Home  |  About Us  |  Contacts  |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

  Movie Review


By Joseph McAleer
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Don't be misled by the Chicken-Little title, "Skyfall" (Columbia) is high-flying entertainment, a rousing return for James Bond and a much-needed injection of vitality into the 50-year-old film franchise built around him.

Director Sam Mendes ("Revolutionary Road") helms British Secret Agent 007's 23rd adventure, a smart mix of reverence, nostalgia, and humor. Purists will be delighted by the spectacular set pieces and characteristically exotic locations.

It's not all fluff, as the script, by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan, is thoughtful and character-driven, raising issues of loss, responsibility, patriotism and loyalty amid the battle of good vs. evil.

"Skyfall" opens in familiar territory: Bond (Daniel Craig) is in Istanbul, chasing a bad guy who has stolen a computer disc containing the identities of every secret agent in the world. At his side is field operative Eve (Naomie Harris), who proves as handy with a straight razor as she is with a rifle.

The crime is big trouble for "M" (Judi Dench), the head of British intelligence unit MI6. It was M herself who lost the disc, and its theft proves the perfect excuse for rival government official Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) to challenge M's competence, force her retirement, and shake things up at the agency.

"It's a young man's game now," Mallory tells Bond, tipping his hope -- as the new century progresses -- to rely more on cyber technology than spies on the ground.

Trouble is, neither Bond nor M is quite ready to pack it in. Aided by the new "Q" (Ben Whishaw), a computer genius, they redouble their efforts to solve the robbery as its malignant mastermind orchestrates a reign of terror across London.

Called Silva (Javier Bardem), said villain is a sleazy megalomaniac (naturally) who seeks world domination (of course). In a twist, Silva is a disgraced former agent with unique knowledge of M's past, which fuels his desire for revenge.

At Silva's side is the exotic Severine (Berenice Marlohe), who warns Bond to be very, very afraid. But 007 pours on the charm ("It takes a certain type of woman to wear a backless dress with a Beretta 70 strapped to her thigh"), and Severine rethinks her loyalties.

The search for Silva is a scenic one, sending Bond to Shanghai and Macau, as well as the depths of London's underground and the Scottish highlands.

The violence quotient is undeniably high in "Skyfall," but no more so than is typical for a Bond film, which always seems to involve new and creative ways to blow things up and kill baddies with "style."

The film contains scenes of intense action violence and torture, implied nonmarital sexual activity, mild sensuality and innuendo as well as some profane and rough language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

- - -

McAleer is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.


Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250


   Looking for a
   movie review?

Movie List

   Click "Movie List"
   button above
   Enter a keyword
   from the movie
   title in the box
   below and click
   the "Search"