'Skyfall': Is It The Best James Bond Movie Of All Time? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)


James Bond returns to theaters after a four-year hiatus in this weekend's new release, Skyfall. Daniel Craig (Cowboys & Aliens) returns for his third appearance as 007, but this time he's working for director Sam Mendes, whose mission is to return a bit of levity to a series that was starting to feel a little too grim. Does Skyfall succeed in repairing the Bond franchise? Could Skyfall be the best James Bond movie ever made? As a service, we answer every question that you could possibly have about Skyfall.

Q: What is a Skyfall?

A: Getting into too much detail about the title -- which comes into play in the third act -- might be giving too much away. But I will say that it's not a diabolical weapon or, sadly, a character named Johnny Skyfall.

Q: Is Skyfall the shortest James Bond movie?

A: In reference to running time, no. In reference to syllables in the title, yes.

Q: Is this the mopey James Bond that we saw in the previous movie?

A: Well, Bond certainly has a few mopey moments early on, but not in reaction to anything that occurred in prior movies. Also, his mood swing doesn't last very long this time, thankfully.

Q: In what city does Skyfall open?

A: Skyfall opens in Istanbul, where, after a rooftop chase involving motorcycles (!), things go quite amiss for James Bond -- so amiss, in fact, that he's presumed dead.

Q: Is James Bond dead?

A: Well, no. But I would have applauded the gall of the filmmakers if they had produced a 15-minute movie in which James Bond immediately dies.

Q: What is James Bond doing while everyone thinks he is dead?

A: Hanging out on the beach and consuming massive amounts of alcohol.

Q: Wait, is this the movie in which James Bond flies a commercial airliner upside down?

A: No, you're thinking of Denzel Washington in Flight. Though, at this point in Skyfall, those two characters would most likely get along quite well.

Q: Does James Bond take his tequila shots with salt?

A: James Bond takes his tequila shots with "live scorpion," which I would never, ever recommend.

Q: How does Skyfall differ from other James Bond movies?

A: After the initial opening mission, the movie centers on a direct attack against MI6 itself, orchestrated by Raoul Silvia (Javier Bardem). So, most of the action occurs in London. And it's this attack that forces James Bond out of his "retirement."

Q: When Bond returns, is he in tiptop shape?

A: After months of binge-drinking, Bond realizes he's not the youthful agent that he once was and struggles with his physical limitations.

Q: Judging from all evidence visible to the human eye, would any adult male in the Skyfall audience immediately trade physiques with the "out of shape, over the hill" James Bond?

A: Yes. All of them. Immediately.

Q: How old was "over the hill" Daniel Craig when he shot Skyfall?

A: Craig was 43 years old.

Q: How old was Roger Moore when he shot A View to a Kill?

A: Moore turned 57 during the production.

Q: What's the best part of A View to a Kill?

A: When Duran Duran's Simon LeBon says responds, "Bon, Simon LeBon" at the end of the "A View to a Kill" music video.

Q: Does Bond's bad (but deceptively great to the human eye) physical condition cause internal strife at MI6?

A: Obviously M (Judi Dench) has a soft spot for Bond, whereas the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee (Ralph Fiennes) isn't so keen on putting Bond back into action.

Q: How is Javier Bardem as a Bond villain?

A: If you haven't seen any clips of Bardem yet from the trailers, you will be quite surprised when you see Skyfall. Let's just say that this is not Anton Chigurh.

Q: What's the prettiest scene in Skyfall?

A: A fistfight in a Hong Kong skyscraper with the bright lights of the skyline as a backdrop.

Q: Is Skyfall the best James Bond movie?

A: Well, choosing the "best" anything in the absence of a scoring system is purely subjective and best left to you and your god. But, yes, it's certainly up there.

Q: Will I have Adele's "Skyfall" theme stuck in my head for four straight days after I see Skyfall?

A: Yes.

Q: Should Adele sing the theme song to every movie?

A: Yes. Actually, I can already hear, "And he's Lincoln / because he's thinkin' / he's not drinkin' / because he's Lincooooooooln."

Q: Why is Skyfall so good?

A: Without giving too much away, Skyfall takes everything we liked about Casino Royale -- the grittier and more realistic Bond -- and combines it with everything we missed about the older Bond movies, namely: humor, nostalgia, and a complete absence of scenes in which Daniel Craig has his scrotum smashed.

Q: What's the funniest moment in Skyfall?

A: The one with the Komodo dragon.

Q: Is the third act of Skyfall unlike anything you've ever seen in a James Bond movie before?

A: Yes.

Q: What was the most unanticipated feeling that you had during Skyfall?

A: I'm not a diehard James Bond fan, but I have seen every James Bond movie. And I have seen almost every James Bond movie in theaters since 1983's Octopussy. And I've never seen an ending that made me more excited for the next James Bond installment than the finale of Skyfall.

Q: On a scale of one to 10, how weird is it to you that your grandmother took you to see Octopussy?

A: Eight. It's not something that I bring up to her during the holidays.

Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

Skyfall London Premiere