“Skyfall” breathes new life into Bond and delivers one of the best Bond movies of all time. A great villain, terrific stunts, exotic locales, and a kick ass theme song. The series may turn 50 this year but Bond is not showing his age.
“Skyfall” is a Bond movie with love and respect for the traditions and hallmarks which the fans have come to expect over the years. There’s the visit to Q branch, and the innocent flirtations with Moneypenny. The good old Aston Martin from Goldfinger shows up in surprisingly good working order. But it is not simply a trip down memory lane. It incorporates them into one of Bond’s strongest stories in years, maybe decades.
Daniel Craig was a breath of fresh air when he first brought a gritty, more pugilistic take on the character. He’s not afraid of getting his hands dirty. And this has proved far more durable than the arched eyebrow approach of some of the Bonds of yore. This time Craig is aided considerably by Judi Dench as M- who’s given her meatiest part in the series yet. A rogue former MI6 agent and computer whiz (Javier Bardem) steals a hard drive containing the names of every undercover MI6 agent around the world- and aims to take her down with them.
“American Beauty” Director Sam Mendes may have seemed like an odd choice for a Bond film but he brings a real eye for detail to the proceedings. The exotic locals pop like they haven’t before. One scene in particular involving a highrise in Shanghai is one of the best filmed Bond sequences in the whole series. And Mendes has captured what may be the quintessential Bond image. Bond is chasing a bad guy through a moving train. Bond climbs into a giant excavator aboard the train and rips off half a train car. Then he jumps from one moving train car to the next And neatly pulls the sleeves of his Savile Row suit back into position. This is everything you’d ever want in a Bond stunt, neatly balancing absurdity and thrills. This Bond has it all.