Tag Archives: Javier Bardem

On Her Majesty’s Secret Serviceable

by Ricky Young

On the first day of filming the new series of Lewis, Kevin Whately smiles for the camera.

SPOILER WARNING: If worried about Skyfall spoilers, then either go to the cinema and see Skyfall, or sit down and take a long, hard look at your priorities in life.


There’s a moment in Skyfall where the villain unhooks half his face. The remaining rotten bridgework peers out and half his cheek falls away, skin stretching in a cadaverous fashion. At that point I found myself thinking – this film needs to stop messing around and have him go full-zombie, right now.

He didn’t, of course, and therein lies much of the problem with the new James Bond film. Nobody does much of anything exciting, and what they do end up doing is so low-wattage and for such low stakes that by the time it becomes clear that we’re witnessing a half-arsed series reboot, two movies after the last half-arsed series reboot, it makes you wonder that if they can’t be bothered, why on earth should we?

Oh, it’s not a disaster, by any means. Skyfall is put together competently, hits the majority of the beats it aims for without boring your tits off, and nothing jumps out of the screen shrieking ‘GAZE NOT UPON THIS TURKEY!’ like, say, Avengers Assemble. However, it’s defiantly not the return to form that preview audiences breathlessly rushed to their computers to praise to the heavens.

But if you start thinking about that question of form, then you’re left reflecting that in a 50-year, 23-film series, there’s only actually ever been five good ones. So, was anyone really expecting otherwise? Or is the prospect of a genuinely copper-bottomed feel-good Bond success so seductive that people are willing to kid themselves that they just saw something brilliant, when it’s clear that they didn’t?

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