Certificate 12A, 143 minutes
Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Naomie Harris
"Bond. James Bond."
Daniel Craig (Spectre, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) returns once again as Britain's most famous secret agent, James Bond 007, in Skyfall, the latest Bond film which celebrates fifty years since the release of the first Bond film, Dr. No, starring Sean Connery. The traditional pre-credits opening sequence of the film has Bond and his fellow agent Eve (Naomie Harris) trying to recover a stolen hard drive containing the identities of agents embedded under cover in terrorist organistaions around the world. The duo chase the man who has stolen it, Patrice (Ola Rapace), through Istanbul's streets and over the roofs of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar - incidentally, Skyfall is not the only recent film to feature a chase over the roofs of Istanbul - Taken 2 did also and in pretty much the same location.
There are less of the Bond gadgets that typified the older films especially, which Bond remarks on to Q (Ben Whishaw, Paddington):
"Gun and a radio. Not exactly Christmas is it?"
"Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don't really go in for that anymore."
The exploding pen is probably a reference to the film Never Say Never Again in which one featured. Even his gun, a Walther PPK/S 9mm short with a handprint reader, is quite small when compared next to most action stars need to use Really Big Guns - a fact that may be being referred to in Q's quip that it's "Less of a random killing machine, more of a personal statement."
The film is updating Bond to some extent, showing that he still has relevance and is needed in the present day world of cybercrime, cyberterrorism and cyberwars as opposed to the Cold War era Bond of the past. Admittedly, Bond would make a terrible secret agent in real life - fast cars, beautiful women and expensive suits aren't exactly "secret" (pointed out to a certain extent in Skyfall when M suggests that a classic Aston Martin DB5 isn't exactly inconspicuous). Bond was born out of the Second World War and the real life wartime experiences of his creator, Ian Fleming, who, although he didn't see much action because he knew too much, did as a consequence know details of a lot of operations which were carried out that would never have been considered outside of a major shooting war. Bond's behaviour seems to owe much to that period of intelligence activity.
The film should still please long time Bond fans. Daniel Craig puts in a good performance as James Bond and we probably see more of M than in any other Bond film. There are the quips and humour common to the Bond series and plenty of action too. After the relatively weak Quantum of Solace Bond is back in style in Skyfall.