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Review: Skyfall

November 6, 2012

Fifty years on from Sean Connery’s debut performance as James Bond in Dr. No, Daniel Craig returns for his third outing as Agent 007 in Skyfall.

Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty) and soundtracked by British pop sensation Adele, Skyfall continues the revamping of the Bond franchise that began with 2006’s Casino Royale.

Change is afoot in MI6 and Craig’s Jason Bourne-influenced Bond eventually finds himself joined by a new M, Q and Miss Moneypenny. The Cold War escapades of early Bond are long gone and even the War on Terror seems to have made way here for the more contemporary “WikiLeaks” era.

Skyfall’s blonde villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) not only bears a passing resemblance to Julian Assange; he also finds himself in possession of data containing the identities of all MI6 agents working undercover in criminal or terrorist organizations around the world. Bond’s mission to plug the leak takes him from Istanbul via London and Shanghai to a showdown in the Scottish highlands.

By painting crazed whistleblowers as the great threat to western democracy, Skyfall seems to have adopted the same conservative platform that this year’s Batman movie, Dark Knight Rises, did in lauding a millionaire vigilante as the hero who overcomes rabid protesters intent on shutting down Wall Street.

Politics aside, this is as enjoyable and action-packed as you would expect, with the finale almost a homage to Home Alone, only with heavy weaponry instead of kids’ booby traps.

Although it fails to scale the heights of Goldeneye or Casino Royale, Skyfall ranks above most recent Bond films and is well worth watching.

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