50 years after Sean Connery first uttered the words "shaken not stirred" the Bond franchise is still in full swing with its twenty-third installment.
Six actors have played the part of the British Secret Agent, and the current incumbent of the role: Daniel Craig ranks among the best. Edgy and reserved with a steely glare, his Bond is one you find difficult to take your eyes off as he leaps onto that opening sequence freight train, ultimately plunging to his "death" before the credits roll, being mistakenly gunned down by a fellow agent (Naomie Harris).
However, unless I'm very mistaken that would make an incredibly short film, and be a real middle finger to die hard fans of the series... so we surely all know Bond will be back from the grave before too long.
Indeed its not long before we find he has been washed up on an island. It's nothing short of amazing, and within a week, he has begun sleeping with some native girl who nurses his wounds before he takes off. That was my only niggle throughout the film. It seemed a bit too convenient.
The credits sequence is as always stylised and fun, and we finally get our first big classic Bond villain, with Javier Bardem making a very haunting debut as Raoul Silva, with a manic commitment to disposing of M (Judi Dench). Ben Whishaw also debuts as a very new Q, and seems to be channelling Matt Smith's Doctor Who with his geek-chic apparel.
It's also amazing it took us fifty big ones before we got a glimpse into Bond's childhood, when he returns to Skyfall Manor with two Bond stalwarts Dame Judi Dench and an Aston Martin, and it is revealed that Bond was orphaned at a young age.
Albert Finney proves an excellent supporting act as Skyfall Manor's gamekeeper. Director Sam Mendes initially wanted to give the part to Sean Connery, as a nod to the past, but Connery has given up acting and also it probably would have seemed a bit corny!
Skyfall is an excellent film, smart, sexy and above all proof that even after half a century the premise of 007's world saving heroics have not dimmed at all. A must-see.