James Bond has come on a long way from the days of Pussy Galore.
The reviews are right – ‘Skyfall’ is brilliant. Exciting, funny and ironic it managed to deliver on many levels. Gone are the long drawn-out sexual encounters and the extended action scenes which make you watch your watch constantly and lose the will to live.
Thankfully the director has realised that a Bond film must move with the times – though this does not mean is has to be so politically correct that there is nothing left. Miss Moneypenny makes a return but she has much more to give from being Bond’s shag puppet.
Modern characters and excellent typecasting gives ‘Skyfall’ the edge: Q is the geekishly brilliant Ben Whishaw who starred in both ‘Layer Cake’ and ‘The Hour’. Raoul Silva plays the archetypal baddie simultaenously with humour and menace.
Craig plays Bond like his other previous Bond films: like a man on the edge who’s addicted to sex, booze and espionage, who is however hard he tries, a man that is constantly searching for that fix. This is precisely how Bond should be played – as an antihero that fascinates us completely.
Topical themes are constantly explored in ‘Skyfall’: age discrimination comes up a lot in the film: Bond is considered ‘past it’ after he resurects himself from where he has been hiding – the grave. He comes back but he has lost something.
Judi Dench also suffers from age discrimination at the hands of her superior played by Ralph Fiennes who wants her to go out with dignity which she dismisses as ‘to hell with dignity.’
There’s also the major theme that plays out throughout the whole film – of institutions letting the people down – extremely relevant in the current wake of ‘Savile’ gate at the BBC. It also has relevance in light of politicians and newspapers letting us down.
Suave, sophisticated but funny, human and real – herein lies the success of the new Bond era.