About the Post

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Andrea is a contributing writer to The Hudsucker when she’s not rescuing stray cats or working as a graphic designer for an advertising agency way less glamorous than the ones in Mad Men. She loves pizza a lot. Follow her on Twitter as @pizzzaa.

Skyfall: Sexy Times with Fabulous Blondes

Skyfall marks the Bond franchise’s 50th anniversary but don’t go thinking 007 is ready for retirement. The new Bond film is a thrilling spectacle that feels fresh, modern, relevant and not a day over 22.

Image Credit: MGM Pictures/Universal

Image Credit: MGM Pictures/Universal

The movie

I was a bit late as the cinema was packed and there was a HUGE line at the food stand, I could’ve gone straight to the movie but going to the movies without food is a concept that just doesn’t make sense to me. So anyway I got there mid pre-credits scene where James Bond and Naomi Harris are in Turkey chasing a bad guy carrying a hard drive containing the names of every undercover MI6 agent in the world. The chase comes to a point where the bad guy and Bond are having a fist fight on top of a speeding train, with the train getting away; M (Judy Dench) orders Naomi Harris to shoot the bad guy. Naomi’s pretty far away and protests that there’s a risk of hitting Bond but M’s not having it, “take the bloody shot” she says. Naomi hits Bond despite her best effort and Bond falls into one of the most beautiful opening credit scenes I ever seen. Adele’s silky voice mixes with a dark, feverish fantasy full of guns, ladies’ silhouettes and other classic Bond imagery.

And so, Bond dies and the rest of the movie is Judy Dench conducting interviews with potential replacements, it’s riveting and well acted drama although it got a bit boring around candidate N° 25. Okay, I’m kidding, of course Bond’s not dead. Somehow next time we see him, he’s not only not dead but shacking up with a sexy lady who has a beach house and winning drinking contests that involve scorpions. Meanwhile in England, MI6 headquarters gets blown up to pieces in a attack orchestrated to happen while M is out so she can witness the destruction. The Big Bad Guy you see, has a dark past connection with M and wants her to suffer a bit before taking her out. Bond sees the attack on a TV and teleports himself back to London where M agrees to have him reinstated once he passes the respective tests. He does poorly on everything but gets reinstated anyway and from then on the film really picks up with Bond going to Shanghai after the hard drive stealing guy, where after a neon fight scene too awesome for words, Bond finds a trail that leads him to Macau. There he meets the mysterious Severine and almost gets eaten by a komodo dragon. This is all exciting stuff but what’s more exciting is finally meeting the Big Bad Guy, Severine’s boyfriend who lives in his own creepy private island as any self-respecting Bond villain should.

It’s in this desolated island that we meet ex-MI6 agent gone bad Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem, in a moment that will be remembered in years to come much like the scene where we meet the Joker in The Dark Knight. There have been many comparisons between Silva and the Joker and not without reason, they’re both endlessly smart and endlessly insane people who have a sense of not being really people, but chaos personified. Things take a turn for the sexy when Silva gets touchy feely with Bond during interrogation but Bond manages to take out all of Silva’s men and capture him. If it sounds like Silva got captured too easily it’s because, like with the Joker, getting caught is part of the plan, pretty soon he’s loose and raising hell all over London. Silva will make both Bond and M face their pasts in ways they never expected and by the end EVERYTHING WILL CHANGE (in dramatic voice).

Also, they blow up a BEAUTIFUL classic Aston Martin. More than one at the cinema yelled out “noooooo!”

Likes

Can I just say I loved the whole movie? This might be my favorite blockbuster of 2012.

The film is visually yummy, the colors are vivid and rich and the locals, from the exotic far East to the misty Scottish country side are just stunning to look at. It’s the best looking film I’ve seen all year, it should get at the very least a Best Cinematography Oscar nomination.

While Oscar nominations for acting are unlikely, everybody in the cast is top notch. Daniel Craig continues to do a great job as Brooding Bond, a man facing drinking problems, loneliness and job that requires impossible sacrifices. He has the charming ways of classic Bonds but he puts weight and realism to his character, which I enjoy. Judy Dench is also great as M, sometimes cold, sometimes almost motherly, her relationships with her spy-sons drive the film and she makes for a sympathetic character despite the ruthless decisions she makes. Everybody else in the cast, Ralph Fiennes as bureaucrat Gareth Mallory, Naomi Harris as quick-witted Eve, and “my husband”, Ben Whishaw as the new nerdy chic Q are terrific at their roles.

Javier Bardem as Silva gets his own paragraph because he’s the man. He’s the talk of everybody who’s seen the film and it’s easy to see why. He’s a larger than life character with a distinct look, atrocious hair, weird mannerisms and gleefully evil ways. He’s not just style over substance though, he has a dark and terrible past and when he shows M the consequences her actions had on him is like—damn. Like it often happens with an arch nemesis, he’s similar to Bond in many ways, like a dark reflection. Silva is an instant classic and probably a popular Halloween 2013 costume.

Dislikes

Now that I talked about serious stuff like “character” and “cinematography”, I can talk about what we are really interested. WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS GOING ON WITH THAT HAIR?! You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about that bleached roadkill they’re trying to pass as Raoul Silva’s hair. Is it intentional? Is it part of Silva’s shtick of being creepy and making everybody uncomfortable? Is it that Hollywood stylists just hate Javier Bardem? Between this and that God-awful bob from No Country for Old Man, I think Javier may have ran over the dog of the president of the Hollywood Stylists Guild (is there such a thing?), it’s the only possible explanation.

Really Hollywood stylists, I must beg you to stop. Javier is a nice looking man, look at him in Vicky, Christina, Barcelona. Why must you do such a thing? Why must you ruin Spanish handsomeness? WHY?

Hotness Award

The Hotness Award goes to… everybody but Javier Bardem. I don’t think I need to explain this.

Yeah. Image Credit: MGM/Columbia Pictures

Final Words

Director Sam Mendes delivers a remarkable film that’s entertaining, smart and well crafted. Bond fans will love the references to classic Bond films and the reintroduction of classic characters but what’s great is that even with these nostalgia bits, by the end we’re left with a reinvigorated Bond universe, ready to go into the next chapter of the franchise.

4 ½ pizzas out of 5

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