James Bond has been an iconic character for 50 years. To celebrate his golden anniversary, Bond returns to the screen in what may be one of the best films in a series that's seen as many ups as downs.
Daniel Craig returns for the third time as the legendary Agent 007 and, as in his previous two outings, he makes for a great incarnation of the character. Although some fans thought he may have been too grim for the role, Craig lightens up a bit in Skyfall.
This time around, MI6 faces a threat from a cyber-terrorist who seems to have a personal vendetta against M (Dame Judi Dench). As usual, Bond is the only agent on the roster who can step up to the challenge. He gets some assistance from a new Q (Ben Whishaw) and a sexy assistant partner, Eve (Naomie Harris, 28 Days Later.)
Director Sam Mendes, best known for American Beauty and Revolutionary Road, proves himself a fine action director. Skyfall features some classic Bond action moments, particularly the opening set-piece, that features a rooftop motorcycle chase that climaxes with a fist fight on a train.
The script, written by Neil Purvis, John Logan, and Robert Wade, also provides plenty of nods to Bond's 50th anniversary with some subtle and not-so-subtle references to past Bond adventures that manage to never feel forced or ludicrous. Well, as non-ludicrous as you can get with the over-the-top situations in which Bond finds himself.
And, of course, a Bond film needs a great villain. Javier Bardem is perfectly cast as Silva and he provides some excellent scene-chewing moments.
Whether or not Skyfall is the best Bond ever -- as the advertising copy proclaims -- is debatable. However, it's safe to say that Skyfall is one of the most entertaining movies of 2012.