|Oh dear! Bond's in a spot of bother...|
After a long hiatus, James Bond, our favourite British spy, is officially back in very fine form indeed. Critics have been raving on about Skyfall, some even saying it's the best Bond film ever. I'm not entirely convinced they are correct – I have a soft spot for 2006's Casino Royale – but Skyfall has definitely put the Bond series back on track after the mediocre Quantum of Solace was steering the series into a Bourne franchise knock-off. Thankfully the long gap between Quantum and Skyfall has meant the producers came to their senses. Phew!
Bond (Daniel Craig) is not doing too well at the beginning of Skyfall. After a mission gone awry, he's physically and psychologically down-and-out, disappearing from active service for an overdue holiday to contemplate his life. Sadly for him, he's suddenly forced out of premature retirement and back into being a double 00 when MI6 comes brutally and very publicly under attack.
Things don't get really engaging until the appearance of Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem who really seems to relish playing bad guys sporting unfortunate hairstyles. To me, Silva was the highlight of the film. Out of all the more recent villians in the Bond series, there's no doubt he is the most memorable. He's intelligent, well-trained and on the verge of being completely unhinged. Previous Bond villians are all about taking over/destroying the world, gaining power/money etc etc. But what makes Silva so unsettling is that his mission is extremely personal and this makes him more ruthless and unrelenting to see it through.
Bond's boss M (Judi Dench) gets a meatier role this time round and actor Albert Finney makes a notable appearance as a character who gives us some insight into Bond's past. We get reacquainted with a familiar friend, Q (Ben Whishaw), who is now a Gen-Yer to bring the character into the 21st century. In addition to the return of Q, another shout-out to the Bond classics is the smooth theme song by Adele as the opening credits roll on. Of course, like any other Bond film, there is action galore in Skyfall but my favourite action sequence is a scaled-down, Western-styled showdown at the very end – enjoy! However, I have to say I wished the film-makers injected the occasional extra dose of humour and charm into Skyfall as I had to admit I was missing Bond's smart aleck, trademark remarks as things seemed to be awfully bleak all the time.
Regardless, Bond is definitely back. And with Skyfall setting the series thankfully back on course, bring on Bond 24.
Skyfall gets 3.5 choc tops out of 5.