie Casino Royale (2006) whipped up a great deal of speculation about how “edgy” and “gritty” and “different” 007 had apparently become, largely due to a scene involving a partially dismantled chair and a pair of battered testicles. There was undoubtably a tonal shift away from the cartoony cranked-to-11 codswallop that came to define the Pierce Brosnan Bond era, but it’s taken Craig’s tenure three films and an Oscar-winning director, Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) to pin down the message that the old gray mare ain’t what she used to be and times have very much changed.
Skyfall isn’t so much about how the world has evolved since the days Sean Connery emerged from water wearing a fake duck on his head but how Ian Fleming’s martini-sipping serial killer has been forced to evolve with it. The beauty of this film is its ability to pull off cake-and-eat-it-too storytelling both forwards thinking and atavistic, self-awareness masking the retrograde silliness of plot contrivances such as, say, a stolen hard drive with the names of every secret agent on it. Continue reading “Skyfall movie review: James Bond’s existential crisis”