Want a good time at the movies this Thanksgiving season? Go see Skyfall.
I'll admit I'm not the world's biggest Bond afficianado. I still haven't seen the previous two Daniel Craig Bond flicks from start to finish, and this is the first one I've seen in the theater. They show up on cable constantly and I've caught enough of Casino Royale (2006) and Quantam of Solace (2008) to understand the general plot. Plus, it's James Bond, right? How hard can it be?
I think Skyfall represents a bit of a departure though. The movie opens the way all Bond movies open, with an elaborate chase scene that sets up the film. In this one though, it looks like Bond is, well, killed. Cut to a bloody, skull-strewn opening credits sequence and a lush, frowny-faced theme song with lyrics like "this is the end" and you start to thinking this might not be a typical adventure. And it's not; it marks a definite transition for Daniel Craig's Bond.
It's probably the darkest Bond I've seen in my life. Even the locales are dreary; I'm convinced the chill I felt in the theater wasn't the overactive air conditioning but the damp of the Scottish moors themselves. MI6 is under attack. Terrorists have hacked it, blown it up and sent its agents scurrying underground. Silva, the mastermind, is going after M personally. MI6 also fighting for its survival from within as the British government questions its competence in a world where the genius out to destroy you could be anybody with a laptop. The Bond girl du jour is a miserable captive of the international sex trade, and Q is a sarcastic hipster with a Scrabble mug. Bright spots are Javier Bardem as the reptilian Silva, less charming than the film's Komodo dragons, and Naomie Harris as Eve, the leggy and brainy spy who has Bond's back if not the best sharpshooting skills. But even she's kind of a dullard.
Then there's Bond. Presumed dead, he comes back when he hears of MI6's troubles but he's a wreck- out of shape, drunk, messed up in the head, though how someone can get winded swimming a lap when his biceps are the size of my thighs is an open question. Anyway the point is now he's an underdog and the question is, can he hack it or is it time for the legendary superspy to hang it up?
I'll let you figure it out. Go see it. It's fun.
FTC Disclosure: I did not receive complimentary tickets to the show.