So unlike the other things I’ve reviewed, I grew up with Bond. I’ve watched all the movies, read as many of the books as I could get my hands on and played the hell out of Goldeneye until the cart melted. But this was all in my early teens and before. I’d drifted away from Bond thanks to the dire Die Another Day with all its many, many (many)* problems making me aware of how very silly the Bong universe really is. When Casino Royale came out I didn’t really bother to give it a chance, and only watched it recently along with Quantum of Solace when Skyfall was announced and the trailer looked fun. I got into the continuing storyline of the movies, the darker and more pragmatic approach to spycraft in the real world and the almost cyberpunk concepts of Big Business being a legitimate threat to a nation’s security. I went into Skyfall ready to learn more about the mysterious “Quantum” group and to see how Bond would unravel it all.
I didn’t get it. This is the 50th anniversary movie and it’s very much an homage to what went before. From the opening titles right until the last scene it’s very much an increasing progression of old Bond standbys, the same old things we’ve seen before. And it works. Every one of them is slotted in perfectly, some for humorous effect, others serving a vital plot point.
Which leads me to another thing about the movie: the plot. On the way in the door the nice people of Sony Pictures said that they’d like the review to not mention a particular event, as it was huge and mind-blowing and would ruin the movie etc. “You’ll know it when you see it” huge apparently. I made a joke about working for a comic book site and knowing all about spoilers but then… I spent the entire movie wondering “was that it? That was pretty huge…”. The. Entire. Movie. It’s just that tightly packed with plot, there are no extraneous scenes, no un-necessary dialogue no padding at all. It’s a lean Bond story with all the bells and whistles and so well put together that discussing any one plot point even from the initial pre-title cliffhanger is too much of a spoiler.
Then it happens. I knew it when I saw it. And it was that big. I’m not even going to try to touch character development. Yep, there’s character development. In a Bond movie. I know, unthinkable.
So in short: go see it. Like Bond? Go see it. Like action? Go see it.
I’m going again.