Bond made his return to our screens this year in unforgettable fashion. With American Beauty director Sam Mendes at the helm Bond was better than he had been in a very long time, marking his 50th anniversary on the screen with one of the best movies in the Bond Canon.
Many, including myself had doubted Craig as Bond, he had impressed us with his debut movie Casino Royale but his second outing Quantum of Solace is arguably one of the worst Bond films to have ever been made. Craig really needed to make a statement in Skyfall and what a statement he made.
Skyfall worked beautifully not just because it made Bond relevant to audiences again but it was shot with an air of nostalgia to it. References to previous Bond outings dropped in throughout to give the movie a charm that was severely lacking in Craig’s previous outing. Mendes achieved what appeared to be the impossible; he pleased the Bond purists whilst also making Bond accessible to a 21st century audience, no easy feat.
The plot of the movie is one of the most sentimental we have ever seen in the Bond series but it was one in which was easy to emotionally invest. Judie Dench is incredible alongside Craig as M as she cements her role as one of the greatest Bond girls of all time. Exploring the relationship between the two gave the movie the emotional edge and took it from being a great Bond film to a great film in its own right.
Then there is Javier Bardem whose portrayal of Raoul Silva was one of the finest performances from a supporting actor in 2012 and one which will etch itself into the memory of Bond fans everywhere.
Verdict: Bond girls, a fantastic villain and a memorable lead performance from Craig, this had all the ingredients of a great Bond movie; it even had a great theme song. Skyfall was one of my favourite movies of 2012. Rating: *****