If there’s one thing I came away with after watching, Skyfall, it was beauty. The beauty of Sam Mendes’ vision coupled with Roger Deakins cinematography, the beauty of Adele’s theme song and the beauty of Daniel Craig’s portrayal of the British secret agent. Not to mention the beauty that is Bérénice Marlohe (my heart hasn’t pined for a woman like this since Winnie Cooper back in ’91). But even amidst all of the beauty of this film, what truly sets Skyfall apart from its predecessors is the grittiness of it.
We’re introduced to a James Bond who after years of physical and mental torture seems to be on the brink of a spiritual break down. No longer is he asking for martini’s to be shaken, he’s downing Heinekens and shots while scorpions play his face closer than razor blades. Finding out that your boss, M (Judi Dench) is ready to use her amnesty clause on you if it means keeping her other not-so-franchise players on the squad because she didn’t believe you could get the job done anymore would probably drive you to chug beers like there’s no tomorrow too. Just ask Baron Davis.
After taking a well-deserved “vacation,” Bond gets back in the mix once the MI6 headquarters is attacked by the villainous Silvo (Javier Bardem,) who’s so openly feminine and twice as sinister, that he would’ve had Benny running for the Hills from fear of being screwed over “Bret Hart in Montreal” style. And best believe that violation wouldn’t have gone lightly. Sidenote: Is it me or does it seem like every time Bardem rocks a ridiculous wig piece, he automatically earns himself a Oscar nomination? Someone should put that theory to test and cast him as Donald Trump in the movie about Barack Obama’s latest Presidential race.
Yet, having become familiar with M’s decision making and Silva’s blonde ambition, James has never felt more on his own and finds himself dealing with personal issues while trying to keep his head in the espionage game. Is 007 still capable of playing the game “that’s fought in the shadows” on an elite level? Let’s just say this Bond is the Peyton Manning of his game. He’s the baddest British guy breathing right now (sorry Idris Elba). And he didn’t need any special gadgets to get down. Just a palm printed gun, a radio and a classic car. Sometimes that’s all a man needs to be bad.
Skyfall not only solidifies Craig’s reputation as the most rugged Bond of them all, but it also gives us a picture of a Bond with all kinds of emotional issues. These issues could make him a ticking time bomb should someone push the wrong button. The future looks dark and interesting for this particular Bond, and I can’t wait to see it unfold.