I am feeling a bit left out at the moment. Everyone has seen Skyfall except me.
Unable to get tickets in any central London cinema last weekend I am now resigned to going to see it at Eastbourne Cineworld, a non descript multiplex on the way to Pevensy Bay. The film's opening last week was surrounded by hype and anticipation the like of which I don't remember there being for any movie premiere since The Return of the King (so now I am wondering who would win in a fight, Aragorn or Bond, if they we allowed to choose whatever weapons they like from the arsenal of their day.....) .
In London Bond has been impossible to ignore, he is literally everywhere. Daniel Craig in made-for-bus-side action pose, gun poised, suit immaculate. The bold black 007, subtle midnight blue of his DJ and fresh brilliant white background to set it all off, adapted to fit any and every shape and size of flat surface in the entire city, proclaiming with utter confidence YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE or even BEST BOND EVER.
It is universally agreed that Casino Royal was a work of genius, but to those people who say that Quantum of Solace was a disappointing sequel, a heartless, violent, cold and even pointless exercise in making life difficult for the franchise going forward, I say 'not so!'. It was not only, structurally at the very least, a classic bond movie, but also it went back to basics. It was more like a Sean Connery Bond movie than anything Pearce Brosnan ever did, we'd just forgotten what that might be like new-minted, so far off track had things become since Dalton first, then Brosnan, picked up the mantle and messed things up so badly. Such times are best forgotten. Whatever I may think about QOS, I could not argue with the fact that if Skyfall did not meet the incredibly high expectations of the waiting universe, Bond's future was in jeopardy. As life-threatening situations go, this was right up there with the card game cardiac arrest. No pressure then Sam, just, well, you know, give him life again, ok?
The advertising campaign had such a confidence about it that it succeeded in raising the levels of expectation even higher. The movie now had to be nothing less than magnificent. Enter Javier Bardem stage left, and Ben Wishaw stage right. Dear lord, how could anyone possibly get casting as brilliantly right as this? Finally a villain/Bond combo with acting AND sex appeal chops (despite the hair), this is truly a match made in heaven. And just as we thought that John Cleese had made Q as ridiculous as the notion that he ever had any sex appeal of his own (A Fish Called Wanda anyone?) we get Ben Wishaw ladies and gentlemen. Get in line, indeed. I honestly couldn't care less who the femme fatale, tart with a heart or so- called love interest is (who does, really?) as long as we've still got Judy and, oh, look, there she is. Flawed, motherly and more than a bit of a bitch. Thank God for that. Right, I'm ready now.
So as soon as the title sequence starts, I'm going to suspend my disbelief and imagine I'm at the Odeon Covent Garden. Then I'm going to try to forget everything anyone has told me about the film so far. Then I'm going to get lost and hope for one of the movie thrills of a lifetime. If anyone can give that to me, it's Daniel Craig. Best Bond ever. Like I said, no pressure.