A fitting anniversary

Skyfall MGM/Columbia Rating: 14A 142 minutes

Hard to believe; 50 years of Bond movies, and the newest, Skyfall, is one of the best. It opens with an impressive, slam-bang action chase sequence with Bond using cars, motorcycles, heavy construction machinery and a train while trying to capture a bad guy and get back a top-secret list of undercover agents. He gets shot off the train too (luckily while the train is on a bridge over a river), but nobody believes for a moment that he is really dead.

Except for a so-so, dragged-out finale at Bond’s ancestral home in Scotland and a not very focused plot, it’s a very good Bond film and a fitting anniversary marker for the series. Judi Dench as M is more involved than ever in the story. A blond Javier Bardem is a too-smiley but credible villain. For added pleasure there’s a new Miss Moneypenny and Q and some short but appreciated performances from Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney. For old times sake the Aston Martin from Goldfinger makes an unlikely reappearance.

Daniel Craig is more at home than ever in his third Bond outing. He plays Bond as a mean, tough, no-nonsense, albeit wise-cracking super patriot; but remember the character has a licence to kill and does not hesitate to use it.

Another attractive feature of Skyfall is that we learn more than ever before about Bond’s back story. The producers seem to want to make him more human, while setting us up for the next unbelievable Bond outing.

Rating: four deer out of five

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Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.