Skyfall, while an enjoyable enough (if strangely overrated) Bond film, is essentially a 143-minute commercial for various consumer goods and services.
Almost all big-budget studio films these days are replete with product placement, and Bond films in particular have always provided a warm bed for Corporate America (and Europe) to rest its weary head, but Skyfall is a little out of control.
Bond drives an Aston Martin, he rides in a Land Rover, he chases an Audi. He wears an Omega watch, uses a Sony VAIO, and drinks a Heineken.
But that’s just the obvious shit…the shit that’s sitting out in broad daylight. When you dig a little deeper, you find that every plot twist and character moment is a well-disguised advertisement for something.
Top Five Product Placements in Skyfall
How do you think Bond got from failing his physical to being to able to murder trained assassins by hand? In hardly any time at all, no less? He went the Paul Ryan route, and got fit fast, building muscle and strengthening his core. After a few months off boozing and moping, even the world’s top secret agent isn’t above a little help getting into shape.
It’s Emo Bond! James Bond is sad, you guys. He’s sad because he’s burned out, he’s sad because his colleague shot him in the chest, and he’s sad because of maybe some Seasonal Affective Disorder. But he still needs to protect the crown, kill the bad guys, get through the day, etc. etc. Well thanks to Lexapro, that will be a breeze! Just ignore the dead eyes, delayed ejaculation, occasional nausea, and inability to experience joy.
3. The United Kingdom
James Bond has always been viewed as quintessentially British, but the Daniel Craig version of Bond is much more American than he’s ever been. 007 now defeats the bad guys through brawn more than through intellect and gadgetry, and the resultant films closely resemble typical Hollywood action movies. Skyfall, though, makes up for this transition by showcasing the U.K.’s most famous features — a pervasive atmosphere of depression, rolling, marshy countryside, fog, and Byzantine political machinations. Great job, British Tourist Authority!
2. Heath Ledger’s Estate
Javier Bardem is good and all as the villain in Skyfall, and his performance certainly owes something to his role as Anton Chigurh. But his appropriate level of creepiness and dementia owes a whole lot more to Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. It’s clear that Sam Mendes attempted to inject the entire production with some of that magical Nolan gravity and pathos, but it’s Bardem who most plainly owes a debt to The Dark Knight. His performance is such a knockoff that Ledger’s estate will reportedly collect royalties based on box office and DVD sales.
1. Scorpion Shots!
Don’t lie: that shot Bonds did with a scorpion sitting on his hand, stinger poised and ready, looked pretty awesome. If you think that the team of Skyfall screenwriters dreamt that up, you’re wrong. It was actually the marketing team at Red Bull, who are going to be selling live scorpions as part of a package promoting Jaeger bombs. So don’t be surprised the next time you’re out at a bar and you see a pack of bros all doing Scorpion Shots (TM Red Bull GmbH) and calling you a faggot when you won’t try it.