OK so we, mum, dad and myself, watched Skyfall the other night. It was a special performance with both the British High Commissioner and the Russian Ambassador in attendance. Being a freelancer, I knew almost no one there and spent much of the pre-show reception folding copies of the Independent Daily to my TechieTalk page and then trying to casually leave them lying around so that people would read my column. This is the sad reality of trying to get ahead in the media.
And now on to the movie. We all enjoyed it, though there were a couple of major annoyances for pedantic me-
- Hydrogen cyanide eats away most of Raoul Silva’s (bad guy) upper jaw. Hydrogen cyanide AKA Prussic acid can’t do this. It poisons you through asphyxiation. Suicide pills are usually potassium cyanide, which still has no face-eating properties. So duhhh.
- That scene where M activates a computer virus looks exactly like the scene in Inspector Morse: Masonic Mysteries when hacker Hugo De Vries’ virus is accidentally tripped. Similarly, Silva boasting about taking down multinationals through hacking is right out of the speech that Cosmo (Ben Cross) gives from his lair in Sneakers.
Still, some things were right on the nose. For example, the way M treats agents disposably. In reality, there is a good reason why spies/field agents are called assets after all. The best fictional example of getting right, royally shafted by your employers must be from John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came In From The Cold; both the excellent novel and the movie starring Richard Burton. The movie should be required viewing for anyone serious in becoming a spy. If you must work in intelligence, get a desk job.
Finally, what an amazing, though rather brief, big screen debut for beguiling French actress Bérénice Marlohe. She said recently in an interview that she loves SciFi. I didn’t make that up either, Google it if you don’t believe me. Alright, I am willing to concede that perhaps her agent or publicist told her to go a bit “Bai Ling” for a future role, but a nerd likes to dream. She also says she doesn’t care about looks and she comes over as a being a bit of a cute eccentric. Be still my beating nerd heart.