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Time For Me To Look Elsewhere
Note: This review has possible spoilers. Not big spoilers, but if you have not seen it, it may still have information you might not want to read.
The James Bond series has now reached a level of absolute 100% burn out. The series has become so exhausted and unoriginal that watching the new films is like briefly glancing at an object, and forgetting you saw it a few seconds later.
I did like Casino Royale, and thought it was an interesting change of pace from the usual destroy the world plots, but it was nothing more than a short lived bit of energy that quickly burned out by the incoherent Quantum of Solace.
The problems with Skyfall are many. It is overlong, very tedious in its middle act, and the villain's motives are not completely clear. Javier Bardem is very good in the role of Silva, but all he wants is revenge over M and MI6 for once sending him on a mission that went bad, but why should we care? We know M screwed him over once in the past, and that he wants revenge, but the film never explores any deeper motives than just revenge itself.
Even a bigger problem with Skyfall is that it copies from other Bond films as well as other movies. The fight on the train at the start reminds us of Roger Moore fighting on the train in Octopussy,the sex worker or prostitute in Macau asks Bond to kill her boss in the very same way that Andrea Anders asked Bond to kill Scaramanga in The Man With the Golden Gun, Silva's blonde hair is like all other blonde haired baddies we have seen in past Bond films like Christopher Walken in A View To A Kill, and the list of agents that are supposed to be killed is completely ripped off from the "Death To Spies" concept in the far superior The Living Daylights. Furthermore, the ending where the baddies march towards the hero's home reminds us of Patriot Games (1992) and Witness (1984). Skyfall has pretty much nothing new.
Skyfall has a plot that we have seen countless times in other films, and is also not fully explained. The film takes a serious approach which I find pretentious or phony. The plot is very superficial and unsophisticated, but the film pretends as though it is far more sophisticated than what it is. It only seems mature and sophisticated on its surface, but look deeper into it, and there isn't much you will find; just a villain who once got screwed over by MI6 and wants revenge; that is it in a nutshell, and we do not learn anything deeper. Big deal!!!! The whole thing is very dreary, and takes itself too seriously and without acknowledging what classics like Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me did, which is that James Bond is inherently silly. We cannot take a film (or film series) that is inherently silly and try and make it into a serious and deep Oscar type picture, or an intellectual art-house film, which is what they try to do with Skyfall. By doing so, they have created something utterly pretentious, too arty, dull and dreary, and very tedious. The tedium is the result of a very superficial plot being placed into a long and serious epic type picture; since there is not much to explain as far as the plot and because it is a long epic, much tedium turns out to be the result.
I will always enjoy the old films like Goldfinger, Thunderball, and Live and Let Die. However, the series is now lacking the juice, interest, and excitement that was promised in Casino Royale, but that we not only have not gotten back, but I am doubting we ever will. The series is just old, tired, and out of gas and originality. Casino Royale is pretty much the final bit of juice left over and that is now all gone. They will continue making Bond films for the money, but aside from the old classics (which I will always revisit), it is time for me to look elsewhere in film. After sitting through great and exciting films this past week like Lincoln, End of Watch, and Looper (all I saw after Skyfall), Skyfall seems even duller.