Sunday, November 11, 2012

Movie / Skyfall

How many special effects can you generate with $120 mill and what looked like well over 50 stunt men and women in the credits? Enough that the plot doesn't need to be all that compelling.

I enjoyed this nearly 2-1/2 hour movie, thanks to its nearly nonstop action, adventure, and violence, which endlessly grip you. Plus the three stars all deliver credible performances. Yet it seems like when the effects budget is so high, the plot and writing take a back seat. So rather than some cunningly wrought thriller, it's more Batman meets V for Vendetta, just right for 13-year-olds who (like myself) bought and read all the old James Bond paperbacks

The bad guy (Javier Bardem) was such an "homage" to The Joker that I wouldn't be surprised if whoever owns the Batman franchise sued them for infringement. A blatant psychopath, he seeks revenge on his ruthless former boss "M" (Judi Densch) for having sold him out in an agent swap, with unlimited money, troops, and weapons at his disposal. After many computer hack messages telling her to "Think on her sins," she pays for them in the end.

The hacking was somewhat contrived, including a cyber attack that creates a gas explosion in downtown London, but I'm all for anything that helps educate the public to the huge problem of cyber vulnerabilities in official systems. The geeky kid tells Bond he can create more mayhem in his pajamas than any old fashioned field agent. The public needs to get this.

It earns its PG-13 rating with brief sex scenes, a touch of bad language and smoking, and ample violence. I recommend Skyfall, as a technological extravaganza, for diversion, not as any major think piece. But just how much thinking do Batman and Spiderman do, anyway?

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