Film review: Skyfall

Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear, Ola Rapace, Helen McCrory
Rating: (M)
4 stars (out of 5)

Photo supplied.
Photo supplied.
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 criticism.

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 stirred.

By Christine Powley.


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