Steen: Old meets new in Skyfall

Skyfall 007

In this third Bond film starring Daniel Craig, we are given a real insight into Bond’s character, personal history, tenacity and frailties.

This is perhaps the “darkest” of the films to date and Craig, with a few more wrinkles, puts on the ‘cloak’ of 007 once again.

There are incredible stunts, chase scenes and a deranged antagonist—a rogue agent with a huge grudge against MI6 and in particular M herself.

There is quite a lot to this film, beside the usual good agent versus bad agent: There is the age-old friction between the old and the new, the young and the old, between what and how it was done in the past and what is new and modern. This thread weaves through the whole story—even the spectre of “retirement” looms.

This is where the line:  “Oh to Hell with dignity, I’ll leave when the job is done,” said by M, really takes us to the heart of what is happening and in fact is so relevant in today’s world, where youth is taking the place of the older worker and many of us are at a crossroads in terms of careers and retirement.

This sentiment is reinforced with the Bond line: “It’s a brave new world.”

While Bond himself is also older and perhaps not as quick to rebound as he once was, youth and muscle are still no match for brains and gadgetry.

Opening with the song Skyfall, sung by Adele, to see the cast of this film is somewhat like meeting old friends; Daniel Craig of course, as Bond, Judi Dench is M, Javier Bardem is the former agent Silva, Ralf Fiennes is Gareth Mallory, who is not nearly as snobby as he first appears, British-born Naomi Harris as Eve, Albert Finney is the loyal Kincade and Ben Whishaw is the new and youthful Q.

Skyfall has already made $287 million in the first 10 days of its international release, proving yet again that a 44-year-old can recalibrate Bond for a new generation.

With Craig signed up for two more Bond films, it looks like the franchise is going strong.

I give Skyfall 3 1/2 reels.

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