‘Skyfall,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


You’re as old as you feel – unless you’re James Bond. Then you’re both ageless and timeless.

But as “Skyfall,” the newest adventure of 007, shows, even the world’s most dangerous secret agent needs to keep up with the times. And so director Sam Mendes and a trio of writers bring Daniel Craig’s James Bond squarely into a 21st century in which desk jockeys and bottom-liners call the shots.

So it is at MI6, the British intelligence agency for whom Bond works. There’s a new chairman of intelligence and security, Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), and he’s unhappy at an operation that goes south, exposing all of NATO’s undercover agents to exposure when a list of their identities is stolen. He tells M (Judi Dench) that her time is past and that she’s due for retirement. She convinces him to let her stay on, at least until she reaches retirement age in a couple of months.

Mallory also makes noises about Bond himself as an antique the agency can no longer afford. Though Bond disagrees, Mallory assures him that, in fact, human intelligence gathering (in other words, actual spies) is a thing of the past. Electronic surveillance and intelligence is the future, so Bond should start picking out his retirement home as well.

Bond, however, has a score to settle.

This review continues on my website.