The overwhelming stench of nostalgia, regret, decay and desuetude in Skyfall -- perfectly symbolized by that grim Scottish manse -- made me wonder if this was supposed to be a eulogy. I hadn't come to bury Bond, but to cheer him on.
Mendes, who previously worked with Craig when the star had a key supporting role in 2002's Road to Perdition, brings a methodical, refined eye to the proceedings, helped along by the luxurious cinematography by Roger Deakins.
Taken on its own, Skyfall is an exciting and relentlessly entertaining action thriller. It is strongly acted by a game cast, has sharp dialogue, a stunning visual palette, and several engaging action sequences.
As Skyfall, the newest adventure of 007, shows, even the world's most dangerous secret agent needs to keep up with the times. And so director Sam Mendes and a trio of writers bring Daniel Craig's James Bond squarely into a 21st century in which desk jockeys and bottom-liners call the shots.