I watched Skyfall yesterday. It was good, in fact it was a great movie and a great Bond movie at that. It doesn't beat Goldeneye, of course it doesn't, that's the movie that got me in to Bond and I doubt any Bond movie can take it's place as the best one for me. That said, I think this takes the second place.
I'm not going to do a review, that's just not really my thing but for the record, on a scale from 1 to 10 where 5 is you average romcom or drama or a movie of any genre really, that is perfectly passable, a movie you enjoyed watching but probably but won't care to watch again, on that scale this was somewhere in the region of 8.5 maybe 9.
Anyway, as I said I won't do a review, but I do have some comments on it, first impressions if you will and some thoughts I had while watching it. There will be some "spoilers" ahead, nothing that really tells you anything about the story but still I'll mention a few moments from the movies. You've been warned.
I was happy to see that they've learnt something from Quantum of Solace and even from Casino Royale. From Quantum of Solace they learnt that a Bond movie need a good story with a thread that you can follow through it. From Casino Royale, or both I suppose, they learnt that a good Bond movie needs a Q. Yes, Q is back, well a new Q, a much younger Q but a Q none the less. Q is also getting which I'm very happy to see, not only is he Bond's quartermaster but he seem to have been put in charge of Technical Operations as well, in parts of the movie Q is the man back at base ready to give Bond support over the radio with stuff like tracking a target or providing intelligence as need. He seem to be in charge of various technological matters around the base as well. It's nice to see more of the intelligence that goes on within the headquarters of the intelligence agency.
While Q is back it's not the good old Q-branch though, the fancy gadgets are mostly gone, something they even had Bond comment on, the response was along the lines of "What did you expect? An explosive pen? We're not really in to that kind of stuff any more.". It's a bit sad but I'm glad to see Q back either way, especially in a bigger role. A role I'm glad to see more of.
Now, a thing with the movie I'm less happy with, a thing that seem to be a very common issue in movies. When you make computers in any way or form a large part of your plot, or heck even when you want to have some cool techno-babble, why not get a guy that actually knows computers to help you out? In parts of the movie we have some talk about encryptions and decryption that really doesn't make a whole lot of sense. We have a neat little "hacking" segment where the code that has to be broken is flying around of the screen like some form of puzzle game... We also have a mention of a type of security in which the memory (I assume the hard-drive/flash storage) of the computer would be wiped if the wrong files were access, apparently only a select few would be able to code this security, one of which is Q (he actually makes a comment saying he invented it). That last piece there sets Q up as a computer expert right? (Spoiler ahead) Yea, a computer expert which takes the computer of someone they know is a counter-terrorist and one heck of a computer genius who had previous hacked in to their network, the network of MI6 and from there done some nasty stuff (can't spoil to much even if it is early on), with all that established he takes this guys computer and he plugs it straight in to their network, just like that... I rest my case.
Finally. I know there has been quite a bit of talk since Casion Royal about how the continuity of the Bond movies work. Some saying Casino Royal is simply a reboot, some proposing that the James Bond just 007 is a code name and there has been several persons with that codename just like there have been actors. Well, Skyfall is telling us throughout the whole movie that Bond is an old agent, he's been through a lot (we also have the game 007 legends that starts in Skyfall but soon goes in to flashbacks of Craig as Bond going through the missions of some earlier movies) even though just a few years ago in Casino Royale he earned his 00 status and went on his first mission. We even see that Bond still has one of his old cars in storage, the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger and Thunderball to be specific, complete with ejector seat, machineguns and correct number plates.
I think there is only one conclusion we can draw, only one that Eon Production support at least, the Bond universe is without time. Casino Royale is indeed Bonds first mission, Skyfall is the latest and all the other movies, that's the same James Bond, we just have to look past the years and time-periods of those movies (or of Casino Royal, take your pick). It's not like this is the first time they've done this anyway, the first part of Goldeneye does take place before the last movie starring Timothy Dalton after all.
That's all I have to say on Skyfall, for now at least.