Skyfall

A hard drive listing the names of every agent undercover in terrorist organizations is stolen and James Bond must retrieve it. While attempting to do so, he crosses paths with a villain with a personal vendetta. Can Bond foil the plan for revenge?

Skyfall makes 23 James Bond movies, not including the original Casino Royale or the ‘unsanctioned’ Never say never again, in 50 years. 7 lead actors as well as countless villains, henchmen and Bond ladies. Numerous gadgets and vehicles, plans to either take over the world or destroy it. Theme tunes that have been top ten hits and action sequences that have become instant classics. It all adds up to an incredible body of work that is known the world over.

Everyone have their favourite Bond, character, movie, gadget and theme tune. Skyfall will make a lot of people update their favourites list.

Blonde and blue-eyed, Daniel Craig was not everyone’s choice to follow Pierce Brosnan’s Bond but Casino Royale changed most people’s minds. Instantly putting his own stamp on the character, Craig brings a more physical and yet vulnerable Bond who is perfect for the modern world around him.

As good as Craig is, and he is very good indeed, Javier Bardem’s Silva rule the roost. A Genius and more than just slightly unhinged, Bardem’s character is a joy to watch. With his bleached blonde hair and confident air, Javier is a match to any actor who played a past Bond villain. While is he appears to be unpredictable, the fact that he has hatched this plan for revenge shows that his intelligence may actually be greater than those against him.

Dame Judi Dench returns for the 7th time as ‘M’, Bond’s boss. As always, Dench brings her great talent and respectability to the movie which always raises the level for acting for all those around her.

Skyfall re-introduces another well-known and loved Bond character, ‘Q’ the quartermaster. For 17 movies, the much-loved Desmond Llewelyn had handed Bond his continuous stream of exploding watches, ejector seat equipped cars and innocuous looking objects that always had a secret and most often deadly ability. For Skyfall the producers decided to reboot the character with a younger, more computer savvy incarnation, played by Ben Whishaw. His anorak wearing, fresh face is a stark contrast to both Llewelyn’s original ‘Q’ as well as brief appearance by John Cleese. Confident and talented, ‘Q’ has become more than just the weapon dispensing quartermaster, becoming a main character in himself. Whishaw’s version of ‘Q’ is sure to become a popular and permanent addition to the rebooted Bond series.

With Ralph Fiennes as the man from the ministry, Gareth Mallory, Naomie Harris as field agent Eve and even Albert Finney showing up, the quality of acting has never been greater in a Bond movie.

After the previous 22 movies, where Bond has travelled the world and been witness to some of the most breath-taking scenery imaginable, the last half hour of Skyfall features some of the most beautiful landscapes yet.

Thomas Newman take over the baton from David Arnold and does so masterfully. The soundtrack is always enjoyable without getting in the way of the action. Newman also manages to incorporate Monty Norman‘s original guitar motif in a particular moment in the movie that is just simply perfect timing. Talking of music, Adele sings the theme tune, Skyfall, and while it may not be on the same level as Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger, or Tom Jone’s Thunderball, it does sound a lot better played over the opening sequence rather than just heard by itself.

Skyfall is a much more personal Bond movie, without the grand world domination schemes and extraordinary henchmen. It revisits Bond’s past, as well as ‘M’s. It is telling a story while moving the franchise along, putting pieces in place for the next movies. If the crowded movie theater is anything to go by, this latest Bond movie will compete with The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises for box office supremacy for 2012, indicating that fans love for the series has not lessened over the years. At worst, Skyfall will be judged as a very good movie, and at best, Skyfall might be one of the best James Bond movies yet.

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