Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first James Bond film, Skyfall, the 23rd screen outing for 007 sees Bond tackle the threat of cyber terrorism in a modern world which is very different to that which he first traversed half a century ago. The film, which I’ll open by saying is a lot better than the previous effort Thingy of Whatsit is a return to form for the series and puts Bond back in its place at the centre of the action thriller genre. Having lost a file containing the names of undercover agents, Bond (Daniel Craig) chases down the culprit only to be halted by MI6. Presumed dead, 007 begins to rot while MI6 comes under attack from a man with a score to settle with M (Judi Dench).
The film finds many parallels with its, Britain’s, MI6’s and indeed its central character’s place in the world. They all appear to be past their best, living in a world that has moved on, leaving them behind. Britain, a hundred years past its prime is being kept safe by MI6 whose field agents appear ill equipped to deal with the modern threats of hidden terrorists who wear no uniform and report to no country. Indeed the west itself appears to be losing its grip on the world and this is tackled with the appearance of Shanghai, perhaps this century’s New York. The motif goes further, examining the likes of M and Bond themselves and challenging them to prove that they are still relevant in the twenty-first century.