I finally saw Skyfall! I must be one of the last people in the world to have seen it!
I still felt Casino Royale was better, and I’m afraid I still haven’t been bitten by the Bond bug. Even with the much more bolshy roles for women like that of M and Eve, I’ve yet to find a female character in Bond I can really relate to or care very much about. Certainly I’ve heard many people saying Skyfall was almost as much about M as it was about Bond, and while this is true, and M was portrayed sympathetically, there was not enough there to allow me to feel like I knew her at all. Taken cumulatively with the rest of her tenure as M, maaaaybe. Frankly, it felt like a shorthand for Judi Dench herself. With Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine the victim, there were perfunctory sex scenes; Eve’s relationship with Bond was similarly dutiful (though there are hints, of course, that it could become something more nuanced). Even if we have in Eve a fellow agent with as physical and dangerous approach to “field work” as the male agents, the fact remains that M and Eve have “cocked it up.” It’s M’s judgment call that allows Eve’s bad aim to shoot Bond, causing trouble for everyone. Notice that both these characters are women and need Bond to reappear on the scene to “save the day”?
That said, Skyfall was not without its fun and stylish elements, including the opening credits. Some of the action sequences were exciting and innovative. Setting the film at least halfway on “home turf” (including on the Tube!) was a nice touch and helped the story feel more realistic (not that one necessarily expects any realism from Bond). Ben Whishaw as a geek chic Q has a long career ahead of him. Javier Bardem as the villain was potentially interesting but proved a bit of a smokescreen. I very much enjoyed the final sequence of the film, from when Bond got out his “conspicuous” roadster to drive up to Scotland (except when they BLEW UP THE HOUSE!). And I applaud any film that gives Ralph Fiennes a recurring role and, for once (!), a heroic one.
What else can I say? Bond is just not my thing.