Natalie Kfoury – Co-Editor-in-Chief
“Bond is Back” proclaims the tag line for “Skyfall,” the latest installment of the “James Bond” franchise. The 23rd film in the series is directed by Sam Mendes and stars Daniel Craig in his third appearance as James Bond, Javier Bardem as villain Raol Silva, and Judi Dench in her seventh appearance as M, the head of MI6. The movie meets and exceeds the standards of die-hard fans of the “James Bond” series.
“Skyfall” focuses on Bond’s mission to investigate attacks against MI6, which are all part of a larger, organized attack on M by Raol Silva, a former agent. In addition, Bond has to deal with the hindrances of injury, defeat, and age, obstacles that he must overcome in order to complete the mission.
As with most Bond films, “Skyfall” has its fair share of car chases, fist fights, gadgets, fast cars, beautiful women, and close calls. It updates Bond’s image to keep with the times, but also plays many examples of effective homage to both the films of the past and Bond’s past as a character.
What is so magnificent about this film is how effortlessly the brilliant plot, characters, and cinematography come together. The plot is fresh and full of twists and turns that will leave audiences in high anticipation as the film progresses at a quick pace.
The cinematography, in turn, is so well done that viewers will wonder if they are indeed watching a “James Bond” film and not something that may be at a higher caliber. This is seen especially with sweeping, beautiful shots of scenic areas such as Scotland and thrilling cityscapes.
However, the portrayal of the characters steals the show. Bardem’s Raol is cunning, humorous, intelligent, and insane. He is, quite honestly, the perfect Bond villain. He is reminiscent of the Bond villains of the past, yet he brings a modern freshness that is necessary and perfect.
There have always been, and most likely always will be, arguments about which Bond is best, in terms of the actor and film. In “Skyfall,” Craig proves that he is as memorable and powerful in the role as Sean Connery, who began the series in 1962’s “Dr. No,” and starred in 6 films as Bond. Craig is so commanding and precise as Bond that it makes “Skyfall” the best Bond film made to date.
“Skyfall” is a film that will appeal to mass audiences and not only those who affiliate themselves with being Bond fans. The movie is effective in being thrilling, emotional, funny, and powerful. “Bond is Back?” More like, “Bond is Back and Better than Ever.”