This particular cinema outing, to Cineworld, proved the moviegoer’s maxim that ‘the trailers show all the good bits’. Skyfall isn’t a bad film, but all the excitement I experienced watching the trailer didn’t translate into the same, or similar, sensations during the film’s two hours and twenty-three minutes, says Andrew Watson.
I enjoyed, particularly, how his character, though faithfully suave, was a grizzled agent, bordering on psychotic.
I know there have been grumbles, probably from the old school Bond-ers, that it’s becoming less about the gadgets and girls as it is about our beloved spy’s oh-so-complicated character.
This time round, bearing in mind the fallout from the previous film, Bond isn’t at his physical or mental best. Unknown to James, he’s failed his aptitude test as a field agent, and is displaying worrying dependencies on alcohol, among other substances.
This film seems to be driven by its characters, and the super-villain in this piece is no different. Think Jaws with half his jaw missing! It is, in fact, this dastardly ex-MI6 man, Raoul Silva, played by Spaniard Javier Bardem, top dog before Bond’s time, who reveals to James his lack of aptitude. Judi Dench’s ‘M’ lied to Bond, hurrying him back into the fold of spydom, just like she betrayed her previous agent all those years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, the locations and the ladies are something to behold, and the shots of China are particularly beautiful. ‘Q’, played by young gun Ben Whishaw, is also on hand with the latest in gun technology, though the sight of the classic Aston Martin DB5 far outshines anything new he has to offer.
The story, without reciting the plot verbatim, is relatively interesting, too. MI6 is under fire from the government after important information contained on a hard drive is stolen. ‘M’ is hauled before an Intelligence and Security Committee to answer to her superiors, who call into question the need for the fanciful and romantic notion of spies in a modern world.
Of course, what hooked me in the trailers was the explosion of the MI6 offices. The heart of British intelligence is rocked, but there appears to be little emphasis on this throughout of the film. Rather than being stripped to their bare bones and with limited resources, the explosion seems to have done little to dent MI6’s capabilities. Was the explosion overplayed in the trailers, and underplayed in the film? The bearing of this on the plot directly affected my overall enjoyment.
What also irked me somewhat are the circumstances surrounding the Scottish estate belonging to the Bond family. Whilst it’s conceivable that the Bonds were an English family which moved up north to James’s childhood home, it seems a bit ridiculous that the gamekeeper speaks with a rather implausible English accent.
Is attention to detail in this respect too much to ask for?