The 23rd installment of James Bond - and the third for the piercingly blue-eyed Daniel Craig - is just around the corner, and as one of the most anticipated movies of the year, it's got a lot to live up to. With early reviews touting it as the best Bond EVER, by all accounts it's going to deliver.
Improving on Quantum of Solace wouldn't be much of a challenge - I think we'll all agree it was a bit erm.. pants; elevating Skyfall above all others in the franchise though is another feat altogether. So far most lucky critics have been unanimous in their view that Bond is back to his good ol' self, no longer languishing in the doldrums of a broken heart. In a rare interview with Vanity Fair, Craig himself admitted that it was time for Bond to perk up a bit; this time round they're not taking themselves too seriously (himself and Skyfall director Sam Mendes).
Commenting on the action-packed opening sequence, one reviewer said: "It's big, showy, clinically executed and has human interest at its thumping heart" while The Guardian said that Daniel Craig is a "splendidly authoritative Bond".
Other positive feedback came from The Telegraph who compared Mendes' efforts to that of Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight franchise: "Mendes is unafraid to let the quieter dramatic moments breathe ... and ace cinematographer Roger Deakins makes the wildly ambitious action sequences the most beautiful in Bond's 50-year career."
What's more, British GQ magazine tweeted: "Just seen #skyfall. Daniel Craig is magnificent - you will not be disappointed."