James Bond blends old and new charms as 007 turns 50

Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:58am EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Makers of the new James Bond movie "Skyfall" have striven to combine the old-school values that made 007 such a success over the last 50 years with enough modern mores to keep the silver screen's favorite super spy relevant in a post-Cold War world.

The 23rd official Bond film, which has its royal world premiere in London on Tuesday, brings together Daniel Craig on his third outing on Her Majesty's secret service with British director Sam Mendes making his franchise debut.

The plot also puts veteran actress Judi Dench, 77, at the heart of the action as Bond's superior M, and introduces Spanish Oscar-winner Javier Bardem as an uncharacteristically flamboyant villain complete with dyed blond hair.

Marking 50 years after the first Bond film "Dr. No" premiered on London in 1962, Skyfall pays homage to Bond's gadgets, his taste in fast cars and beautiful women and introduces enough humor to lighten the tone.

But it also seeks to show why the modern Bond is still relevant in a world where technology is as important to international spy networks as human beings.

"He was a product of his time and we live in a different time and I hope this movie reflects the time we live in," Mendes told reporters at a recent publicity briefing.

He said the film served to answer questions about the relevance of Britain's foreign intelligence agency (MI6) and the Bond character now that the Cold War is over.

"We are talking about old values, which is what the movie argues for -- honor, trust, friendship, courage -- and in a way it is deeply old fashioned in its values," Mendes said.   Continued...

Actor Daniel Craig poses with actress Judy Dench during a photocall to promote the new James Bond film "Skyfall", at a hotel in central London October 22, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning