I’m not sure if the three venti-size cups of latte I had in the last six hours prior to watching the movie helped, but Skyfall did keep me awake and engaged throughout its 2 hour, 23-minute run. (Although it did feel much longer.)
I liked how this time, James Bond seemed more an actual person, and not some caricature or superhero that is immune to bullets, or essentially death. In this installment, even M, played with such commanding brevity by Judi Dench, gains humanity.
The British government is deliberating the closure of its secret service agency after failing to plug a catastrophic security breach. In the process, it goes through, I must say, that banal debate on the new versus old. What you get are a bunch of new characters (which should breath new life to future Bond sequels), while the old ones mull creeping mortality, purposeless futures, and gasp—repressed childhood memories. The good thing though (or bad, if you’re feeling particularly sleepy at the screening) is this string of rumination bring forth vignettes that take you to exotic Turkey, Shanghai (with the satisfyingly minimalist fight scene) and Macau (those komodo dragons!), and the sweeping melancholic landscape of Scotland (gorgeous!).
Villain Javier Bardem (Raoul Silva) injects a particularly delicious sexual angle into his character—which Bond gamely responds to, to my and the audience’s approval. The Bond girl, the sultry Bérénice Marlohe, almost seemed like an afterthought to give way to a rich story line involving Bond, Silva, and M; nevertheless, she steals the spotlight with her gorgeous see-through mesh gown in one scene.
If I have major problems, it’s that scene where they’re all just panting about like breathless marathon non-finishers; and that the opening credit was a dud. As for the song, I’m a fan of Adele but I’ll give her single a pass.