Review originally written for the Doha Film Institute website.

SKY_INTL_QUAD_ON_LI5D0C002_sFilm: Skyfall (2012)
Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Daniel CraigHelen McCrory and Javier Bardem
Running Time: 143 min

M’s (Judi Dench) past comes back to haunt her, risking the life of many MI6 secret agents. James Bond (Daniel Craig) who was believed dead, reappears to lead a much more personal battle with a bitter loyalty test.

When the renowned 007 agent’s obituary is made public, little hope remains in fighting back one of MI6’s most dangerous threats. Bond was mistakenly shot by his partner due to M’s decision while on a mission in Istanbul. Now badly injured Bond is enjoying a laid-back anonymous life. When MI6 headquarters is attacked, he ‘resurrects’ a bit-too-late with on-the-edge skills against one of the most unpredictable enemies. Not only M’s life is in danger, but also all secret agents whose identities have been hacked and publicized.

Will Bond forgive M’s decision that was close to killing him and does he have what it requires when field missions are a bit outdated? But “someone should pull the trigger” and old-fashioned methods might be useful at times.

The long-awaited 23rd Bond film opened Doha theaters during the Eid ul-Adha celebrations and it’s a good one. There’s more than Adele singing the sensational theme song of ‘Skyfall’, which put Daniel Craig to tears as mentioned in an interview with Yahoo movies “I cried,” he said. “From the opening bars I knew immediately, then the voice kicked in and it was exactly what I’d wanted from the beginning. It just got better and better because it fitted the movie. In fact the more of the movie we made, the more it fitted it”.

Sam Mendes, the first Oscar-winner to direct a Bond film, added a lot of vintage grandeur to the screen with a classy tribute to the franchise. It remains true to the heroic thriller action we know well with stronger momentum. Battle scenes are dazzling with dance-like choreography and aesthetic framing,

It doesn’t disregard the technological advances one would expect to be over-used in similar pictures, but balances it with very smart twists of a return to the old plans of attack. More psychological feeds previously unseen emotional intensity, and requires from Craig more than good looks and muscles – and it couldn’t suit him better. The not-so-traditional anti-hero Silvia (won’t reveal more) by Javier Bardem is definitely worthy of an Oscar nomination. Bardem offers us a brilliant performance that elevates the film to a different level of interpretation. It has the intensity of Nolan’s joker in ‘The Dark Knight’ with a memorable antagonist.

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