Skyfall is the latest in the Daniel Craig series of Bond films. Craig delivers his usual intense, more straight-forward Bond but in this edition of the franchise gets to spread his wings a bit more as this film (probably more than any other Bond) is the most in-depth in terms of an actual character study of James Bond.

So, this isn’t your typical by-the-numbers Bond flick. Through a fall-from-grace kind of event, Bond is forced to examine himself, the country he so loyally serves, and the boss that willingly sacrifices agents to make sure the mission is complete. We even get more of a glimpse into Bond’s parents and the orphanage where he grew up.

Enter Javier Bardem and his disturbing villain Silva, an ex-agent bent on exacting revenge on M for her past decisions regarding disposable agents. His character is also a bit of a study on someone who would be kind of the mirror opposite of Bond. Bardem’s portrayal of this character gives us a twisted villain we’ve not seen the likes of since the Sean Connery days. In fact, I don’t recall a villain as demented as Silva in any of the bond films…They’re all pretty bad dudes but this guy is disturbing.

The writing is well done with intelligent dialog delivered expertly by an excellent cast. The story starts off in current events but eludes to the past while it drives towards the inevitable clash that lies ahead. M is more prominently featured (which I have heard people complain about). I liked the way M was included and hey, Judy Dench plays M so you can never go wrong there.

The action is there but not overly done and thank god there isn’t so much damn shaky cam every five minutes as has plagued some of the other movies. The action is well choreographed but a bit more back to the basics in terms of gadgets. There is a nod to the Bond of yesteryear that was really an enjoyable moment.

Beside Craig, Bardem and Dench, the movie includes solid performances with Albert Finney and Ralph Fiennes. All-in-all great performances all around with Craig cementing his place as one of the classic bonds to check out.

See Skyfall in the theater if you can!

reviewed by Sean McKnight