THE ticket was booked and the days were being counted down till I could see Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film: I was really looking forward to it.
It centres round a top-secret list of spies that goes missing, putting all MI6’s operations in danger from an enemy who stays hidden for half the film.
In trying to retrieve the list, Bond is shot by his partner and declared missing, presumed dead.
He turns up alive, but not so well, three months later when he sees a news broadcast of an explosion at MI6’s headquarters.
Crossing the world from Turkey to London to Shanghai and Macau before ending up in Scotland, it becomes clear that the mystery villain is on a
mission of revenge against M (Judy Dench).
At the risk of being branded a Bond heretic and after all the anticipation, Skyfall was disappointing.
Although many are saying this is the best Bond ever, I’m not so sure: it’s certainly it’s the weakest of Daniel Craig’s outings as 007.
Unlike others, villain, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) is unconvincing and more like a cartoon character than anything else and, with a running time of 143 minutes, the film itself is a bit too long.
There were also some similarities with other films recently released, such as The Dark Knight Rises and even Avengers Assemble.
There are some good bits – the ubiquitous chase scene at the start is far more realistic than the one using cranes in Casino Royale. There is some unexpected but good use of humour (look out for the “welcome to Scotland” line – the highlight of the film).
Also in the mix are some superb special effects involving Tube trains and a helicopter, some very clever cinematography and an excellent last 20 minutes with an unexpected twist at the end.
Bond fans will also appreciate the references to earlier incarnations of 007, and the filling in of his back story, and his relationship with M.
The changing face of terrorism and security dominate the plot, and the London location brings some realism, although maybe a little too close to home for those who remember the 7/7 bombings.
The revenge motif is strong, leading to the inevitable violent conclusion. The diffculty of fighting against an unknown enemy is laid bare and Bond’s patriotism is on show as never before.