Bond Returns in Skyfall

“Skyfall” is the 23rd James Bond film and the third starring Daniel Craig as 007. While the film is already breaking box office records overseas, it won’t release here in the United States until this weekend.

We’ve been without a Bond film since 2008’s “Quantum of Solace,” and needless to say, the hype is through the roof. Since Bond is back, now is the perfect time for a sneak preview of what to expect from this new adventure with Agent 007.

Besides the returning Daniel Craig, Judi Dench returns to play M, Bond’s superior. Bond is a veteran in this film as opposed to a rookie agent like in the first two, while M gets a larger role to play as dark secrets from her past come to light. This film also re-introduces two central characters to the Bond mythos: Q (Ben Whishaw), the supplier of Bond’s gadgets, and Ms. Monneypenny (Naomi Harris) an MI6 field agent who used to be a secretary in pre-Craig Bond films.

Of course no Bond film is complete without a worthy villain, and Javier Bardem’s Raoul Silva fits the bill. Silva is a former MI6 agent turned cyberterrorist who wants vengeance against M, and seems poised to deliver a truly memorable Bond villain here. Ralph Fiennes rounds out the cast as he trades his Voldemort get-up from “Harry Potter” for an MI6 authority figure.

As for the basic plot, “Skyfall” finds Bond tracking down a stolen computer hard drive that contains the identities of all undercover NATO agents. This thankfully comes as a return to form for Bond after the subpar “Quantum of Solace.” If “Skyfall” can bring Craig’s Bond back to the freshness of “Casino Royale,” we’ll have one of the better Bond films of the modern era on our hands.