A conversation between Sam Mendes and Christopher Nolan.
Mendes: Hey Chris, I’ve got some great ideas for the new Bond film, Skyfall, which I’m directing.
Nolan: Sounds great Sam. Lets hear ’em.
Mendes: Well first, I was thinking we could have a villian who’s sort of crazy and walks with a swaggar.
Nolan: I love it! Sounds just like the Dark Night!
Mendes: Then, after staging a perfectly planned attack on a government agency forcing them into an underground safe-house, the mad villain will be captured.
Mendes: But here’s the clincher. He meant to be captured all along! He has a brilliant but mad plan to escape, which he does!
Nolan: Sam, this sounds just like the dark night.
Mendes: Wait, wait, wait! We’re getting to the best part! All the while, the government is suspicious about MI6’s secretive ways and they’re trying get inside information.
Nolan: This really is just The Dark Knight.
Mendes: Oh! Well…that could be a problem. Wait, how much money did The Dark Knight make?
Nolan: A little over a billion dollars.
Mendes: Yah, I’m gunna stick with it.
So you may have guessed that I have a few complaints about the new Bond film, Skyfall. My first is that, as I indicated above, the plot is the same as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, the first half of the movie anyways. The second half we’ll get to later. The Dark Knight was a great movie. The problem is that Gotham City and the world that James Bond inhabits are not the same place. In every previous bond, the villain has some mad scheme to take over the world and Bond shuts it down pretty casually. This time I couldn’t figure out what the villain’s master plan was other than simply to watch the world burn and then I had to sit through one of Bond’s therapy sessions (gag).
My other big problem was that they just seemed to be trying so hard to be Bondy. There were no beautiful cars at all except for a shameless scene featuring the Bond car, a ’65 Aston Martin DB5. They even played the plinky guitar theme from the old movies, though it didn’t fit into the doom-and-gloom score at all. Then the ride a beautiful yacht across a sparkling sea only to arrive at a post-apocalyptic, dead city that looked like the end of conception. They even chose a bond girl who looks like a 60s pinup, dressed her up in retro style, and then shot her in the face! Then we had to glimpse into bond’s family history, watch M die, and see James Bond in ridiculous Scottish Hunting attire when he should have been in a tuxedo all along.
Overall, it was a total let down. It was like a superhero movie with a thin veneer of Bondyness. But to my surprise, it’s getting favourable reviews. If that’s what the people want, then I suspect it’ll only get more hollywood in the future. But everything comes full circle. Eventually people will tire of angry music, crazy genius hackers, and earth shattering surprises and plot twists and return to enjoying the suits, the guns, the girls, and the silly, convoluted spy plots that I so love
I long for that day.