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Skyfall

Skyfall

Released 26 October 2012
Director Sam Mendes
Starring




Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Ben Whishaw, Judi Dench, Bérénice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, Albert Finney
Writer(s)

Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
Producer(s)

Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson
Origin United Kingdom, United States
Running Time 142 minutes
Genre Action, adventure, thriller
Rating 12A
81

The resurrection man.

During the trailer for Skyfall, Bond, tied to a chair, declares his hobby to be resurrection. It’s a quip relevant to the action of the film and also feels like a little moment of self-awareness. After the sharp shock of Casino Royale, the franchise felt a little lost. At the time, this uncharacteristically troubled, battered and bloodied (not to mention blonde) Bond was seen as a necessary purge, taking the spy away from his roots and into modern territory. The result was a serviceable action thriller but it didn’t really feel like a Bond film. As for Quantum of Solace, the less said the better. Happily, Skyfall is what a modern James Bond film should be. It marries the humour, glamour and fantasy of its predecessors with modern themes and beautifully executed action. Bond is back and it is the unlikely figure of director Sam Mendes who has resurrected him.

The film begins in blistering fashion with Bond and sidekick Eve (Naomie Harris) in hot pursuit of an unnamed ne’er do well. Things don’t exactly go smoothly and after the mission, Bond is missing, presumed dead. The disillusioned spy makes the most of his “death” in hedonistic fashion. Meanwhile, life goes on at MI6, until their headquarters are attacked by a mysterious adversary known as Silver (Javier Bardem), who seems to have a particular issue with Judi Dench’s M (who has a much greater role to play in proceedings than usual). Bond returns to the fray to protect his erstwhile mentor.

The makers of Skyfall have remembered what makes Bond so loved and rather than throwing the original template away, have affectionately given it a makeover. From the locations (many of which are on Bond’s home soil) to the plot (hitting right to the core of MI6), every effort has been made to make this adventure a very personal one. The nods and winks to the past of the franchise are particularly enjoyable. What’s more, the writers have taken note of the fact that without a good villain, Bond is nothing. Javier Bardem’s Silver is a damn good villain - fiendish, insane and wonderfully over the top. He is a worthy and memorable adversary.

With Skyfall then, Bond is the spy who came in from the cold. It’s a fun, affectionate and action packed slice of cinema that won’t disappoint.

- Linda O’Brien