Out & About

November 15, 2012

New Bond film serious, well-made

To all of those who thought that “Skyfall” was the long-awaited sequel to that cheesiest of James Bond films, “Moonraker,” sorry, this is not that kind of 007 movie.

The 50th anniversary film, 23rd in the official collection, “Skyfall” is stylish, dark and dramatic. It’s a serious and well-made film that eschews any campiness — and unfortunately, sucks quite a bit of the fun out of the franchise.

Daniel Craig is back for his third go-around as Bond, and this time he’s a little depressed. He’s nearly been killed and he’s not sure his boss, Judi Dench’s M, really cares about him as a person. Still, when a vengeful bad guy comes looking for M, Bond is ready to fight.

Craig can fight and kill with any superspy, but his Bond is solemn and brooding, almost as if he was auditioning to be Bruce Wayne.

In “Skyfall,” he touches all the familiar talismans — shaken martini, Aston Martin, Walther PPK — in perfunctory fashion. He goes through women in a similar manner: Technically, Naomie Harris (as a fellow agent) and Berenice Marlohe (exotic foreigner) are Bond girls, but the only woman he shows much interest in is M.

Javier Bardem is quite good as the villain, Raoul Silva, a smiling, bleached-blond former agent with a serious gripe about management. Silva is flamboyant, brilliant and without conscience as he wreaks havoc with Britain’s intelligence agency and sends M on the run.

Directed by Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”), the movie is atmospheric and visually arresting. There are a couple of excellent set pieces, particularly the opening sequence, and the violence is mostly well-done.

There are some surprisingly long stretches of inaction, however, and for a movie that wants to be taken so seriously, the climactic showdown scene is a bit silly.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Steve Ouellette's Movie Reviews

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Entertainment Videos
Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Uzo Aduba Says Emmy Nod Is 'Crazy' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up Mirren Not Thrilled to Play 'The Queen' on B'way The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office Shawn Mendes Jumps From Vine to the Music Charts Cook Shifts Gears in 'Planes: Fire and Rescue' ShowBiz Minute: Stritch, Marvel, Beyonce ShowBiz Minute: Cole, JWoww, Box Office ShowBiz Minute: Garner, Backstreet, George 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Legendary Actor James Garner Dies 'Pageant' Star Nick Cearley on Show, Skivvies Roger Ebert Doc a Surprise Summer Hit First Lady Salutes Monae
CVPH Job Opportunities