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Thursday, October 23, 2014

‘Skyfall’: 4 out of 5 stars

This Bond finds the right balance between action and emotion.

Nov. 13, 2012

With the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise, Agent 007 finds himself in hot water. In "Skyfall," Bond’s age is ever so apparent. While rapidly getting older and slower, the thought of his retirement becomes increasingly relevant.

After being accidentally shot during a high-octane chase, Bond (Daniel Craig) goes missing and is speculated to be dead. His death not only gives him an excuse to retire, but also puts leader M’s (Judi Dench) job at stake. Although a new, important mission eventually brings him back, Bond's age and overall decline continue to be a focus of the movie.

As Craig’s multitude of shirtless scenes will show you, Bond is as fit as ever. But his recent brush with death leaves him wary of his abilities, as he is unable to pass physical and psychological tests or hold a gun steadily. Thus, “Skyfall” is less about extensive, “James Bond kills everyone” scenes and more about his struggle to overcome internal affairs. Under the pressure of chairman Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), Bond must prove he still has what it takes by completing one last mission. Craig does an admirable job portraying the macho icon that is Bond while displaying just the right amount of troubled emotion.

The strongest asset to the film is its underlying themes, but action lovers won’t feel deprived of expected explosions. Ultimately, “Skyfall” delivers in nearly every necessary category while also debating the value of old age.

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