Skyfall Teaser Trailer Released – My Review

Daniel Craig standing next to….some car

Skyfall news. Teaser poster and teaser trailer released. Enough said.

Actually I really should build this up a more huh?

The last time we saw 007 M was saying to him “Bond, I need you back”. He replied coolly, “I never left”. He tossed Vesper’s Algerian loveknot necklace to the ground and disappeared into the snowy shadows.

That was four years ago.

Way too long a wait for my taste. From Casino Royale in 2006 to Quantum of Solace in 2008, the series took an unexpected four-year hiatus. Had MGM not run into financial problems the film probably wouldn’t have been suspended and we might not have had to wait so long for it. Right now we might have been talking about Craig’s ‘fourth’ Bond film.

But now finally Bond fans are now sitting six months away from seeing Daniel Craig’s Bond in his third film – Skyfall!

I can’t help but think it was awful convenient that the production delay pushed Skyfall back to coincide with 007’s 50th anniversary of cinematic adventures. The producers love these anniversaries and that bump in the road really helped out with marking the big 5-0.

As I’ve said before though – PLEASE go easy on the references from the past films!!! Let’s make this a bit more of a classy, elegant affair. We don’t need to experience another loud, obnoxious stag party-type of observance where the cops have to be called to break things up like what happened for the series 40th anniversary jubilee that was Die Another Day. Please don’t turn this into – Sky Another Day!

Skyfall teaser poster

So Skyfall’s official teaser poster. It looks good to me. Simple. Direct. Classy. I like the fact it’s black and white. That already gives it a bit of a vintage feel about it.

The use of the gun barrel opening seems like such a given. It’s probably the most iconic image associated with James Bond, even general audiences and casual fans most likely will recognize it instantly. So I’m not surprised that it was used.

Plus, this might be the film that gives Craig his first opportunity to take that strut across the screen, stop and fire at the camera like his predecessors all have done. Both Casino and Quantum kind of skipped using it. I would like to see that classic opening used this time for Craig. Since it’s the 50th anniversary (let’s not forget that), I have a feeling that they’re going to open Skyfall with it. That’s just a guess though.

As for the teaser trailer. I’m kind of torn here since it’s become the norm to dissect every frame of a trailer for every hotly-anticipated film nowadays. Let’s face it, it’s much easier to do that now than back in the day when you would only see trailers at the theater. In the 80’s was the beginning of this trend.

Entertainment shows would show trailers and you could record them on your trusty VCR (Anyone remember those?) and scrutinize every shot. I remember doing that for the trailer for 1989’s Batman. Man, I practically wore that tape down to nothing.

Now of course we have the net and can freely watch these trailers at our convenience. I’m sure some Bond fans will have watched this teaser a hundred times before the day is over.

As big a Bond fan as I am, I’ve avoided messageboards, discussions and reading leaks regarding Skyfall. I would rather go in watching it as cold as possible. I try to do that with any film I’m really looking forward to. That can be kind of difficult today, since movie fans have much greater access to talk with other fans and information and gossip moves so fast on the net.

Berenice Marlohe in a hotel room maybe? Could
we possibly see a hotel room in Skyfall?

The irony is not lost on me as being a guy who has done these long-winded dissections of Bond films, but not being clued in on the latest information regarding the newest one. And also that here I am not wanting to know too much about the film, but I’ve already got the first teaser under a microscope and watched it a bunch of times. I don’t know what’s wrong with me….

But essentially I only know what that press release stated about the story. ‘Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost’.

If your worried about me revealing possible spoilers or trying to peace together the story based on the images in the minute and half teaser, don’t worry. I’m just going to give a broad overview of it and my reaction to it. I won’t be saying or commenting on anything that the plot synopsis and the teaser doesn’t reveal. If you want to dig deeper into Skyfall there are plenty of places where you can hook up with fellow Bond fans to do just that.

Dragons! A nod to Dr. No perhaps?

As for teasers go, I think it does exactly what a good teaser is meant to do – tease us. It uses the popular design that trailers do nowadays with the constant fades to black fading back into striking images. I wonder when that device really got popular with film trailers.

From what we’re shown, I think visually the night scenes look gorgeous. I was immediately reminded of a Ridely Scott or a Michale Mann-kind of vibe. Cinematographer Roger Deakins looks like he’s really going to earn his paycheck and try to make Skyfall very lavish looking.

The tone looks to be VERY heavy. Bond is clearly got some demons regarding ‘Skyfall‘. Based on his reaction when the shrink says the word it’s clear it touches some raw nerve in him. What is it? What does it mean? How does it relate to Bond? Don’t know, but the teaser makes me want to find out!

I wasn’t sure if the word ‘skyfall‘ would actually be used in the film and apparently it will be. This is good news for Bond fans who enjoy the 007 Title Drinking Game. You know, watching a Bond film and everytime the title is uttered by a character you do a shot. Goldfinger is probably the best Bond film for playing this game. Especially fun is if you include the theme song within the rules! I’ve never been able to make it up to the Fort Knox part. Am I the only one who plays this…?

Dench and some heavy images

There’s no indication that this will have more of a sense of humor than Craig’s previous two outings. We don’t see a single joke or one light moment. This appears to be a very straight, dramatic story.

The early photo we saw of Craig’s Bond with some stubble, that some fans were confused by, seems to be shortlived. Bond gets a seductive shave by Naomi Harris, maybe leading up to some sex perhaps? Either way, you had to know Craig would eventually be clean shaven in the film. Although I will say Craig’s hair looks to have been given a shorter haircut here.

Craig running – he does that a lot!

The teaser also puts to rest the speculation that director Sam Mendes wouldn’t be including action in the film. We’re going to get running, shooting, crashing, explosions, all that great 007 stuff! I still don’t understand why anyone would have questioned that. Sure Mendes isn’t known as an action director, but I mean….it’s a Bond movie!

If you think Judi Dench’s M has had too much of a beefed up role in the films, it looks like you’re in for some disappointment again. M won’t just be assigning a mission behind her desk and reappearing one final time right before the closing credits.

Just from the short synopsis we know about the story M will be playing a prominent role in the film. This could be Dench’s final performance as M. With her recent health issues she might very well leave the role, Skyfall could take the opportunity to hand things over to a new M within the story.

Bond and his hometown

As for the story, it doesn’t reveal much of anything. I’m sure when the next trailer rolls around it’s going to toss out more information about what’s going on. Maybe we’ll get a look at Javier Bardem’s villain and the rest of the supporting cast.

I am somewhat surprised at the absence of the Bond theme. We get a few cords towards the end, but that’s it. It almost seems like a given piece of music to use in a Bond trailer, but I’m betting we’ll get it in the next one.

Simply based on this first short look, I think Skyfall could be a great Bond film. A lot of the shots look pretty grand and dramatic, Craig seems to have slipped back into his stern Bond from his previous films and it hints at some real excitement.

Of course this teaser trailer could be completely misleading us and covering up a train wreck of a movie. I certainly hope not. That would suck.

What do you think?


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8 Responses

  1. Nate2764 says:

    As a skeptic, naysaying nitpicker I'll take the other side of the coin on this one. My initial impression of the trailer was: "Bond in a psychiatric interview? Something seems…off." Something about the tone, from however much you can tell from a teaser, seems more Chris Nolan than James Bond. Another thing that has been churning my stomach a bit as of late is Sam Mendes describing Bond in the film as experiencing "[a] combination of lassitude, boredom, depression [and] difficulty with what he's chosen to do for a living." To me, this sounds more like a description of Solid Snake of the Metal Gear Solid video game series rather than suave, super-spy 007. I understand the desire of some fans to revert to the style of the Fleming novels, but there just seems to be an overabundance of depth and darkness here. There's a definite split between the novels and films, and I wouldn't oppose seeing a middle road between the two. However, this seems to be delving into a territory that Bond just doesn't belong in.

  2. Jarrah White says:

    I suspected that this film might be taking elements from The Man With The Golden Gun novel. In that book, Bond was brainwashed by the Soviets and then sent into rehab after a failed assassination attempt on M.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe it's time for you to do your review for the Daniel Craig time !
    Please I think it will be great to see your point of view for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace !

    French Bondfan…

  4. Guillaume says:

    Let's not forget that in the novels, there was a psychiatrist showing up sometimes, Sir James Moloney. Okay he is a neurologist, but still…

    I for one really enjoyed the trailer. Sur eit is dark but not grim: it is lush dark. I think M might die or retire. I agree with Jarra White about the elements of TMWTGG novels, but not direct elements: in the novel it is mentioned that M's predecessor was killed in his office. I think this may happen, or M's life might be seriously put at risk and she retires at the end. I didn't think ao at first when Ralph Fiennes was cast, but now given his character's name, I think there is a good chance he might be the next M. Or maybe I am just rambling silly fanboy speculations.

    My own impressions on my blog:

    http://vraiefiction.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/skyfall-teaser-trailer.html

  5. David says:

    To be honest, I'm a bit concerned at the visual look of the film. Bear with me. Bond films have an economical shooting style. They don't look cheap in any way, but they put plot, action and clear establishing shots in effective order and use. Maybe it's just the trailer, but I'm getting the impression that the film is overtly visually style-ised (i.e. Blade Runner). This always worries me, because it usually means that the director is more concerned with the look of a film than the substance, or that he's working with a weak script. Skeyfall could look wonderful and be dramatically inert.

    • Excellent observation David. There is always the possibility that there's that 'style over substance' which plagues a lot of films. The images do look tasty (Blade Runner immediately came to my mind in the night shots too). And the fact that there will seem to be a focus on Bond's frame of mind (the shrink) and an incident from his past does offer up plenty of drama to play with. Hopefully….

      You make a very good point about the shooting style of Bond's in past. Now thinking about it, would a more heavily stylized look to a Bond film fill the gap of the old over-the-top, unique sets that Ken Adams would design for them? I mean, it's not likely we'll be seeing a volcano or an underwater hideout anymore – or at least in the Craig films. So would giving the film a more dazzling visual look compensate for that? Of course like you said, no matter how nice it may look and all the visual flourishes the filmmakers add won't help at all if it's still a weak story.

  6. Jimmy B. says:

    I'm for one am not worry about the whole 50Th anniversary being a problem with this film. Sam Mendes is a capable director and one with class. The problem with Lee Tamahori when it came to "Die Another Day" was he was under the thumb of the producers which lead to the flashy results. Sam Mendes is talent and prestige and getting a director like that is not easy or should be push around, so I think we are safe from those loud winks and nods to the Bond series past. In many way's this could be the problem for Marvel now that all those films that lead to Avengers is not out. If you look at those movies, most of the directors were talented and had some say on how the movies would be shape. If you notice the new directors chosen now, a lot are new or been out of the game. So, Marvel producers will have more control over theme property plus these guy's are cheap and may work fast, but anyway off target here. Bond looks good. I only kept up with the official video blogs at their website and stuff and everything looks fine. My only concern is that we may not get the Bond that we all grown to know and love. What I mean is if you look at this film, it shades away the idea of a mission that is to save the world or stop some rich guy's evil plans. It's similar to what's happening with Star Trek and it's reboot. The idea of getting back to the good old day's is not the norm here. If anything the Bond series may be shaping up to be this generation Bond and not the continue idea adventures from the series cold war birth. I get that this is a sign that this Bond and future will bond will takes us to less humor, but fun yet dark adventures. This might be hard for old Bond fans to relate too, but something about this movie is a turning point in the series and in way where these films are going in story. And if what's reported is true. We can look for more 007 adventures by more talent and real names like Christopher Nolan who's been vocal about doing a Bond movie in the future. That's one Bond movie I will be so HYPE to see. Well's that my take, so I guess there. Hey Hap, did you hear the news reported by Variety that WB and Fox got some kind of agreement where merch for the 60's Batman got license out to WB. Include in that agreement was Adam West and some characters from the 60's Batman show. That has lead to news that the TV show may finally be release on home video or whatever our future viewing things is these day's like online, iPad, cloud, blu-ray, etc. Here's hoping.

  7. BlogDude says:

    I agree with you about how this shouldn't be made just to coincide with the series' 50th anniversary. Although I did indeed enjoy Die Another Day for the most part, I could indeed tell how the entire film was a tribute to Bond films of the past, rather than it being a movie all on it's own. Granted, I did like the whole Gustav Graves story, even if it was loosely based off of the novel "Moonraker". In any case, this film does indeed look promising.

    When watching the trailer, I did not get a sense of it seeming contrived or over it's head. This movie does in fact look to be a good story and I am going to give Sam Mendes credit since I felt his previous films were pretty good, especially "American Beauty". But we will just have to wait and see where this version of Bond takes us. Hopefully it's going to be a large improvement over Quantum, if not better than Casino. Counting down the months. 😉

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