After a wait of four years, James Bond is back for the 50th anniversary. Skyfall is the 23rd film in the official series (24 if you count Never Say Never Again) and it truly is a great 007 flick. Three films in, you’ve either accepted Daniel Craig as James Bond or you haven’t. The series has changed a little. It had to change to remain successful and profitable. However, it’s never forgotten its roots and that is very evident with Skyfall.
As it’s possible some may still not have seen Skyfall yet, I will avoid the spoilers. The basic plot revolves around a stolen hard drive with agent’s names and locations on it. It’s up to Bond to recover it before more damage is done. Daniel Craig is in excellent form, still playing Bond with a harder edge yet more than capable of doing the classic lines (Bond… James Bond), drinking his drink (still shaken not stirred) and still getting the girl (the exotic Berenice Lim Marlohe as Severine). Judi Dench is back for her seventh appearance as M and puts in her best performance to date. After all, when was the last time you got to see M in action? Our Bond villain is Raoul Silva, played marvelously by Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men). He is the most unique villain we’ve had for quite a while and will surely stand his ground alongside legends like Blofeld and Goldfinger. Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series) is Gareth Mallory, chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, who is ordered to regulate the changing of the guard at MI6. Naomie Harris plays Eve, the agent who is forced to shoot Bond in the opening sequence. Ben Whishaw plays the new Q, adding a new take to a very familiar role. Finally, our Bond girl for this film is Severine, as played by Berenice Marlohe.
Amongst the chase scenes, mind games and sexual tension we’ve come to expect in a Bond film, there are some moments that leave a Bond fan very satisfied. Seeing Bond drive a certain car with a very familiar theme playing made me feel 10 years old again watching the ABC Sunday Night Movie and whatever Bond film they were showing that week. We also get to discover more about Bond’s past, something never really touched on in previous films. With that, there are some genuine moments of tenderness and mutual respect between M and Bond that we’ve never seen before and I doubt we will again, at least in the same way Dench and Craig pull it off here. The intense action sequence involving Bond’s past is full of classic explosions and over-the-top fight sequences. The movie is filmed in a less frenetic style than Quantum of Solace, which is sure to make longtime fans happy. And, of course, we get a tremendous opening credit sequence with the theme performed by Adele. It is classic Bond and one of the best theme songs we’ve had in quite a while. And the final minutes of the movie clearly pay homage to the past, right up to the now very familiar words “James Bond Will Return”.
If you’re a Bond fan, you will not be disappointed. If you’ve never seen a 007 adventure, this is a great place to start. It is the highest grossing James Bond film to date and sure to please just about everyone. I personally really like Daniel Craig’s performance. It’s not overly suave, like Brosnan could be at times, and cheesy, like Roger Moore eventually turned into. Daniel Craig has signed on for two more films. Count me in!