That is what we’re led to believe in the spectacular action opening of “Skyfall.” He is shot by none other than his faithful secretary Miss Moneypenny, under orders from his boss, M.
Seems like an ironically suitable end to the world’s most romanticized hitman-assassin spy. In his third portrayal by Daniel Craig, Bond is far from deceased. The opening tease merely sets up the resurrection of the franchise in a total rethink-makeover by Oscarwinning Director Sam Mendes (“American Beauty”). Bond is brought back from the dead after a flamboyant title sequence, which is one of the few throwbacks in the 50- year-old series. The villain is a good one, or good at his badness. Silva (a sly, swishy Javier Bardem) is a former member of Her Majesty’s Secret Service with an axe to grind, particularly against M (Judi Dench) for letting him rot in a foreign prison. Following reboot example of filmmaker Chris Nolan’s Batman “Dark Night” movies, Mendes gives Bond a backstory. We’re told that he was tragically orphaned. He returns to his abandoned family estate, Skyfall, where aging caretaker Kincade (Albert Finney), still waits. But that’s jumping to the final confrontation. Plenty of surprises, exotic locations, even a sexy Bond girl energize the 2 hours and 25 minutes of screen time.
“Skyfall” is as pumped up and professional, as is its leading man. However, something’s missing. Though Craig is tough and rock solid, he lacks the Cary Grant cool that Sean Connery embodied so well. And, creator Ian Fleming envisioned. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait a half-century for a better Bond. In the meantime, Daniel Craig will do. Go to “Skyfall” and see him do it.