Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph
Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben
Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Ola Rapace, Helen McCrory
4 stars (out of 5)
The people who finance films are twitchy beasts, easily
spooked. By any reckoning the installation of Daniel Craig as
the first blond James Bond has been massively successful, but
the global financial meltdown was enough to place Craig's third
Bond movie on hold.
Which was nutty. You do not get anything closer to a sure bet
than a Bond film. Once things calmed down, the money men came
to their senses and pushed ahead with Skyfall (Rialto and
Hoyts), which to no-one's surprise has been coining it since
opening in Britain last week.
Over the years Bond films have been a triumph of style over
substance - a fetish with the right drink, gun and car. Lots
of things have happened - sex, violence, exotic locations -
but what film they rightly belonged in did not really matter.
Bond was cool Britannia long before the term was invented.
Craig, for all he is credited with dragging Bond into the
faster-paced more thuggish modern light, still presides over
recognisably the same films. Which, by the way, is not a
Skyfall starts with Bond's death but as much as he wants to
use that as an excuse to walk away, he can't help but respond
when M (Judi Dench) is in danger.
Best thing: Dame Dench has a nasty habit (for the
other actors that is) of stealing movies. She is given more
scope here than usual and takes full advantage.
Worst thing: For long stretches this is a near-perfect
Bond film but then we get to Skyfall itself and things get
silly with Bond turning all MacGyver on us.
See it with: Anyone who has been annoying bartenders
for years insisting that their martinis be shaken not
By Christine Powley.