Stunning. Surprising. Brilliant.

The latest James Bond film,"Skyfall," is all that and more. For the last half a century -- the Bond franchise marks its 50th anniversary this year with the release of its 23rd installment -- 007 has been dazzling viewers with thrilling action sequences, dapper suits, and, of course, his iconic Aston Martin DB5. Despite its long existence, "the game," as M puts it, certainly isn't getting old.

"Skyfall" is the first James Bond flick to be released in the last four years, as well as the first installment I've seen. The last film, "Quantum of Solace," came out when I was just 11 years old. Although I'm new to Bond, I walked into the theater expecting to get a taste of the densely-packed action and high class style the character has made famous over the years. Within one minute of watching the film, I could tell I would not be disappointed: The opening scene is a rough-and-tumble chase through the winding lanes of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar.

Don't be fooled into thinking that the excitement is over, though. Within minutes, Bond is up and running again on an around-the-world mission to catch cyberterrorist Silva, a crazy psychopath and computer genius played by a flawless Javier Bardem. His next stop is the dazzling city of Shanghai, literally ablaze with neon lights, cars, and skyscrapers, followed by Macau, where he sails through a luminous dragon's mouth and into a casino to track down his target. A short visit to a deserted island to meet his nemesis, and it's off to Scotland, where he confronts Silva one last time at the Bond family's ancestral estate.


Advertisement

All the while, Bond and his fellow MI6 agents are in no shortage of old fashioned or cutting-edge weaponry. The most exciting fight sequences in the film seamlessly blend pocket-size radios and customized guns with grenades, rifles, and dynamite. Despite the pleasing action, what captivated me most was the iconic style and ease with which 007 went about his business. Bond's ever sleek suits barely suffered a wrinkle as he rode over rooftops and gunned down the bad guys, and his classic beige Aston Martin DB5 sparkled as he brought it out from an old garage in the middle of the film.

There is no doubt that "Skyfall" is one of the best movies of 2012. Even as a teen who has never seen a Bond flick before, everything about the movie was riveting. The action sequences were executed perfectly, the style and aesthetics were spot on, and the plot contained a steady stream of surprises that kept me on the edge of my seat. This is a movie that people will be going back to see twice. I know I want to. And when it's time for 007's next installment to hit the big screen, I'll be the first in line for a ticket, wanting more.

The Life in Perspective board is made up of teens who write for the features sections. Tara Iyer is a sophomore at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose. Reach her at lip@bayareanewsgroup.com.