Frequently Asked Questions about Skyfall

Is this really the best Bond movie since GoldenEye?

Yes. It features:

  1. Dragons
  2. Skyscrapers
  3. Freudian free-association techniques
  4. A heartwarming story about rats
  5. The beautiful blonde locks of Javier Bardem

And of course, the three Bond staples:

  1. Explosions
  2. Sexual innuendo
  3. Explosions that function as sexual innuendo

But I heard it was overrated.

Also true.

So you disagree with the fawning critics, including… yourself?

Next question.

What’s the plot?

The year: 2012. The threat: cyberterrorism. The villain: mysterious.

Only one man stands between you and your suspension of disbelief. He takes his martinis shaken, not stirred. He sleeps with some women out of strategic necessity; others, simply because he can. He is the world’s greatest hand-to-hand combatant, even though everybody he fights is exactly as talented as he is. And he does not practice defensive driving.

Wow!

Yeah! At times, the events even seem to unfold in a logical sequence, although the illusion is brief.

How will Skyfall fare at the Oscars?

Who do I look like, Nate Silver?

I heard it was too dark and serious – more Batman than Bond.

First of all: That’s not a question. And second of all: Meh.

If you take it as your duty to police the sanctity of the Bond franchise, then I’m sure you’ll find plenty of violations to cite. But keep in mind that you’re patrolling on behalf of a series that has recast the lead 6 times, and whose hallowed history includes Pierce Brosnan driving an invisible car. Sure, Bond should be fun. But self-seriousness can be fun, too. And Skyfall pulls it off.

Besides, while Javier Bardem’s villain borrows some elements of the Joker, Dark Knight isn’t the right comparison. Skyfall lands closer to last year’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – a fun autumn blockbuster full of eye-candy action sequences.

Is Adele’s theme song any good?

Listen for yourself. It sounds pretty Bond to me: sweeping, dramatic, minor-keyed. Plus, she somehow manages to rhyme “fall” with “crumble.”

Okay, but really, what are its Oscar chances? I’m curious!

If you insist, they’re 6.3%.

Whoa, really?

No.

How’s the acting?

Daniel Craig has never been better, and his face has never been craggier. Javier Bardem steals scenes, Ralph Fiennes transitions smoothly from blockbuster bad guy to blockbuster bureaucrat, and Judi Dench is, as always, Judi Dench. Overall, good.

C’mon, how’s the acting? You know what I mean.

Sigh. Go do a Google image search for “Skyfall bond girl” on your own time, dude.

At the end, how could James Bond possibly think it’s a good idea to—

Hey! No spoilers. But for the record, just remember that Bond makes all his strategic decisions by weighing only one factor: Will this make for a cool video game level?

Dude, seriously though, what are its Oscar chances?

Why do you even care?

Because obsessing over awards and accolades gives me an outlet for my hypersensitivity to status? And it’s far easier to critique the choices of the Oscar voters than to make myself vulnerable by articulating my own aesthetic sensibilities?

Well, as long as you’re clear on that.

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