GRADE • A-
DVD • The 23rd James Bond movie, "Skyfall," kicks the last bits of rust off the 50-year-old franchise, as Daniel Craig truly makes 007 his own.
After a botched mission in which Bond is shot and left for dead, 007 comes back from self-imposed exile just as MI6 is under attack by a cyberterrorist who seems to be targeting Bond's boss, M (Judi Dench), personally. Bond soon is matching quips with Javier Bardem's Silva, a former agent who's the best Bond bad guy in ages.
Director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") stages some impressive action sequences, from the first chase through Istanbul to a dramatic showdown in Bond's ancestral home all stylishly shot by Roger Deakins.
There also are plenty of nods to old-school Bond, and deft placement of new cast members (including Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris) to keep Bond in action for years to come.
But "Skyfall" truly belongs to Craig, who explores Bond's dark past and embodies the agent's steely sense of personal honor.
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