Who doesn’t like a bond movie? Well lots of people I suppose, and ultimately with good reason. When most folks think of Bond they think back to the Connery/Moore days. Most of the time Bond films weren’t really spy thrillers. They were more of a campy action/gadget story. I guess, ultimately, it was kind of its own genre. That’s not to say they weren’t entertaining, of course. But they were about as deep as a small puddle as movies go.
So a few years back along comes Casino Royale. Suddenly they ditch that mythos that let them get away with so much crap, and they focus on characters and plot and setting. They tell a compelling story on its own merits. And it was really good. Bond could be more than a suave gadget-bearing love machine. Who knew? Quantum of Solace tried to continue that but, while not a bad movie, was seriously hampered by the writers strike. So it’s forgettable.
And now there’s Skyfall, which I’ve heard a few people refer to as the end of a sort of trilogy. I got to see it yesterday, and I’d call that an apt description. I’d also say it’s really pushing to be the best Bond movie ever. Though that raises a question: is it even a Bond movie? It does, slightly, fit into that old genre, but maintains the characterization and plot. It blends the action in nicely, too, much moreso than Casino Royale.
And part of the reason it works so well is because it has a villain. Most Bond movies have a bad guy… Scaramanga, Blofeld, Hugo Drax, they’re good bad guys, sure. But they’re not true villains. This time, it has a really quite good one. He’s like a cross between Alec Trevalyn from Goldeneye and Heath Ledger’s Joker, and it’s very odd but it works well. The result is a distinctly unhinged technically brilliant killer.
But is it a Bond movie? I don’t know. It is definitely, however, what I want Bond movies to be. A real action/thriller with competent writing. And for that, I quite recommend seeing it.