Skyfall: M for Mummy
Comedian Caroline Newte Hardie went to see Skyfall. She didn’t like it very much.
I have decided to mitigate my fury about the retrograde misogyny in Bond by focusing this piece on more general critiques of Skyfall’s plot. This as much for my benefit, dear Reader, as it for yours: doctor’s orders.
Extraordinarily this third film in the Craig Bond Canon (imagine that is his actual name for a minute; Bond – Craig Bond. No real point to this other than I think that Daniel’s face is more of a Craig than a James) has been lauded as a final maturing point, a piqued fermentation of the franchise for the 21st Century: “Craig’s really hit his stride”, “finally Skyfall finds Bond’s voice for a new generation”, “exciting plot”. Exciting plot? My arse.
I’ll summarise: modern world of female M not working out – unsurprisingly she can’t handle the pressure at the top, utilise plot of revenge attacks on female M to get rid of female M and start anew with male M next time around, make use of a little Oedipality (new word; you’re welcome) and some homo-eroticism to up the depth factor of villain – and Bond for that matter, add in a bonk with a brutalised ex sex slave (the use of ‘ex’ in this context is frankly up for debate, but this bonk was clearly Bond’s entitlement and reward for spotting that she was afraid, via the oft-cited cryptic semiology of Tremblius Handus), witness execution of said brutalised-now beaten up ex sex slave as set-up for pivotal gag/product placement, return the only female field agent featured in the film to a more suitable secretarial role and you’re pretty much done.
At the end, Eve Really Rather Suited To Fieldwork Actually If Judged By Opening Sequence Spoiler Alert Moneypenny (full name) takes Bond’s coat and ushers him back to the safety of the panelled wood boys’ club of yesteryears and sets the tone for the future. I don’t think I like the future because my place in society is dead or holding coats. The future will be like a never-ending trip to Chessington World of Adventures when you’re frightened of heights and no one else is.
I am infuriated by the simplicity of the plot. When I have expressed my dislike of the plot to friends, I have been admonished with, ‘but Bond plots are ALWAYS bonkers and go all over the place’. Yes, I know; that’s my point. This plot is pretty bloody linear. The plot is like the theme tune: it has an exciting opener with potential, and you think, ‘Okay, I like this bit, I wonder where they’ll take it?’, and then you realise; ‘Nope, that’s pretty much it actually. Oh.’
This Bond is a reset for and setter upper of the next one, and yet everyone went mad for it. Not even the most die-hard (excuse the franchise pun) Lord of the Rings fan liked The Two Towers much. Was it because of the hype? I think it was. No one wants to be the dick that says they didn’t like it. I for one have used a pseudonym for this article; there’s no such person as Caroline Newte Hardie.