Notes on Skyfall

My friend Luke Douglas-Home, freelance film maker, journalist and well-known Bond aficionado, recently attended the premiere of Skyfall. Here is a short report to whet your appetite:

“In the first 10 minutes you’ll think ‘this is a James Bond film back to form, the intricate splendour of settings, character and plot From Russia with Love or Dr No are back. And the ultimate Bond-opening scene (it has it all) is not to be missed at any price. Thank you Sam! Thank you Daniel!

In the first 60 minutes you’ll think ‘the dark years of Brosnan are well and truly over – and those days were dark (with a large-ish investment banker pretending to have gruel and grit and charisma) ……and gone too are the overblown action scenes of Moore…. this is it! Craig and Mendes are re-creating a Bond like we thought had gone. These are characters that I have known, and London places that are part of me’.

And we leap to Shanghai and Macau and the all-is-good thinking continues as Bond proves its geographical sweep and Mendes shows his artistic/aesthetic flair. A very good film.

And these positive feelings (‘Oscar?’ type absurd questions will throw themselves into your brain) continue and then….. and then with 30 mins to go, absurdity rears its head and almost stays there. Bond becomes Face in the A-Team. UH-OH!

The scriptwriting was right in including M and Scotland, but then the overblown finale in action scenes  goes on and on, getting bigger and bigger and more Moore.

The film is very, very good – it is worth seeing the first half alone – and then it gets Moore-ed; to a buoy of overblown action-themed films. And with that the annoyance begins; and you think to yourself; is it just my age or do people of the younger generation crave instant and overblown big action gratification? I can’t believe that. Tell me if you do?

Basically, the heritage of Bond films is entirely renovated with this film, and then it’s fully blown by its A-Team-isation at the end, as Bond, and others, go about making plans for the Baddies final attack……but, you’ll be pleased to hear, it’s a little bit restored by its end notes: M in two different ways and Moneypenny in just one neat way. Both are good for the future. Bond films are looking good.”

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