Monday, November 12, 2012
A few thoughts on Skyfall.
When I saw Casino Royale, I saw a Bond that was intelligent, charming, and flawed. I saw a Bond that even though he was a sexist asshole, you couldn't help but feel like there was a real, good person inside, and that it was the breaks within him that made him what he was. He was turning his weaknesses into strengths. The female characters were strong, Moneypenny was independent and flawed in her own way, it was an amazing film, and a great break from the traditional pure sexist, pure fantasy world of Bond. It was the difference between POW! ZAP! Batman with Adam west and The Dark Knight.
Quantum of Solace was a two hour long chase scene that included some sex scenes, but crucially not with the flawed and damaged main Bond girl. I saw this as Bond respecting a damaged woman, and giving her the respectful physical space that he knew she needed.
Skyfall turned back the clock and set us in 1950. It was there with everything: the cars, M, the jokes about Bond being old even though this particular incarnation of Bond hasn't been doing the job for that long, and lastly and most sadly, the sexism.
I thought we were moving in a direction where women were taken with Bond, not where Bond took women. When I saw a black woman shaving Bond because "that's the old fashioned way, and it's best" I didn't feel sexual tension, I felt a reference to slavery. Then I saw a sex slave get walked in on in the shower and get fucked.
(Caps lock on here) MOVIE PRODUCERS: WHEN YOU ARE A SEX SLAVE OR GET RAPED, THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO IS HAVE SEX WITH A RANDOM MAN WHO BASICALLY SNEAKS ABOARD YOUR SHIP.
Seriously. I would've been fine with M being a man again if none of this other stuff had happened, but put all together its just wrong, and the wrong direction for Bond to go. Just because its a longstanding franchise with a rich and storied history doesn't mean we have to keep pretending that it's 1950, and that "Man-talk" has to be the rule of Bond.