Reinventing the James Bond franchise to fit the sexual and cultural politics of the 21st century is a dicey proposition at best, and it’s safe to say we’ve seen mixed results so far. If Daniel Craig’s 2006 debut as Bond in “Casino Royale” was a smashing success, bringing a new physicality and cinematic verve to the series along with a touch of real-world anomie, the dour and violent “Quantum of Solace”arguably went too far in the latter direction. (I actually thought it was an interesting experiment, if not an entirely successful one, but fans who complained that it didn’t seem much like a Bond movie were correct.) That $225 million misstep nearly succeeded in killing off the series – which left the world of Ian Fleming’s novels behind long, long ago – but now Bond and Craig are back in “Skyfall,” a rich, impressive, overstuffed and rather chilly spectacle that already looks like the biggest hit in franchise history, even before its American release.
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