Film: Skyfall brings the house down
November 16th, 2012
Omaha, NE – The franchise just turned 50, but is there life left in the Bond movies? From the Movieha podcast, Ryan Syrek and Matt Lockwood take a look at Skyfall.
Ryan: Although the debate about who is or was the best James Bond of all time continues to rage.
Matt: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ll use this exploding pen on anyone who doesn’t say George Lazenby!
Ryan: There can be little arguing that Skyfall, the most recent chapter in the ongoing series, is the best to come along in decades.
Matt: The spy who never seems to spy and tells everybody his first and last name slow enough for them to write it down returns to thwart the master of bad wigs, Javier Bardem. When the head of MI6, M played by Judie Dench, loses a file full of the identities of spies who presumably don’t tell everyone their names, she gets in hot water with Ralph Fiennes, who plays her new government overseer.
Ryan: After failing to retrieve it, 007, played once more by the craggy Daniel Craig, is left wondering if there’s still a place for him in the spy game. And while he wonders this, Bardem sets out for his real villainous plan: murdering M.
Matt: Although Casino Royale reestablished Bond in a gritty, more realistic world, there is a degree to which gritty and realistic translates into stupid when you’re talking about a guy who has been sleeping around with the world’s hottest women while blowing up planes and buildings for five decades. Skyfall remembers that there should be a bit of fun and a bit of fantasy in the series.
Ryan: And thematically, it seems like the thesis of this film is one that the filmmakers had to ask themselves: Is 007 timeless or has he passed his prime? The answer is resoundingly clear: there are many more miles left in Bond’s Aston Martin.
Matt: The reintroduction of Q, played by Ben Whishaw, is a nice contribution, considering that his role as a young computer expert modernizes the film a bit. And Bardem is once more phenomenal, choosing not to wail and gnash but to play his villain as a warped version of Bond himself.
Ryan: I think there are few scenes that brought 007 into the new age as much as the scene where Bardem ties him to a chair.
Matt: It’s always about thigh rubbing with you, isn’t it?
Ryan: It is! But as Bardem flirts with and touches Bond, the spy’s nonchalant reaction says more about modern sexuality, gender roles, and manhood in the current age than shoehorning in parkour or making the film super dark.
Matt: But first and foremost, above all else, Skyfall is an absolute blast of an action movie.
Ryan: Indeed. This series has never been about making a social statement. It has been about providing a dang good time, and Skyfall brings the house down.
Editorial note: The Movieha podcast is produced in partnership with The Reader and is available at thereader.com.
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