Skyfall ★★★

If Casino Royale was a post-Bourne Bond, then Skyfall is most certainly a post-Tinker Tailor Bond. For a modern blockbuster, the pace is positively glacial, and for the first time in years, we see Bond engage in actual spycraft. This is a welcome relief to the exhausting parkour and shooting that so dominated the previous films.

What's not so welcome, though, is the fact that Sam Mendes has delivered an origin story not for the modern, 21st century Bond, but for the 'old' Bond. What made both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace so refreshing was their eschewing of the bloat that plagued the pre-Craig era. There were few of the quips, the gadgets, or even the characters that we traditionally associate with the series. They're all back in Skyfall, usually with knowing winks to the camera. It's telling that this is the first of the Craig movies to feature the 'shooting down the barrel' sequence. In effect, with some minor tweaks, this movie sets up the situation we found Bond in the 1960s. And I'm not sure that's something I wanted.

(But having said all that - holy shit, this film looks amazing. Roger Deakins did an amazing job.)