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16 November 2012 Film


After an over-the-top opening chase sequence that announces the death of the previous two James Bond movies’ (relatively) realistic approach to action, Skyfall then kills Bond (Daniel Craig) himself. Obviously it takes more than getting shot and plunging into a raging river to end Bond, but when he finally returns to MI6 boss M (Judi Dench), the months spent nursing wounds both physical and emotional have taken their toll. New government spook Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) thinks Bond is finished, but M needs him fighting fit to take down the sinister Silva (Javier Bardem) before his war on MI6 succeeds. Director Sam Mendes’ gorgeously shot 143-minute Bond epic takes a while to warm up, but the action is always gripping and the nostalgic nods don’t shatter the often-gritty mood. Craig successfully mixes a more classic Bond charm with his previous brooding, while Bardem’s gleefully sinister performance makes him the most traditional (and fun) Bond villain in years.

Anthony Thomas