So, I saw Skyfall last night, and it was crap. Ahh, just kidding. It’s a very very good film first, an excellent Bond film second, and you need to see it. If you have already, you won’t mind the PLOT SPOILERS LURKING AHEAD. There’s a problem with a lot of modern action movies (and comedy movies suffer the same issue too). The best of the stunts (or jokes) are often squeezed into a loud, brash 15-second trailer for daytime TV, so the film can leave you a bit underwhelmed. It’s like a striptease text. A fun excitement-builder, but also a game giver-awayer. What’s so good about Skyfall is that it’s still awesome, and still satisfying, even though we’ve seen the MI6 building exploding and fights on top of a train in the advert. The obviously beautiful Bond girls are in there, ‘course, but it’s the not-so-obvious Bond lady that at last gets a proper outing in Skyfall. Judi Dench’s ‘M’ has was woefully underused in the Brosnan Bonds, but she deservedly stars heavily in Skyfall, along with a geek-chic new Q and other MI6 team players. It’s a bit less James Bond One-Man Show, and a bit more one awesome bloke as part of a rather special team. I liked that. Go Team GB! Like we've become used to with Craig’s blonde Bond, the writing is more witty too, but not as cringe-pun-tastic as Piercey. Like with the awesome ‘I’m the money’ face-off in Casino Royale, the new Bonds are jammed full of plot-setting, well-acted conversations you watch and think 'no-one speaks this coolly or slickly in real life’, but still enjoy anyway. I did. Car chases? Yup, they’re in there, and it’s not just crappy product placement being rammed down your neck, like the Brosnan BMWs and the car parks full of Ford Group gear like in the old days. There’s Land Rover Defender versus Audi A5, Jaguar XJ, and a bit more than just drive-by parading from the most excellent Aston Martin DB5 that’s as much an icon as a double-oh-seven himself. Oh and one more thumbs up: well done to whichever sound editor had the balls to throw the James Bond theme song back into the mix. Conspicuous by its absence in Casino and Quantum, and overused before, it’s now back, in fleeting parps of horn and guitar, just to let you know this isn’t Jason Bourne or Ethan Hunt laying down the law. It’s Bond. James Bond, fool. Oh by the way, SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned. Dislikes? The villain doesn’t get a nasty enough death (sorry, I’m not being sadistic, but you spend the movie hating the guy, and he deserves the worst). At least the scumbag is modern though – a computer hacker-come terrorist, not some underground-dwelling Dr. Evil wannabe with a big satellite laser sun mirror-controlling suit of armour. Yes, Die Another Day, I’m looking at you again. And if you need to know why Javier Bardem was born to be a Bond baddie, watch No Country For Old Men. Best movie with no music you’ll ever see. Skyfall’s opening titles are a bit off too, more Simpsons Treehouse of Horror than the cool graphics of Casino Royale or Die Another Day (which doesn’t count, actually, because they were twinned with that Madonna song.) Other than that, I’m struggling. Skyfall is a bloody brilliant way to spend two hours and twenty-three minutes, and excellent car action sequences are a big part of that. Take heart, petrolheads – Bond is still one of us.
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