Skyfall (♦♦♦♦½)

An operative for hire steals from MI6’s computers a list of NATO officers infiltrated in terrorists organizations around the globe. James Bond must recover the list, but gets entangled in a fight with the rogue on top of a running train. Eve, another MI6 agent, is ordered to take a shot at the fighters and Bond gets thrown off the train towards a river below and presumed dead.

After the theft of the list, Gareth Mallory, a bureaucrat, calls “M” to his office and tells her that she has exactly two months to plan her voluntary retirement and a smooth transition to take place. Only, terrorist attacks start happening all around London and it appears it’s someone connected to the MI6 and who knows things from “M”’s past.

After the first attack, James Bond comes back from the dead, and must join forces with a captive beauty to lead him to Silva, the man behind all the horrible machinations, who is determined to make “M” pay for decisions made in the past.

Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes, is a smart, utterly sexy, taut thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat for most of the movie. There is plenty of action, gadgets and explosions to please action junkies. Daniel Craig oozes sex appeal as Bond, his scenes wearing little to nothing burn the screen. In Skyfall, as in Casino Royale, Daniel Craig is more than great eye candy; in Skyfall he is once again in his element after the failed follow-up to Casino Royale that was Quantum of Solace.

I’m not too much of a Javier Bardem’s fan, but he is villainous and devious in Skyfall as Daniel Craig is sexy and tough, even if according to the plot he is not at the top of his game this time around. Ralph Fiennes co-stars as Gareth Mallory, the new director of MI6, Naomie Harris stars as Eve, a.k.a. Moneypenny; Ben Whishaw is young “Q”, the man that in his own words “can do more damage with a computer sitting at home in his pajamas than Bond can do in a year”; Judi Dench reprises her role as “M” (until now), and Albert Finney is Kincade, the old caretaker of Skyfall manor, the place where Bond grew up until the MI6 took him under its wing, because as “M” said, “orphans make the best recruits.”

Adele interprets the song “Skyfall” while beautiful imagery jump start the movie. The movie showcases breathtaking aerial views of Shanghai (I didn’t know Shanghai was so modern!) and in and around the casino in Macau.

Overall, Skyfall is lush, sexy and edgy. One of the best movies of this year!