Friday, 2 November 2012

Thoughts on SKYFALL, the 23rd homage-filled James Bond movie, by a fan - lots of *SPOILERS* ahead

Thoughts of SKYFALL

This is something written by a fan, quite soon after watching the movie.  Just fun writing. 

02 November 2012


Watching a Bond movie is like revisiting an old friend, driving through a long-remembered road and discovering that although the clothes may be different, or the scenery has changed somewhat, it still evokes that same old feeling once the conversation starts, or the windows are let down and the country air breezes rushes through your hair. It's nostalgia and discovery.

SKYFALL, the latest chapter in the life of Bond, the 3rd in the re-booted canon, and the 23rd in the official canon, does quite well in delivering a good action adventure story, by any standard. But what stands out are the thoughtful nods given to the movies that came before it.

The obvious ones are clear enough:-
  • the Aston Martin from GOLDFINGER, with the headlight machine-guns being used, and the ejector seat button hinted at
  • the villain with the funny teeth - JAWS 
  • the reference to the exploding pen - YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE 
  • the train fight - FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
  • Bond dying in the opening credits - YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
  • jumping over the Komodo dragon - jumping across crocodiles - LIVE AND LET DIE
  • blowing up MI6 - THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH
The less obvious ones include:-
  • the homing signal - GOLDFINGER
  • the tunnel chase reminiscent of A VIEW TO A KILL's climax
  • the Beretta-Walther reference - DR NO
  • the use of the digger so stylishly on the train in the opening credits - it reminded me of that spectacular 2 trailer truck chicken standoff in LICENCE TO KILL
  • villain has an island and there is a shooting contest between him Bond, sorta - THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN 
And this one I know it's from somewhere, but I just cannot put my finger on it - Bond and Q meeting in an art gallery looking at Turner's "The Fighting Temeraire".

Does the movie work?  Well, it is terribly beautiful - the cinematography is outstanding, and the 'feel' of it reminds us of how good CASINO ROYALE really was compared to all the other movies before it.  What was regrettable was probably the overly long ending which does not really make sense (Why must there be a fight of only the 3 of them against the baddies?  Couldn't Bond have called in for reinforcements like, you know, the army?)  But aside from that, the movie was good. 

And c'mon, wasn't there at least a tinge of genuine regret that the character of Kincade was not played by Connery, for whom it was so obviously written?  The line, "I was ready before you were born" before the final standoff cannot be lost to any Bond fan since Connery had already played Bond 5 times before 1968, the year Craig was born.  It would have been spectacular.  But alas, that was not to be. 


Addendum on 24 Feb 2013

Just noticed 2 others.

After the William Tell shooting contest involving a Macallan, Bond quips about wasting it - it harkens back to the Dom Perignon reference at the dinner with DR NO scene.

The villain has an island - echoes also of SPECTRE island in FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE - where Grant gets a massage.

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