Skyfall is one long adrenaline rush
Starring Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Javier Bardem. Rated PG. Opens Friday, November 9, at the Park Theatre
Uh-oh, James Bond is dead. That isn’t a spoiler. Uh, not dead. That isn’t a spoiler either. He’s hiding on a tropical island. People are daring him to do shots with a scorpion sitting on his hand. Is Jason Bourne here?
Coolest title sequence ever—could death be a theme? Terrorists have blown up MI6, the CIA’s English equivalent, except the “I” stands for intelligence. Problem: undercover-agent identities leaking onto YouTube. (So? Three worse words: “Twilight fan videos”.) Bond (Daniel sexy Craig) runs to Mommy, I mean, M (Judi Dench). Yeah, it’s a Brit thing, but director Sam Mendes and his screenwriters are seriously hot for Bond saying, “Yes, mum.” A psychiatrist makes him word-associate. M equals bitch. Woman equals provocatrix. Okay, um, yes to the second one.
Also, everyone is calling Bond a dinosaur. The new Q (Ben Whishaw) looks seven. Themes for Bond’s 50th-anniversary film thus far: death, rebirth, age, youth, mum fixation, provocatrixery. Komodo dragon. Sorry, that’s later.
So far, so excellent. Begone, Quantum of Solace. Hello, Bond number 23. Everything is heavy and dark, but Bond plus terrorists is damn entertaining. An adorable girl agent (Naomie Harris) shaves him. Politically incorrect, but he had terrible stubble. Now Bond is fighting a man atop a Shanghai skyscraper; a neon jellyfish undulates behind them. Huh? Drugs in the popcorn! It is surreal and beautiful. Oh, and here’s a beautiful, sad, mysterious woman (Bérénice Marlohe). She is totally the villain’s woman. Bond will totally shower with her. Bets?
Javier Bardem has arrived stylishly late. He is Silva: blond, demented, and dentally compromised. But he’s a deeply convincing Bardem-style lunatic. “Mommy was very bad,” he tells Bond about M. See?
Skyfall is longish. Subway chase? You guys, The French Connection always wins. But the Scottish Hebrides and Albert Finney kick ass. Aston Martin. Machine guns. Don’t mess with the car! “Don’t cock it up!” M tells Bond. Mum!
Watch the trailer for Skyfall.