Sky is the limit for James Bond series
For film franchises, 50 years is a very long time. Characters grow old, story ideas get stale, and jaded audiences simply stop showing up at theaters. Indeed, a 50-year-old movie series is quite rare – but then again, the “James Bond” series is no ordinary franchise. In fact, the latest 007 movie, “Skyfall,” not only marks the 50th anniversary of the beloved spy’s first appearance on the big screen, but it is also by far one of the best series entries yet.
After nearly getting killed on a mission, James Bond goes into hiding, letting the world believe he is dead. But when a cyber-terrorist targets MI6, specifically Bond’s mentor M, 007 must come out of retirement to once again save the day. It is not going to be so easy this time, however, since Bond’s espionage skills have suffered since entering seclusion. In order to defeat the villain, he must now overcome his physical and mental turmoil. Can Bond beat the odds?
As the 007 series turns 50, “Skyfall” presents an allegorical clash of old versus new. Bond is no longer a young agent; he is now facing physical limitations never felt before and relies on the traditional methods of cunning and brute force. On the other hand, the terrorist Raoul Silva uses cutting-edge technology to his advantage, initiating his destruction through his computer. Thus the fight between Bond and Silva is not just a battle between good and evil, it is a contest of whose ways are better, the old or the young?
Such deep meaning to the plot is precisely what takes “Skyfall” beyond the typical 007 movie. Though there is plenty of action, the story and characters have profound depth. The normally unshakeable Bond is actually vulnerable this time around, allowing viewers to connect with him on a human level.
Daniel Craig proves in “Skyfall” why he is the best 007 since Sean Connery, effortlessly mixing intensity, emotion and even humor to play Bond. Also excellent is Javier Bardem, whose vastly intriguing portrayal of Silva harkens back to the flamboyantly sinister Bond villains of the past. Judi Dench is once again wonderful as M, capturing the character’s dual crotchetiness and reluctant motherly love for Bond.
At 50 years and counting, the 007 series proves with “Skyfall” that age is just a number.
Sean Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.