‘Skyfall’ entertains fans and new comers alike

Christine Ebalo

After a four-year absence, the iconic British spy is back in business with “Skyfall,” a high-octane action film which injects life back into the James Bond franchise.

The movie marks the 23rd installment in the series and shows why 007 and his exploits continue to captivate us 50 years after the release of “Dr. No” in 1962.

In the chase scene that opens the film, Bond (Daniel Craig) is after a mercenary who possesses a stolen computer hard drive containing a list of all Western undercover agents embedded in terrorist organizations. As the men battle on top of a moving train, Eve (Naomie Harris), an agent sent to assist Bond, accidentally shoots Bond, sending him into the river below, to his presumed death. M (Judi Dench), the head of MI6, is under pressure to retire for her handling of the mission from her government overseer, Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), but she refuses. On her way out of the meeting, MI6’s database is hacked into, with an ominous message on M’s computer flashing, “Think on your sins.” Seconds later, M watches from outside MI6 headquarters as an explosion wipes out M’s office and kills a number of employees.

Meanwhile Bond has been laying low, but when he hears about the attack on MI6 he hustles back to London and asks to rejoin the service. Bond’s search for whoever is targeting M and MI6 will lead him to Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a former MI6 operative who has a bone to pick with M and takes creepiness to a new level. The mission will also test Bond’s loyalty to M.

The heart-stopping and sleekly paced action scenes in “Skyfall” don’t disappoint. The cinematography is spellbinding; the film is visually dazzling as it travels to the requisite exotic locales. In one superb scene, Bond and a villain go toe-to-toe as silhouettes against the bright neon lights of Shanghai. A showdown with Bond, M and Silva is a visual spectacle.

The film has a few nods to previous Bond films, with the appearance of Bond’s Aston Martin and the familiar Bond theme, which are sure to thrill 007 aficionados. But there is also a new spin on recurring characters from the series, which won’t be named here.

“Skyfall” humanizes James Bond rather than glorifying him as a superspy, a clever move that has been done in recent Bond films. The film goes one step further and gives us insight into Bond’s childhood – a mystery until now. As Bond, Craig continues to impress in making the character distinctly his own. Javier Bardem makes for a memorable and twisted villain that hasn’t been seen in Bond films in a while.

James Bond’s latest adventure, a film that stands alongside “Casino Royale” as being among the best Bond films, will leave Bond fans in glee and general audiences enjoying the ride.


Christine can be reached at: ce534@saclink.csus.edu