Sunday, November 11, 2012

I love Naomie Harris. But not in Skyfall, unfortunately.

The first horror movie I remember really, really loving was 28 Days Later.

Let me explain.

I didn't spring out of my mom a fully-fledged horror fanatic.  I liked reading horror, but watching it was another thing entirely.  And I liked doing scary shit--like hanging out in abandoned buildings, breaking into cemeteries, you know, all that urban rednecky shit--but watching movies about other people doing scary shit?  No.

Then I got sober, and I decided to try watching them again.  Maybe in my more dangerous drug-and-booze-fueled realities, the idea that the monsters in my head might actually be real was just too much; when I started trying to clear out the cobwebs, I gave it another shot, best friend in tow.

Because we are urban rednecks, we were late, and we missed the whole first five minutes.  I missed the whole 'Rage Virus' horseshit that kinda ruins everything after--if you watch this film again, skip that whole environmentalists kill the world thing.  It's nonsense.  Zombies are better as a unknowable horde.  When I walked in the first time, ducking my head down and apologizing to everybody's knees, I saw Cillian Murphy in all his glory wandering around an abandoned London, rocking a punk hairdo and a jonny.


The movie that followed that opening was incredible; it tweaked the Romaroesque tropes of group-think, government collapse/social responsibility, and morality in the context of an exquisite, blood-soaked love story painted with effortless cinematic beauty.

And it introduced me to Naomie Harris.

She's an incredible actress.  That whole Calypso detour was kinda brutal, but hey, in a pirate movie you do what you can, and that was also a pretty epic love story, if you ignore the shens of it all (perhaps it could qualify on another Tragic Cinematic Romance list).  But in Skyfall, another major effort, she's wasted, and it is a lil heartbreaking.

I walked into the James Bond franchise the same way I walked into 28 Days Later: late.  The closest I'd ever come to James Bond was Austin Powers.  But Casino Royale hooked me--Mads Mikkelsen?  Come the fuck on--so bad I actually tolerated Quantum of Solace, and still came back for more.  Skyfall was pretty good.  Lotsa beauty, bang, and bucks, and when I saw Naomie Harris right off the bat, I got all kinds of jumped up.

But.

SPOILERS FOLLOW:

Why the fuck didn't she just hit Bond in the knee, and then take the guy out?  Why the fuck did she stare at him, agape, as he rode by her practically waving?  Why didn't she wipe that fucking smirk off her face when she realized 007 wasn't dead, and come out with something a little more sincere than 'I should be the one apologizing.'  True.  So do it.

Short answer: because they wrote her that way.  I am disappoint.

I know this, because I know that with all the flair Ms. Harris could bring to the role, she will always be capable and accurate in preserving the mood of the writing.  Cuz she's good at what she fucking does.  So WTF?  Moneypenny, so far, is a shit shot, slack-jawed at the worst times, and kind of a brat.

But that's okay this time, Skyfall.  Why?  Because Javier Bardem, that's why.  So I guess I'll let this one go.  I guess.