I have always loved Bond. The books are on my occasional reading rotation list and have pride of place on my bookshelf. The films are lovingly cared for in their shiny tin. Well, with the exception of the few that were made after the set came out. They’re nearby, of course. The point is, the recent films have been preaching to the converted in my case, because it would take a great extreme for me not to enjoy a Bond film.
So the first time I saw Skyfall, unsurprisingly I enjoyed it. Thoroughly. I thought it was well thought out, the story was exciting and complex, Judi Dench and Daniel Craig were excellent as M and Bond as usual, the villain was creepy, the action was certainly not lacking and all in all it was exactly what I want from a Bond film.
I took the opportunity to watch it again. Yes, it was just as enjoyable and tension-filled the second time. Yes, I once again left the cinema impressed with what I had seen. More importantly, yes, there were additional details, little touches of genius and nostalgia, that I picked up the second time that I had not noticed or not made a connection with on first viewing.
I don’t want to give spoilers and if you, like me, are a Bond fan, then chances are you will feel the same way. It is perhaps the details that I was most struck by though. Foreshadowing, mirror imagery, echoes of the past, so many different elements are crammed into this film, and in the most successful manner too. But on top of all that you have an overall format that we have seen time and time again. Why does it work? The details. The details, the additional thought, the added layer all raise this from a good film to a great film. It works in writing too so I shall take this lesson forward to my own work.