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The Sky's the Limit!
Member Name: jo1976
Advantages: Fast-paced, non-stop entertainment, excellent casting
Disadvantages: Some slapstick elements
I've never been a big fan of Bond films. In fact, I don't think I've ever managed to sit through an entire Bond film without being distracted and drifting off to do something else. Needless to say, Skyfall wasn't my choice of film but my husband returned from Sainsbury's clutching a £7 copy of the DVD on the day of its release, so my Saturday night viewing was decided.
Despite my reservations, I found myself gripped by the film from the outset, with the action starting long before the credits rolled - featuring Adele's perfectly fitting Skyfall theme tune- and being pretty much non-stop from then on in. I particularly enjoyed the opening scenes which really set the pace for the entire film, despite James Bond being left, presumed dead, having been accidentally shot by a member of his own team. Needless to say, that isn't the last we see of Bond, otherwise the remainder of the film would be a pretty disappointing affair!
The basic plot is simple enough for me to follow without feeling unnecessarily taxed but plausible enough to justify the events that follow. Basically, 007 is on the trail of somebody who has managed to hack into MI6 computers and steal a hard drive containing a list of all the secret agents and their locations. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that this is more than just a random 'bad guy' and the person involved has a real vendetta against 'M' (fantastically portrayed by Dame Judi Dench) for reasons that are gradually revealed.
The cast was pretty impressive, even without any real big names (aside from Daniel Craig and the aforementioned Judi Dench.) I haven't seen Daniel Craig in any other Bond films but, having seen this one, I really can't imagine else playing the part so well. He seemed born to the role, and that is without any previous real knowledge of him as an actor or performer. I was also impressed with how well he managed to portray the charisma of Bond as well as his natural flirtatious side, even when facing potentially deadly enemies.
The real surprise star of the show was the new 'Q', played by Ben Wishaw, who I found to be an inspired choice as a rather foppish young geek who Bond dismisses as a pubescent upstart almost instantly. Needless to say, Q's insistence that he can cause more damage in his pj's, before his first cup of Earl Grey, soon becomes something that Bond has to rely on to avoid losing his life (yet again!). I particularly enjoyed Q's quip about not providing pens that fire bullets anymore - giving a little light hearted dig at the Bond movies of the 1980s with their far-fetched gadgets and paraphernalia.
This Bond movie doesn't stray too far from its roots, however. There are the trademark features of a Bond film - the exotic locations, beautiful and mysterious women, the inevitable casino scene, car chases, balancing on the roof of a train, shoot 'em ups and even a martini (shaken not stirred.) The action scenes were pretty breath-taking, even though there were more than a few slapstick elements - Bond in hot pursuit of the baddie sliding down the sides of a London Underground escalator and the booby trap scenes towards the end which were more reminiscent of a scene from 'Home Alone' rather than classic Bond.
Despite being rated '12', I watched this alongside my ten year old son and felt comfortable that this was appropriate viewing throughout for his age and understanding. The film does feature a lot of shooting and violence but it is very fast-paced and there are no really disturbing or scary scenes, despite the high number of casualties throughout the film. I did have my finger hovering over the fast-forward button when it came to a certain shower scene but, fortunately, this was left to the viewer's imagination and thanks to the frosting around the shower screen, nothing 'naughty' could really be seen. That aside, the word 'shit' is used a few times but nothing stronger and there are a few more scenes of light flirtation but, again, nothing that I felt uncomfortable about my ten year old son witnessing, making this a really entertaining family film.
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this Bond film but can honestly say that I am looking forward to going back and watching Daniel Craig in his earlier performances as 007. I would recommend this as an entertaining, fast-paced thriller to anybody looking for light entertainment and a bit of fun escapism.
Summary: The only Bond film I've been able to sit through