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Skyfall: Movie Review

By Darren Bevan

Published: 3:55PM Tuesday November 20, 2012


Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney
Director: Sam Mendes

Fresh from   delivering the Queen to the Olympics , Daniel Craig returns for his third outing as James Bond 007 .

Tasked with retrieving a hard drive that contains a list of undercover British agents, the pressure mounts for Bond to ensure success in his latest mission. But when it looks like he's about to fail, M (Judi Dench) orders Bond's fellow agent Eve (Harris) to take out the man who's stolen the drive.

However, the agent accidentally hits Bond and sends him plummeting from the heights of a moving train in Turkey. He's believed dead and MI6 closes his file. 

But when MI6 comes under attack and M is targeted, Bond decides - out of a fierce loyalty - to come out of hiding to track down the people behind the threat - no matter what the cost.

"Skyfall" is as thrilling a James Bond flick as you'd expect to get for the franchise's 50th anniversary - and one from such a director as Sam Mendes.

But, in all honesty, this film truly belongs to an exceptional performance by Judi Dench as M, whose past catches up with her. She conveys a whole range of emotions - from haunted to hunted - with a deft turn that commands the screen whenever she appears. When her time comes, she will be much missed from the franchise.

That's not to say that "Skyfall" doesn't have its flaws, though.

After an exceptional start and opening sequence, the very slight story (it's just about revenge, folks) appears to sag slightly during its middle section, as the relatively threadbare plot starts to shine through. Also, I have to admit, I'm somewhat on the fence over bad guy Raoul Silva , under-played by Javier Bardem in a blond wig. While he brings some of the unhinged menace, with a hint of sexual ambivalence, he doesn't quite hit the mark as a truly memorable Bond villain in my eyes. 

Better than"Quantum of Solace", but not matching the highs of "Casino Royale", with crisply lean action sequences, a few knowing quips, some impressive acting and an emotional resonance, Skyfall is perhaps the perfect Bond for a 50th anniversary .

It shows the franchise has a life to live and effortlessly demonstrates the best is yet to come.