By HOPE RACINE
The name “Bond” carries a heavy weight of expectation.
For 50 years, the tuxedo-wearing, Walther PPK toting, cool-but-sexy secret agent has enamored the world. From Connery to Craig, the James Bond movies evolve and change to suit the interests of their growing fan base.
In the most recent movie, “Skyfall,” Daniel Craig stars alongside Dame Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and a slew of other iconic British actors in what critics and fans alike are calling “a return to the classic Bond.”
Craig portrayed Bond in two previous films, “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.” The two films met with mixed reviews. While “Casino Royale” restarted the franchise with smashing success, “Quantum of Solace” was rather boring, lacking the flavor and character development that the fans had loved in “Casino Royale.”
The lackluster response to the second film, coupled with the four-year gap between “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall,” had some fans worried that the newest addition would fall short.
These fears were short-lived, however, as the producers of the movie started a heavy advertising campaign leading up to the release.
“I was excited going into the movie,” said Ford Torney, a sophomore and theatre major. “They built up a lot of hype and as a long time fan of Bond movies, I was excited to see what it had in store.”
As the fiftieth anniversary movie, “Skyfall” returned to its roots. Gone were the exploding pens and submarine cars- this was a simple movie. The action scenes were just as good as in any Bond film, the girl was just as attractive and the villain was just as outlandish.
Yet, what made “Skyfall” stand out from the other 22 films is one simple thing: Bond himself. So often in the films, the fans have seen the attractive and debonair James Bond do the same thing over and over: go on his adventures alone, find an attractive woman, save the day, the end.
In “Skyfall,” however, viewers get a rare glimpse of the human being beneath the suit. This Bond is tired, broken and wants nothing else but to live the rest of his life peacefully on a beach. However, when his nation’s security comes into danger, he begrudgingly drags himself back into the field.
While there is a masterful villain running loose and exploding things, Bond’s real antagonist is himself. We watch him struggle like he never has before, both physically and emotionally.The true Bond girl here is Dench’s “M.” The love/hate relationship between Bond and M is strangely poignant and touching for a Bond film.
“I think this was the best one yet,” said sophomore Ally Thames, who became a Bond fan after “Casino Royale.” “I loved how they told his backstory- just enough to make us interested, but nothing too sappy or emotional.”
Other fans loved the allusions to previous films that were prevalent throughout the film.
“It made a lot of great references to past Bond films and moments which were also great,” said Torney. “I thought it was a great addition to the Bond films because it felt more like a classic Bond film, but still was able to be fresh and modern.”
“Skyfall” told its story elegantly and concluded the film on an ending as classy as Bond himself, coming full circle to the beginning of the first Bond film, “Dr. No.” For diehard Bond fans, “Skyfall” will probably not rank as the best Bond film ever, though it might come close. For casual Bond fans, this movie will most definitely deliver.
“It was exhilarating to the end,” said Thames. “In my opinion, it’s the most epic Bond yet.”