Wirral man saves Britain in ‘Skyfall’

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Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

From the classrooms of Hoylake to the celebrity of Hollywood, Daniel Craig has come a long way since growing up on the Wirral.

He has been highly acclaimed for his portrayal of one of the most iconic cinema characters of all time, and Craig returned to our screens this week for his third installment as Ian Fleming’s secret agent, James Bond.

Following his antics this summer, you could say there has never been a more aptly named film in the series than the 23rd edition, ‘Skyfall’.

Fresh from escorting the Queen at Buckingham Palace to the famous parachute jump into the London 2012 Olympic stadium, Chester-born actor Craig has reincarnated 007 in what some fans are calling the most British of the films.

From the moment he walks out of the shadows in a Turkish apartment to the dusty streets below where he begins the first act’s frantic pursuit of an international terrorist, you know the film is all about action.

A high-octane car chase in the company of a field agent (Naomie Harris), which abruptly comes to a halt due to cattle and large crowds, quickly changes to a rooftop scramble on dirt bikes belonging to villagers.

For those that simply think this is not enough, Bond then decides to speed things up by leaping from a bridge onto a moving train in a last gasp bid to save the Empire.

Back at MI6, M (Judi Dench) receives a call from the field agent, saying she has a shot at the assailant but it’s not a clean one and Bond could take the bullet, M gives the green light and Bond fans are left stunned as their hero tumbles backwards over a viaduct seemingly to his watery grave.

Cue Adele… and even if you don’t see the movie you will surely not be able to escape her Skyfall song this autumn. Audience members seem to sing along such is the chart success of this latest theme tune, and as the screen flickers in typically kaleidoscopic fashion Skyfall has well and truly begun.

In the early part of the film, MI6 is under attack and an explosion at the Millbank HQ leaves M and all of the other main characters scurrying into the tunnels of subterranean London.

Angered by his employer’s decision to pull the trigger and ultimately terminate him, the main man turns to drink, not his usual tipple of martini however, that wouldn’t pay for all of the theatrics and explosions, so Bond opts for a cool (product placement) Heineken.

Seeing the destruction of HQ, Bond heads back to Britain and that is where the majority of the film plays out.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Chasing the villain through London’s underground, Bond is in need of some help and who better to assist than the trusty, Q, (Ben Whishaw)? Q is now a modern-day geek who shows his traditional character in a scene at the National Gallery.

When handing Bond nothing but his signature Walther PPK gun and a radio, he smiles and says: “What, you didn’t expect an exploding pen, did you Mr Bond?”

Whishaw’s character is fresh and for a modern audience, and will be sure to attract new followers.

However, Bond does have some gadgets plus the tried and trusted Aston Martin DB5, looking as resplendent as always.

It’s hard not to give away too much here and the best advice is to go and see Skyfall – it really does live up to the hype and Bond’s complicated new relationship with M is at the heart of the drama.

Really this film is old-school Bond, with the star going back to his roots, but it is worth noting that the movie is also about progression, with change on the horizon.

All in all this is a classic of the genre as Director Sam Mendes gets it spot-on and there is a strong story with modern theatrics.

You could say: “If Heineken made Bond films…”

About Scott Rumsey, JMU Journalism