Thursday, November 15, 2012


Craig's 007 shaken, yet stirring, in Skyfall

What does Skyfall, the title of the new 007 movie, actually mean? Suffice it to say that "Skyfall" is James Bond's "Rosebud," an element from his deeply shrouded past revealed here for the first time—one of many "firsts" that make this 23rd outing for the legendary uber-op so interesting.

For once, we see a more vulnerable Bond, a man who has himself been shaken and stirred a few too many times and is no longer in peak condition, a man who's begun to question if its all worthwhile. This Bond even spends several scenes in rumpled clothes and a beard. Most heretical of all, this is a Bond on the verge of becoming "irrelevant."

All these factors, a dynamic performance from Daniel Craig, and sterling work from incoming director Sam Mendes (a filmmaker not generally known for action movies) conspire to make Skyfall one of the best Bond films ever. In this 50th year of the franchise that has itself often been deemed irrelevant (remember the punning innuendo and bloated fx of the Roger Moore era?), Craig's and Mendes' reinvented, revitalized Bond puts the series right back in the game.

It's great to see Dame Judi Dench's formidable spymaster, M, as the principle "Bond girl," in the thick of the action from the very start. The ever-watchable Ben Whishaw (last seen in Cloud Atlas) is terrific as the new Q, a ridiculously young techno-geek whose droll manner and skill earn Bond's grudging respect.

Factor in a mesmerizing performance of grinning dementia from the great Javier Bardem as the chief villain, and you've got a ripping E-Ticket of a movie that pretty much never lets up. (Read more)

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