Skyfall (143 minutes, 12A cert, Dir: Sam Mendes)
As a man of few words I won’t waste your time by beating around the bush with clichés and instead cut to the chase: James Bond is a big girl’s blouse.
Now, I appreciate that he’s a cultural icon and does invaluable work projecting the message that our great nation won’t be intimidated my henchmen with metal teeth, hit men with superfluous nipples or megalomaniacal billionaires hell bent on covering the bodies of pert young models in gold paint but none of that is an excuse for drinking namby-pamby cocktails whilst the cinema going population of the world is watching on. Frankly, it’s embarrassing.
Put me in charge of the Bond franchise and Sam Mendes, director of this latest offering, would have been pointed in the direction of that epicentre of manliness, The Bradford League. In the clubhouse bars of Morley and Undercliffe you’ll find that the tipple of choice après la bataille is a pint of bitter or a strong cup of tea (for designated drivers/those of a religious inclination). None of this vodka martini “shaken not stirred” nonsense, which is the sort of drink you’d associate with the southern softies to be found in the Huddersfield league.
Alas, no mention of Hanging Heaton or Cleckheaton is made in Skyfall. Instead, Mendes has a dramatic plot twist waiting for his unsuspecting audience, when, just twenty minutes into the action, Bond is seen ordering a Heineken. Shocking. In the Bradford League we have a word for men who drink lager: Australians. And nobody talks to them, let alone arms them with a Walther PPK and a licence to kill.
It was at this point that I collected up my bag of pick’n’mix and made my way out of the screening. I know many of you depend on the in-depth structural analysis and love of the art of cinematography that I bring to my film reviews, but I could no longer continue to watch this travesty of a film.
However, I think we can safely assume that the remainder of Skyfall follows a predictable path as Bond emerges triumphant after playing some poker and failing to keep his pants on near any woman under retirement age. Those of you who’ve read Shane Warne’s autobiography will know the sort of thing I mean.
Overall: A thumbs down from me.