Recouping from the sulky, scattered, sketchily edited previous James Bond adventure, 2008's "Quantum of Solace," "Skyfall" does not quite match the thrilling and heartfelt revisionist's heights of 2006's "Casino Royale," but it thankfully less resembles the former than the latter. This time directed by Sam Mendes (2009's "Away We Go"), a veritable master filmmaker working outside his comfort zone, Daniel Craig's (2011's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo") third go at playing 007 finds the actor trying to marry his version of the character's brute grittiness with the suave, self-deprecating vision that Sean Connery and Roger Moore brought to the British spy. Craig is an intense performer—maybe too intense, since he stumbles every time the script, credited to John Logan (2011's "Hugo") and seasoned returnees Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, shoehorns in a one-liner or double-entendre. It's an awkward fit in a film that will nonetheless be celebrated for its A-class villain, exotic location shooting from cinematographer Roger Deakins (2011's "In Time"), and tender relationship between James and the most unlikely Bond girl of them all.
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