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Reel to Real: “Skyfall” success

25 November 2012 By Eva Niessner, Staff Writer No Comments

Hopefully Towerlight readers have seen the interview I was able to participate in with Sam Mendes, the director of “Skyfall.”

In order to sound like a professional and classy journalist instead of a star-struck fangirl, I did a little research on the movie before it was time to join the conference call.

As a result, I knew the basic plot (and all the spoilers) before I had even seen it.

Long-time readers of my column will know that spoilers don’t really bother me. Knowing how a movie ends might take the edge off the surprises, but it generally doesn’t make the visuals and the acting less impressive.

And seeing “Skyfall” proved that you can have the plot down and still walk out of the theater dazzled.

One of the interesting things about the newest installment of Bond is that a decent chunk of it isn’t even about Bond at all.

Bond is the catalyst for the action, the problem-solver and ultimately the hero, but it’s Bond’s boss M (Judi Dench) whose story is most important and intriguing. One of her old agents is out for revenge after an apparent betrayal, and Bond has to stop him, but M is constantly being reminded by her antagonist to “think on her sins.” As the movie unfolds, we learn what those sins are.

As with most Bond movies, it’s extremely plot-heavy. If you leave for the bathroom and come back five minutes later, there’s a good chance you’ll be lost.

But “Skyfall” has successfully established a number of new characters and ideas that feel natural, not shoehorned in. The movie also looks back to classic Bonds by reinstating elements like the Aston-Martin (when I went to see the movie and the car was unveiled there was actual cheering in the theater) and characters like Q.

If you’re debating whether to see it because you’re unfamiliar with the series, don’t worry. The references to the older movies are subtle enough that you can enjoy things like cars and music and characters on their own merit, not because they’re Bond themes.

It could easily stand on its own as a good action movie—Sam Mendes specifically said that he wanted it to be an interesting movie, regardless of whether or not the hero was named James Bond. But if you are a Bond buff, this is a beautiful blend of the old and new.

There will be shifting in the cast and the new will come to replace the old, which is another strength of the series. Bond says in “Skyfall” that his hobby is resurrection and for the past 50 years the films have constantly evolved and altered.

Let’s hope it continues to resurrect itself another 50 years.

Did you see “Skyfall” yet? Did you go to the theaters this Thanksgiving break?

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