I revisited Skyfall in anticipation of No Time To Die’s release. Skyfall is Daniel Craig’s third Bond film of five total. During his time as James Bond, the character had to be modernized, but very slowly. You may find yourself asking “why are we watching a silhouetted woman shower?” Then you remember you are watching a James Bond film. Judi Dench is still M, and the bad guy is Silva, played by Javier Bardem.
The film gets a lot more modern than James Bond of yore when ‘technology’ and ‘algorithms’ are introduced. Q, Ben Whishaw, only gives James a handprint recognizing gun and a radio-based location transmitter; exploding pens are too passe. This feels like a poor attempt to modernize the Bond franchise, but it leads to most of the same issues you see with ‘hacking’ focused films. It is not entertaining to watch someone type on a keyboard.
As I neared the end of this film, I realized just how little happens in it. We are only transported to a few different locations, most of which are not very interesting. The film spends the most amount of time in Scotland at James’ boyhood home of Skyfall. The gates to the estate are guarded by two stag statues, like Harry’s Patronus. The subsequent fight scene, absent of technology, is a grown-up version of Home Alone. Once you make the connection you cannot unmake it. I am sorry if you had not got to that point yet but try to enjoy it.
After rewatching Skyfall, I am questioning if I am a Bond fan. I did not enjoy this film as much as I remember other Bond films. The absence of gadgets is a big letdown for me, only compounded by the presence of hacking sequences on-screen. The Bond girl troupe was downplayed, and we got a backstory on Moneypenny, but this was well before #metoo. Overall, I enjoyed Skyfall despite some disappointment with the lack of gadgets.