Twenty minutes into Skyfall and James Bond is floating lifeless in the water having been shot by a sniper.
Well, that’s not much good, is it? Our hero bumped off just a week after celebrating half a decade of making movies.
Perhaps the film should be called shortfall.
Ah, but wait a minute, didn’t old 007 die in You Only Live Twice and From Russia With Love before revealing he’d cheated death?
My advice is to stick around and see if Bond does the same trick again, because this is probably the coolest 007 movie yet.
British director Sam Mendes knows what has made Britain great since the first Bond film came out in 1962 and that is being cool.
This film is stylish, witty and a class above the competition. It’s also irreverent about its past.
Daniel Craig again proves himself to be a great Bond.
When he takes on burly henchman you really believe he has both the brains and brawn to win.
And that he has the energy to get through all the explosions, chases and brutal punches which will leave audiences breathless.
Joining Craig in Skyfall is the most impressive set of actors and actresses ever assembled in one Bond film.
National treasure Dame Judi Dench puts in her best performance as MI6 boss M, whose past comes back to haunt her.
The brilliant Ralph Fiennes appears as the meddling Mallory, a man who regulates our secret service.
Oscar winner Javier Bardem is wonderfully camp as baddie Raoul Silva and again has a very scary haircut.
The underrated Naomie Harris holds her own as Bond’s secret agent sidekick Eve, adding charm and looking dangerous.
While the all too briefly appearing Berenice Marlohe has all the attributes of a classic Bond girl — Severine is a mysterious character, but when you look at Berenice there is no mystery as to why she was cast.
Bond traditionalists will be disappointed with the return of the gadget master Q, while Ben Whishaw is funny he doesn’t give Bond much to play with.
As he says “What were you expecting, an exploding pen? We don’t do that these days.”
But what they still do is a fabulous derelict baddie lair and top plot turns and stunning action.
Like a certain beer, which I won’t identify because its an expensive piece of product placement to have James drinking it in Skyfall, Bond refreshes the parts other spy movies can’t reach.
by Helena Bryanlith