“What’s a Skyfall?” Looking Closely at the new Bond Trailer

When it comes to a new Bond film rumours fly thick and fast. This internet rambler has long ago learned that any ‘news’ relating to a new Bond film should be taken with a generous dash of salt. Die Another Day did not, for example, conclude with a fist fight on the Statue of Liberty. Nor did Jinx (Halle Berry) become a lead character in future installments. Nor was the movie any good at all in spite of all the publicity claiming otherwise.

When news and rumours have circulated about the newest outing, Skyfall, I’ve ignored it. But today is different. Today we have seen a trailer. It’s not a trailer that gives much away – in fact it could be described as abstract. So that’s why we’re going to pick it apart…

The clip begins with the audio of Bond completing what seems to be a word association activity. This is intercut with footage of London and clips of an underground training facility. The implication (coupled with images that will appear later in the clip) is that part of the film will take place in the MI:6 headquarters. As the word association continues Bond continues to be cold and detached responding to the term ‘murder’ with ’employment’. It’s only when Beardy Old Guy says ‘Skyfall’ that 007 looks shaken. This could be a secret code word as Bond responds by saying “done” before getting up and leaving the room.

“I have to go and look at England some more.”

This introduction is followed with a couple of shots of the locales that will make up the film, most notably Shanghai. Amid the action comes a few teases of plot. All the Wikipedia has to tell us is that Bond’s loyalty to M is tested by her actions in the past, and whatever she did it must have been unpleasant since it seems to have left a row of Union Jack draped caskets. Hints of an attack on the MI:6 headquarters is given with Bond running from a major London area while emergency vehicles converge. Some of the quieter moments feature Bond and M out in the field together and Bond Girl Eve getting intimate with Bond (also getting gun happy).

“I have to go and kick my barbers arse.”

Action-wise the film looks much more stylized than in the past with strong primary colours contrasting heavily with heavily draped shadows and silhouettes. Following the lackluster response toQuantum of Solace it’s unsurprising that the producers want to try going in a different direction. If they wanted to stay par for the course they wouldn’t have hired Sam Mendes to direct – hopefully the new flavour is worth the effort.

Ultimately we don’t learn much from the trailer in terms of story. James Bond looks to be on the defense and there is no doubt going to be different sides playing of each other. Style-wise it looks damn cool, injecting a boost of originality into a franchise that can go stale when left to its own devices. And now we wait for the next trailer…