Monday, 27 May 2013

You Again...



by L. J. Spence



I often used to think that the day I saw a James Bond film through to the end was the day the sky falls in. That pun did come back to haunt me when I willingly bought a blu-ray copy of "Skyfall" (2012), putting me in the position of watching a James Bond film, touted upon its release as the best Bond film of them all, in order to make sure I didn't waste my money.

My standard answer for my favourite film, Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" (1959), is often described as a prototype for the Bond films, most notably how the audience is aware that Cary Grant's character will be still alive at the end - the question is how much peril can he be made to suffer.

The Bond films have had to create all manner of ways to put the character into danger, and "Skyfall" has brought it as far as can be done. Overall, I was impressed - the perfectly planned opening sequence, Judi Dench in every scene, Javier Bardem's stupendously camp villain, and the wry humour. But the subtext of the film - Bond becoming long in the tooth, swept away the reaffirmation of the legacy of the Bond films by pointing out the good parts - was large in my mind at the end.

If "Skyfall" is the best of the Bond films, why would I want to watch the rest of them? Do I want to see the same story done in over twenty different ways? I should ask that to anyone seeing "Fast and Furious 6" soon.

I then remember that my favourite superhero character is Superman. I imagine I will be watching "Man of Steel" upon its release, just as I watched "Superman Returns" in 2006, and have bought copies of the four previous Superman films...

To avoid my sounding like a hypocrite, I now realise that it is the hero's journey that brings you in, and the hero themselves. If you feel you are backing the right person, you will be with them whatever they do. That is probably why I haven't seen any Bond film until now - it was my thinking the character was a bit of a twat, but that is another story...


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