Watch the Skyfall trailer here.
With ‘Quantum of Solace’ bringing down the chips on 007 – MGM’s huge financial mess, buy-back and take-over issue and a hundred other problems one kept wondering if Bond-23 would ever see the light of day.
The wait was worth it – Daniel Craig is back in form as 007 chasing a group which is in possession of a disk-drive which has the identities of secret-agents embedded in terrorist organiations all over the world.
An adrenaline-rush inducing start sequence in Istanbul funnily similar to an animated Tintin on his motorbike earlier this year and a fight atop a train and a shot – that plunges 007 down into a river in Jason Bourne style.
007 is presumed dead, MI-6 is rocked by bomb-explosions and agents are killed. M played by Judi Dench is called for an enquiry and we have Ralph Fiennes making in an entry as the next head of MI-6.
The bomb-attack brings 007 back to London – a bitter man waiting to find justice and to know why he was shot – “If you had trusted me I would have had the disk-drive for you”.
After a new Q – who looks suspiciously like Rajendra Kumar’s son Kumar Gaurav – training and reassesmment of fitness – 007 is back in the hunt landing in Shanghai attempting to discover the mastermind behind the attacks.
The trail thickens as an assassin falls to his death – a gambling chip takes 007 to Macau where more intriguing stuff happens as we meet a seductive lady who loks like a cross between Sophie Marceau and Lucy Liu.
Finally we are introduced to the villain – an ex MI-6 operative Silva – played with aplomb by Javier Bardem. The parallels with Heath Ledger in ‘The Dark Knight’ do not do justice to Bardem’s portrayal.
There is a moment when we almost expect Silva to grab 007 and kiss him but the moment is diffused when 007 states nonchalantly – ‘What makes you think it’s my first time?’
Silva expertly gets arrested – hacks into the MI-6 system creates chaos as he escapes from his high-security cell and sets up an explosion and crash in the London Metro.
All this to avenge the injustice meted out by M and the ‘spy-masters’ on him – when he was betrayed many years ago and left to his Chinese captors.
007 foils the plan and then starts the final chapter.
007 taking M to safety in the classic silver Aston Martin and driving to Bond’s family-abode – Skyfall in Scotland. Here we meet the caretaker Albert Finney who steals the show with a classic line – “Son I was ready even before you were born”.
The three wait with limited ammunition, innovate and come up with traps and wait for Silva and his goons to land. Shoot-outs and explosions and a final climax in the chapel as Silva, M and 007 come to terms with their inner demons.
Watch the movie for Sam Mendes does a reboot in style – ticks all the right boxes, fights, Bond-babes, intrigue, stunning music and cinematography and Adele’s lovely rendition, crackling humour. There’s even a quotation from a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Watch the movie to witness a Bond who is the truest to what Ian Fleming envisaged in his novels.
Will Judi Dench get a nomination for the BAFTAs?
My only grouse – a villain of Silva’s stature deserves a better death!
Three and a half stars!