I realise it's slightly late to be reviewing the latest Bond caper, but I saw Skyfall over the festive season, and since I haven't yet seen any reviews that tackle one particular political aspect of the film, I thought I would raise it. Some spoilers follow, so I'll put the remaining text below the fold.

The middle section of the film focuses on an attempt on the life of M (the head of MI6; played by Judi Dench) while she is appearing before a parliamentary committee. M's speech to the committee is a bit incoherent but has a surprisingly neocon-ish tone advocating perpetual war 'in the shadows' against...well, that's not clear, but presumably it is terrorists.

What's more, the film takes a remarkably impatient view of the democratic oversight of intelligence agencies. M seems to think that her political masters are wasting her time in wanting to understand what her spy agency is up to, and committee members are portrayed as meddlers who are too naive to understand the threats their country faces.

I don't recall this tone in earlier Bond films, and it jarred with me. But then, I found the whole thing underwhelming. After two excellent set-pieces in Istanbul and Shanghai, Skyfall begins to wallow in Bond nostalgia, including the groan-inducing and utterly witless sex banter that had mercifully been banished from the earlier Daniel Craig outings.

Great song by Adele, though. Distinctive, yet very much in the Bond/Shirley Bassey oeuvre.