Directed By: Sam Mendes
Runtime: 143 minutes
"So Mr. Bond, we meet again..."
Back on the big screen is our favorite 007 agent, played once again by Daniel Craig, whom we've seen as James Bond in "Quantum of Solace" (2008) and "Casino Royale" (2006). As we've come to learn from previous films, James Bond is not complete without his supporting team at MI6, including M (Judy Dench) and Q (Ben Whishaw). And let's not forget the leading ladies, Eve (Naomi Harris) and Severine (Berenice Marlohe). Lastly, add a dash of villainy in Silva, played by Javier Bardem, and you're ready to go!
James Bond has been around the block for quite some time. He's well practiced in his trade and appears to make all the right moves - at least that's what we perceive when we watch him in action. But even super agents can be vulnerable, can be damaged, and possibly even repaired. This is our introduction to "Skyfall," where our beloved 007 is thrown from atop a speeding train and plunges into the river, complete with a bullet lodged in his chest. A decision had to be acted upon and M ordered that the shot be taken - and so it was. Shortly thereafter, we find Bond alive and taking shots, alcoholic ones that is, at some island getaway, drowning his woes with the local townspeople. Some time later, upon learning that MI6 had been bombed, he suddenly gets a moment of clarity and rushes back to London.
A list of agents has been stolen from MI6 and the terrorist group that has it is revealing the identities, resulting in a massive amount of agent deaths around the globe. M is held responsible for the mishap and enlists Bond to help track down the one responsible. Introduce Silva, one of the creepier Bond villains I can remember. No, this man doesn't have steel jaws, doesn't paint women gold, and doesn't have an eye that randomly leaks blood. This man is a psychopath with some very obvious mother issues. His suicidal tendencies make him an even greater risk to the organization, where he is hell bent on seeking revenge on M for being ousted from MI6 some time ago. And let's not forget the scene where he pulls his teeth out and half his face droops down - some kind of chemical exposure thing, but very very creepy. As we've seen Bardem before in "No Country For Old Men," it didn't take much convincing that he would make a fine villain, and that he did.
"Skyfall" was a surprise due to the fact that it didn't follow the standard James Bond plot formula. This was not a film where Bond is whisked from one end of the globe to the other in order to deactivate a satellite that's going to set off a nuclear reactor in an ocean rift and create the next world war. Instead, the plot was much simpler than that, much more "real" according to Bond standards. As James Bond has taken the toll of what it means to be a veteran agent, so begins a new 007 story.