Before this weekend, I’d only seen one 007 movie, Goldfinger. So why’d I buy my tickets a month in advance for Skyfall in IMAX? A healthy combination of peer pressure and a willingness to give Bond another chance.
Why I thought I wouldn’t like it:
- I don’t like action movies, generally. If it’s not The Italian Job, I’ll pass. Guns, explosions and high-speed chases in quick succession aren’t really my thing.
- I can’t say I really like (or don’t like) Daniel Craig’s acting, aside from when he hosted SNL. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was good, though not really because of him. And Dream House was terrible, though again, not really because of him.
- Goldfinger went at a crawling pace (my only Bond comparison), which was cool and even enjoyable at times, but not for the theatres.
- The idea of James Bond as a character is just really corny to me. An immortal womanizer who seems to seek pleasure in the harm of others (well, of course, for a good cause), and at times seems more concerned with striking a pose than aiming for a shot.
- All the praise. It should make me want to see it but when a movie is so highly-praised, I get the feeling that it’s impossible for it to be that good.
- We all already know what’s going to happen before it happens. Bad guy poses threat. Bond assigned to terminate bad guy. Bond drinks a martini. Bond makes love with a woman. Bond terminates bad guy.
Why I really liked it:
- HOLY AMAZING TITLE SEQUENCE! I love Adele’s “Skyfall,” but paired with a creative, artsy, captivating opening sequence makes it even better. I’d consider seeing this moving again for two reason, one of which is this opening.
- The second reason is Javier Bardem as the villain. AFI, get ready to re-write your 100 villains list and leave an open slot near the top. He’s creepy, dark and insane. He scares me. He’s almost the reason I’m not sure if I’d want to watch another Bond movie, because I’m not sure any villain could top his performance.
- Sam Mendes does an amazing job directing, as expected. He’s the reason I actually care about a plotline that I know I otherwise would not. Character development is another story though. Mendes knows how to feature well-written characters and make them even better.
- I only really care about scenes of violence and open fire when they are ridiculous and seemingly impossible, and with Bardem character as the villain, that’s exactly what you get.
- The setting of the final showdown. I won’t spoil it, but it’s beautiful.
- Speaking of beautiful, the cinematography is also often so. Great framing, great lighting, great colours and hues.
- I didn’t even notice it was almost 2.5 hours.
Best Bond film of all time, as the critics rave? You’re asking the wrong girl. But a surprisingly enjoyable, entertaining and moving film for someone who doesn’t like action movies? Here you go.