My family has harassed me for a year and a half to watch this thing and when I heard that they hadn’t seen The Green Mile, we agreed if I watched Skyfall, they’d watch The Green Mile.
I had no interest in seeing this movie because the only Bond film I watched, Casino Royale, was a great movie and then the ending pissed me off so I figured I was done with Bond.
Skyfall gifts us with the presence of Daniel Craig and he’s a talented actor. Bond is a secret agent that doesn’t say much and doesn’t feel all that much either so you need someone who is good at expressing their characters physically through body language and casual glances and Craig has experience with that.
However, this cast has someone who is not so good with facial expressions and body language. Sorry Judi Dench, but you’re simply not cutting it. She has the same face the whole movie and she’s too good at the apathetic, cold and calculating scheme to pull off any empathy whatsoever.
Then we have Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva and the character is just really sketchy. It’s obvious he’s disturbed and demented but there are some other traits the film subtly alludes to that are off-putting. They enforce the point that this guy is loony but it’s kind of awkward. I don’t know, maybe it was just me, but it felt like the men behind the camera were trying to make a bad guy that had every psychopathic tendency in the book and instead of making the ultimate villain they made a disorganized bad guy that doesn’t engrave his character into our memories. Bardem does a thorough job of being as creepy and malignant as possible and there was some originality to Silva, but not enough that I’ll remember him.
There’s also nothing in this film that I haven’t seen before. Bond kills a couple of people, makes love to a few ladies, talks with that scruffy British demeanor and then shoots some stuff that explodes. It’s not a cookie cutter copy, but it’s not brimming with youthful imagination either. I acknowledge that it’s hard to make an unexampled spy story line. I know I’m asking for something that’s not easy to accomplish but we’re talking about James Bond here, 007, the MI6 agent who is seemingly impervious to death. I expect better and I’m not even a Bond fan. Imagine what Bond fans expect.
Skyfall isn’t an impulsive story either. It’s not predetermined material that you can see a mile away but it also has no twists or action slapping you in the face from the side. Nothing in this movie is going to make you jump and tap your friend on the shoulder and say, “That was cool” or “Woh, never saw that coming!” For an action movie, it has a very calm and relaxed pace that didn’t ever come close to convincing me that time was of the essence. Tranquil paces are good for some movies but I felt this movie’s pacing would have been more appropriate for a whole movie of Bond on the beach drinking Heineken then the film they gave us.
Where is the zap? Where are the stylistic touches? All of the things I’ve pointed out are things you can see if you just watch the movie and think about it for a little afterward. It doesn’t take an accomplished director or playwright to notice this stuff. I feel like I’m mentioning this constantly, but where’s the editing? Did they watch this film when they were finished before they released it? Didn’t they recognize some things that could have been better?
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Young Guns, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Spider-Man 3, Divergent)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Starving Games, You’re Next, Thor, Full Metal Jacket, Alien Resurrection)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (A Haunted House, 300: Rise of an Empire, Cowboys and Aliens, Serendipity, Alien)
30-39 Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Stonados, Redemption, Pride and Prejudice, The Contract)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Open Grave, Alien 3, Dark Fury, Midnight Cowboy)
My score for Skyfall: 74.
Compared to Casino Royale, Skyfall is a far and distant second weighed down by a carefree pace. I sat through nearly an hour and a half of commercials to see all of Casino Royale because it was engaging and suspenseful. If I had never seen Skyfall and it was on TV, I’m not so sure I would have made the same sacrifice.