Skyfall: "The Two Survivors. This Is What She Made Us"

Director: Sam Mendes
Writer:    Neal Purvis
                Robert Wade
                 John Logan
Starring: Daniel Craig
                Javier Bardem
                Ralph Fiennes
                Naomie Harris
                Berenice Marlohe
                Albert Finney
                Ben Whishaw
                Judi Dench
Rating:      *****

Release Date: Out Now

It is more than fair to say that the Daniel Craig era in James Bond has been less then satisfying. Casino Royale wasn't awful; but it left a lot to be desired; and then Quantum of Solace...well that was just a cinematic disaster. The big issue, well one of them, is that the dry humour had been completely drained from the films; but now in Skyfall, it's back. There is really nothing that I can fault with Skyfall; it's funny, it's exciting, the script is terrific, acting superb, and for possibly the first time; it is genuinely emotional.

Naomie Harris & Daniel Craig
The action kicks off in true Bond fashion, an adrenaline-fuelled action sequence set against the exotic scenery of Turkey. As the mission chugs along in spectacular style, things start to go wrong for 007 (Craig) and he actually fails to retrieve a disc with names of various agents embedded on it; a disc that was actually lost by M (Dench). Eventually the opening reaches a dramatic climax and Bond takes a bullet in the shoulder, thanks to field agent Eve (Harris), and plummets to the river below; where he is presumed dead. However, when MI6 comes under attack from the villainous terrorist Silva (Bardem), Bond resurfaces to fight for M's safety; as a sinister character from her past returns.

The characters and performances really come alive in this film, but no-one more than Javier Bardem as Silva. He is already well known for portraying some menacing villains in the past, and he does it again in Skyfall. Silva is camp, hateful and almost reptilian in his movements, but for some strange reason you somehow empathise with him, well almost; which is a real credit to Bardem as an actor for providing Silva with so many different layers. 

Javier Bardem
Another terrific addition to the cast comes in the form of Ben Whishaw as Q, his dry humour and back-and-forth with Craig as Bond works superbly and is really funny. I also think it is a rather inspired decision to cast a younger actor in the role of Q, as it gives the character a fresh edge, as well as throws an extra dynamic into the mix of characters.

The women of Bond, as ever, are glamorous and fall for 007's charms instantly. The under used Berenice Marlohe as Severine supplies plenty of excitement for the eyes; whilst Harris' Eve is not only attractive, but holds her own against Bond and his cold persona. The woman that really shone this time around though was Dench's M, who not only got in on the action this time, but also got to show off her emotional side as hers and Bond's relationship was explored further.

Judi Dench
What makes Skyfall so well is the fact that Daniel Craig has finally eased into the role, and has found his own portrayal of the iconic character that everyone knows so well. he plays the role with a confidence, but is never arrogant about it. He has also found a wickedly dry sense of humour that works so well for the character, which also works brilliantly alongside the new batch of witty characters who all bounce off each other. it's a shame that it has taken him three films to find his flow; but now he has, I think he may be my favourite Bond yet.

Skyfall delivers a clean, direct narrative, and plenty of breathtaking action sequences all under the brilliant supervision of director Sam Mendes. The cast give strong performances across the board which definitely helps to elevate it to the top end of the James Bond chart. The run time could have been shaved down a tad, but if that's your only flaw, you can't really complain. One things for certain, you won't walk out of this disappointed, and if you're gonna have a 50th birthday, this is the way to do it.

Skyfall - Trailer