SKYFALL--Directed by Sam Mendes/starring Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris, Bérénice Marlohe and Ben Whishaw/screenplay by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade from a story by Ian Fleming/rated PG-13/2hr23min
A Bifocal Review by Barbara Rich and The Other Guy
(B) Well, after viewing this film, I decided to change the title to one more fitting. The new title is: SkyFAIL. For me, this movie was a complete failure. The other four people who viewed this movie with me all agree with thumbs down. Way down. By the way, those four people included three generations, male and female. I’m sorry to say that for all Daniel Craig’s efforts with keeping fit for the numerous stunts he accomplished, he did not connect for me. His lack or charisma was very obvious. Craig could not convince me of any chemistry with either one of these two stunning women. It was like a documentary of stunts and chases. Where, I ask, was the storyline? It was lost somewhere, and when finally we try to put it together, it is so weak it wasn’t worth the effort. Javier Bardem’s character was way out there, but at least he was bazaar enough to hold my interest. This film was much too long, but does achieve one great thing. It makes the other films this year look much better by comparison. I do not recommend this film. I give it only half a binocular, and that my friends is generous!
(OG) Although, going into this film I had a healthy skepticism regarding this being “the best Bond movie ever,” I still left the theater somewhat disappointed. First of all, no matter how you slice it, this is decidedly NOT the best Bond movie ever. Sean Connery is a better 007, and arguably so are Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan or (fill in the blank with your favorite). I don’t hate Daniel Craig, but I think he has been given a difficult task that is made more difficult by this kind of ridiculous promotion, setting the audience quality expectations extremely high while delivering mediocre material. Everyone needs to take an honest look at the difference between being optimistic and ignoring reality. I really have no idea what the pre-release buzz is about. Here are my list of beefs when it comes to this movie: 1) The script violates good storytelling conventions. There is no reason for us to care about the heroes or villains. Nothing is fleshed out. We are not given enough details about ANYTHING to care. Everything is sketchy or relies on the audience’s love and knowledge of previous films in the series. 2) Javier Bardem is miscast. He is not villainous enough. Part of this problem, again, is with the script. This character is poorly drawn. His motivations and therefore his actions are unclear. I was not impressed. 3) The action was hackneyed. Everything we saw on the screen (even beyond the Bond film franchise itself) we’ve seen before…and better. Chase scenes and explosions still need a story for context. This one did not have a compelling enough storyline. The conflict between the old and the new was forced. I was not surprised when one of the old-timer/great actors dies (I won’t tell you which one, in case you decide to see this film despite our warnings), as it seemed like they were saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” The producers may want to think in those terms too. I know I will. I give this one only one binocular.