“Skyfall” is the 23rd James Bond film and it marks the 50th anniversary of the series. Like anything 50-years-old, it is aging a bit, but in this case, aging gracefully with renewed energy and imagination, plus a deeper, more personal storyline. And if future films are all as good as “Skyfall,” The Bond series will never grow old.
Daniel Craig has emerged as one of the most effective and credible actors to play James Bond, with the possible exception of Sean Connery. In “Skyfall,” the film begins in Istanbul with an amazing chase scene involving cars, motorcycles and a train, and finally a plunge no James Bond character has ever taken in any film. It’s all spectacular. In between, Bond has some fun with a giant Caterpillar crane and a train car full of VW Beetles as he chases a bad guy who has a computer hard drive containing the identities of some of the world’s most important secret agents.
Judi Dench returns as M, She is in deep trouble because the hard drive was her responsibility and the British government wants her head on a plate if she doesn’t get it back. She also gets a new office, the hard way. Ralph Fiennes is a welcome addition to the Bond movies as Mallory, M’s new boss. I’m confident you’ll see more of him in the future. It’s perfect casting.
Javier Bardem is Silva, the latest in a long line of Bond movie villains. There has never been a rogue as evil as Silva in any other Bond movie. He’s more like a character out of “The Silence of the Lambs.” He makes Auric Goldfinger look like St. Francis. In “Skyfall,” Bardem sets a new sinister standard for Bond scoundrels.
“Skyfall” introduces a new Q. He’s a computer nerd who reminds Bond that they don’t do exploding fountain pens anymore.
Bond has two “love” interests in “Skyfall,” and you’ll be introduced to a new Moneypenny. Also in the cast is the great Albert Finney. He plays the caretaker of Bond’s boyhood Scottish home where the showdown for this motion picture takes place.
“Skyfall” marks the start of a new, more human James Bond, one with actual aches & pains who somberly admits he’s not as nimble as he used to be. The script is timely and more distinctive. When you consider all the things a James Bond movie should be, “Skyfall” exceeds expectations in every one of them.