The latest version of James Bond is not the suave, sophisticated and worldly assassin with a gleam in his eye as portrayed by Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan. As “M” tells him in Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s Bond is a blunt instrument with a dark and troubled past. And as SKYFALL plays out, we learn a little more about what made the man. That said, this isn’t a Deep Thoughts Bond. There is everything you want to see in a Bond movie. Car chases, motorcycle chases, beautiful women, international locations are all a part of this movie. Oh, and lets not forget the psychopathic villain, expertly played by Javier Bardem. The man can play crazy better than any current actor, and the weird blonde hair and slightly asymmetrical face help him sell the international wacko villain. But Craig’s Bond is darker and more brooding. A troubled man who knows how to channel that into love of country and duty to the Crown. There are also ready quips, knowing winks and peril galore. The movie is beautiful thanks to Academy Award winner Roger Deakins. It also stays pretty well focused thanks to Sam Mendes. Craig just keeps getting better as Bond. People need to stop comparing him to Connery. He’s not and never will be. Take him as he is and you’ll realize how great he really is. Add one of the best Bond movie songs (thanks Adele) in more than a decade and you have a fantastic action thriller that gives Bond fans everything they want. It feels current and on par with Bourne. A modern Bond for modern times, but still rooted in the old traditions that more can be done with a bullet than a computer. SKYFALL belongs with the best of the Bond films and I look forward to the next one. — Alan Yudman

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