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Review: "Skyfall" shakes up Bond franchise

The legendary James Bond series has returned with a bang. The 23rd and latest installment of the series, “Skyfall”, directed by Sam Mendes, is arguably one of the best Bond films the franchise has released. This movie is definitely one of the major blockbusters this year, and it is a must-see for everyone.

Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in “Skyfall”, a thrilling action film that reverts to the roots of the celebrated Bonds series.

“Skyfall” is far from the cliché action movie. Mendes combines the classic aspects of the previous Bond movies with a fresh and modern hacking battle. Iconic features from older Bond films can appeal to the lifelong fans, while new gadgets and fight scenes attract the average action-movie lovers. “Skyfall” has its fair share of exotic action scenes set in Hong Kong, Macau and London, but it also showcases a massive final showdown at the picturesque Skyfall, the deserted Bond family estate where James Bond grew up. Bond even breaks out the vintage Aston Martin.

The movie kicks off when a confidential MI6 hard drive file is stolen by a terrorist. An exhilarating chase scene follows, as agent James Bond pursues the terrorist through the streets and rooftops of Istanbul. However Bond is accidentally shot by a fellow agent and the terrorist gets away. The terrorists hack into the MI6 security system and launch a massive attack on MI6 headquarters, endangering countless agents, as well as M, the head of MI6. Bond, presumed to be dead, returns from his short-lived retirement and reunites with M. This sets up the rest of the plot, with Bond attempting to take down these psycho hacking terrorists and restore order to the world.

Daniel Craig does an excellent job in his third movie playing James Bond, the amazing Agent 007. This time around, Bond is visibly older and less of a physical force. Instead, he uses his keen senses and intelligence to get the job done. Bond frequently utilizes quick thinking and gadgets to get out of tricky situations.

The villain is Raoul Silva, played by Javier Bardem. Silva is an ex-MI6 agent out for revenge on M, who is the current head of MI6. He not only relies on his army of goons and dominant firepower, but he also uses computer hacking to infiltrate the MI6 security system. He effortlessly hacks into the MI6 files, while keeping his terrorist organization undetected and mysterious. He toys with the MI6 agency, who have absolutely no idea who or what they are going up against.

Bardem does a spectacular job playing this chilling villain. Silva’s character is comparable to the Joker in the Dark Knight: a cruel and maniacal villain, with elaborate schemes to destroy society. Silva also has several subtle homosexual moments, which adds a unique aspect to his character.

“Skyfall” also ranks among the top Bond films in terms of cinematography and overall appearance. The scenery and action are all aesthetically pleasing. The action scenes are all very lively and it is fun to watch the amazing Agent 007 work his magic. Viewers should definitely watch this film in theaters to maximize the effect of the action and intensity.

“Skyfall” is a brilliant thriller that adds a twist to the storied James Bond franchise and the action genre. Everyone must see “Skyfall” and it is bound to become one of the biggest hits of 2012.

Running Time: 143 minutes
Release Date: 11/9/12
Rated: PG-13 for intense violent sequences, some sexuality, language and smoking
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes

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Neal Biswas, Author

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