Bond is back
‘Skyfall’ suceeds in resurrecting Daniel Craig’s 007
Published: Friday, November 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
It has been 50 years since author Ian Fleming first sat down to write, what he thought, would be the “spy stories to end all spy stories.”
While many espionage tales have come and gone through the half-century that passed since James Bond’s beginning none have been as smart, as smooth and as, dare I say it, sexy as the 007 we’ve all come to know and envy.
In the franchise’s newest installment, Skyfall, we are once again shoved into the covert world of Daniel Craig’s James Bond.
The movie opens with a blistering chase scene that is the perfect platform for Craig to make his case as the brand’s best Bond.
In the lengthy and traditionally quick-paced opener Bond jumps, drives and flies through the streets of Istanbul in pursuit of a stolen hard drive.
On that hard drive rests the names of every single agent working for MI-6, a major security risk for both the agency and the world.
The mission goes awry when Bond’s accomplice misfires, hitting Craig in the chest and sending the spy to his demise.
The scene is punctuated with a stellar, almost retro, opening sequence set to Adele’s now famous rendition of the movie’s namesake title song — consider it classic James Bond.
In the outside world, Bond is considered a dead man.
The viewer is reintroduced to a now-scruffy, distant Bond at an undisclosed, breezy island locale. Without his crisply tailored suits and shiny handgun, the spy looks like half the man he was just minutes prior.
In a lonely bar right off the beach, Bond’s attention is drawn to a flickering TV. On the screen burns MI-6’s headquarters.
Like a phoenix from the ashes, Bond is reborn.
The attack on MI-6 acts as the major catalyst for Sam Mendes’ directorial take on the James Bond series.
From there, we follow Bond on his road to recovery and are reintroduced to Dame Judi Dench’s M, the spy organization’s shot-caller. Dench and Craig, as we’ve seen in movies past, are the perfect on screen partners.
In a way, Dench’s M is like a mother figure to the orphaned Bond. Except this mother tells you to kill people.
Bond is bent on discovering who was responsible for the attacks on MI-6’s headquarters.
This revenge soaked quest takes the spy from the boroughs of London all the way to the skyscrapers of Shanghai. Mendes’ best directorial moments come from the Shanghai fight sequence.
Bond’s quest takes him to a tiny island of the coast of China where we meet Javiar Bardem’s Silva, one of the most sadistic and genuinely creepy villains in all of Bond’s time.
A former MI-6 agent himself, Silva harbors deep, dark resent towards Denche’s M.
After a mission led to Silva’s capture, M considered him dead. Silva simply wants one thing: M’s blood.
There are a lot of linear motifs in Skyfall that break away from the typical espionage story line.
Skyfall offers a glimpse into Bond’s childhood that many of the previous films failed to even acknowledge.
As an audience, we are finally able to figure out Bond’s driving motivation.
Craig, per usual, is on his game as the nearly half-century old spy. Even though its been close to a decade since the Englishman was introduced as the iconic character, Craig looks just as fit and fresh as he did in Casino Royale.
Many in the industry are atwitter over Javier Bardem’s take as Silvia.
While the role truly is a dark, twisted turn for Bardem, the actor’s screen time is lacking for any leading nominations.
While Bardem and Craig are stellar, the true acting powerhouse for Skyfall is none other than Dench.
Dench has always been polarizing as M, but as the character’s story arc takes Dench away from the office and into the field, the actress really gets to showcase the acting skills that have won her an Oscar.
Ultimately, Sam Mendes’ Skyfall is laced with tales of resurrection.
And considering the direction the franchise was going after 2008’s Quantum of Solace, Mendes can be credited with resurrecting the franchise once again.
Welcome back, James Bond, the movies have missed you.