Skyfall: Stirred not shaken

Published: November 29, 2012

Not only has he successfully brought forth a character perilously close to extinction back from the brink but transformed a persona over a quarter of a decade old and made him relevant again. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

There is a debate that rages unknown to most who consider themselves the most ardent of Bond fans. Shaken not stirred is a catch phrase that has latched itself firmly into the legacy of 007’s exploits, whoever may try to fill out the magic tuxedo.

It is said that when the drink is shaken the ice cubes chip, hence leading to a more diluted result whereas when stirred with a special spoon the essence of the drink remains intact.

He may have taken his vodka martini shaken, but Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Britain’s greatest export since Sherlock Holmes has certainly stirred the plot. There are many people/fans that have chosen to voice their disapproval of Sam Mendes’s take of Bond over social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook. However, few of them have an esteemed critics review to back them up, seeing as how every major publication and renowned cynic, I’m sorry I meant to say critic, have been simply falling over themselves trying to find words never heard before in exclaiming their delight.

Let’s get to the crux of it.

Gone are the theatrical gadgets of Bonds gone by. 007 is now guided by a cold, cruel, sometimes even brash desire to exercise his license to kill and he doesn’t need a flamethrower that sprouts out of his belt buckle to do it.

Bond girls worthy of featuring on the “Girls Gone Wild” catalogue have been replaced with gorgeous yet sophisticated female leads that have more of a purpose than simply bedding the world’s greatest secret agent. FYI- worry not he still sleeps with them, but you will have to pick up a copy of the actual DVD to catch those scenes. Less an international man of mystery more human and susceptible to pain and hurt

Javier Bardem’s performance is quite possibly parallel if not equal to what Heath Ledger left behind as his legacy in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. The greatest Bond villain to date.  There can be no argument or debate, even an existential one on this fact. A riveting performance that not only saw Bond challenged like never before, but had at one point the audience visibly squirming in their seats.

Sam Mendes. Take a bow. Not only has he successfully brought forth a character perilously close to extinction back from the brink but transformed a persona over a quarter of a decade old and made him relevant again. Daniel Craig may you star in more than the next two bond flicks that you’ve signed on for.

And for all you detractors out there, you have one of two choices; embrace reality or, and this is a valid and legit secondary option I present to you, stay off watching Bond for the next five years and console yourself with a Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred…

Read more by Shehan here, or follow him on Twitter @ShehanRayer

Shehan Rayer

Shehan Rayer

Former writing enthusiast turned journalist turned Radio Jockey; still a writing enthusiast and a Radio Jockey. He tweets @ShehanRayer (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Noman Ansari

    It is remarkable how the movie has been loved by the majority of film-goers worldwide, except for those in the Middle East/South East Asia. :)

    I guess we just love our mindless Bond flicks with the gratuitous sex appeal. I don’t know how else to explain the parity.

    Just glanced at the IMBD fan ratings.

    Nearly 140,000 fans rated the film and the average is a quite excellent 8.1 score.

    So why do the desis hate Skyfall? Recommend

  • saqib

    Desi’s went to see Action in Bond movie soon they realized its trailer contains all and they have wasted their money, Believe me I spotted couple of guys snoring in cinema here in Dubai. Recommend

  • AK

    Thanks for such an early review ET. Very helpful indeed. Recommend

  • Shazya

    Calls for a Toast for the 3rd time:) Indeed!Recommend

  • Zainab

    Very Insightul:)Recommend

  • Sahar Husain

    Excellent review – well articulated, succinct and concise. I have yet to watch the movie, so I will reserve my comments on that for now. :)Recommend

  • Parvez

    An excellent review. Saw the movie a couple of days ago and have to agree with what you say. I remember something the legend ‘Madonna’ once said which went something like ” In the entertainment business one has to reinvent oneself or die ‘.Recommend

  • Brand Manager of Uth Oye

    names of undercover agents stolen by rogue organization? Plot of Mission Impossible

    bad guy allows himself to be captured and blows your base? Scene in Avengers

    person you left your quiet vacation life dies because she didn’t have the common sense to wear a bullet proof vest in a war-zone? No more respect for M.Recommend

  • Zara Shakrani

    I think Q had too much screen time, but I realise that’s an unpopular opinion. Besides, I guess I just found the “tired old warship” comments irritating and thought Craig was obvious fangirl bait. When I came back from the cinema and looked at Skyfall stuff on the internet, I wasn’t expecting to see so many people raving just about the title song… but that’s the web for you, I guess.

    The writer seems pretty hurt though, I guess hes been dissed massively in his friends circle and desperately wanted to get back to them on a ‘safe’ medium.Recommend

  • Fatima Tariq

    Stopped watching Bond movies a long time ago…But after reading this, I have to watch skyfall!!Recommend

  • Nabil

    “However, few of them have an esteemed critics review to back them up”.

    because our own opinions aren’t good enough without endorsement from “esteemed critics”? This isn’t a scientific debate where you need facts to back you up, you’re free to form your own opinion. Writers should pay more attention to how their articles address those who may hold a different opinion.Recommend