Second-to-last Bond movie to date and I’m really excited, not only because I’ve heard this is a good one but also because this damn project will soon come to a close. It’s great that there have been 24 movies in this franchise so far, but my God has it been a trek to get through them all.
We open on a “James Bond Theme” sting with the fuzzy outline of our titular hero walking down a dimly lit hallway. He draws his gun because that’s kind of what he does and finds a few dead guys in a hotel room. M is on the line saying hey what the fuck dude? And Bond says the hard drive’s gone; M says fuck helping that guy that’s dying and find that darn hard drive, feller. Bond does as he’s told, diving into the darkness after somebody somewhere. Out on the streets of some chaotic place as a groove plays behind him, he’s picked up by some lady that’s helping him and they drive after the people in a black Audi (hello, new sponsor!).
They drive and drive and you know how this goes: they’re driving. The local police come after them on their motorcycles while they play the smashing game with the bad guys in the Audi (but is anyone who drives an Audi really a bad guy? This message was brought to you by Audi. Audi: The Gentleman’s Sedan). They flip the Audi, which must be due to a manufacturing mistake, while the police are immediately decimated because the police are useless in Bond’s world. Bond hops on a bike and chases after the dude that survived the Audi crash (because they are safe and reliable luxury cars) and his partner chases as well. Bond goes up some stairs on the bike because he’s badass and they’re on top a building and just having a swell time.
This is all very exciting action stuff and we’re back to practical stunts because the reboots know what the hell to do finally, and smash! Right through a window of a crowded bazaar because it’s a damn Bond film and things should be impressive and nuts. More zooming around and his partner is driving against traffic and even flips over a fucking semi because all Bond vehicles are solid pieces of craftsmanship, and then Bond goddamn flips his bike over a railing and lands on top of a train car, which is typical “I’m indestructible anyway” Bond behavior.
Dear Diary: Typical boring day at work. Only murdered 15 people and defied death four times.
Now on a foot chase on a train car, Bond fires randomly out of hoping his luck transfers to bullets while back at MI6 they’re scrambling to keep up (as am I; writing fast action in real-time is difficult). Bond gets into a goddamn earth-digger (I’m not good with construction apparatuses so I don’t know the technical term; dirt mover? Anyway) and swings that shit around, knocking over a bunch of VW Beetles off the train in the way of his partner because Bond’s only interested in murder, sweet sweet murder. The bad guy uncouples the car that Bond is on while Bond crushes VW Beetles because who cares about destroying property and then climbs out of the cab and onto the arm of this monster thing. Bond runs over to the next car of the train that he ripped open the roof of (oh god, that sentence) and just jumps into the train car like what the fuck. Adjusting his coat like a boss, his partner says it’s rather hard to explain to M and I agree.
Now he’s having fisticuffs with the bad guy on top of the train like in that earlier movie Octopussy, only it’s cooler, and the bad guy’s swinging a chain because he’s an octopussy as well. But Bond gets the best of him and tries to rip the hard drive that’s around this dude’s neck that has MI6 all in a tizzy. They have a tunnel fight with kicks and punches and other popular hallmarks of a tunnel fight. His partner parks the car and gets a goddamn machine gun out because the madness has to stop eventually, right? With her scope up, she takes her aim at these two insane people fighting on top of the train and Bond and this guy are trying to kill each other. She fucking shoots Bond like a goddamn idiot and Jesus, lady, are you serious? He flies off the top of the train car and lands into water like a billion feet below. Sorry, meters. Back at the home office, M looks out her window over the Themes while we see Bond just going over the falls like a barrel made of Bond (what?). While he sinks to the bottom, the theme song starts…
And holy shit, I do not even care that Bond is dead because I goddamn love Adele. She does one of the best Bond themes ever. Her voice is incredible and this is a great song, on-par with my favorite, “The Spy Who Loved Me.” The credit sequence is pretty excellent, as well. But I’m caught up in Adele’s performance and how they weave the “James Bond Theme” into the melody. It’s another one of those few Bond themes that I’d listen to independent of the film. Lots of trippy visuals go along with it and I guess this is what Bond is seeing right before he dies. Anyway, this song rules. AND SAM MENDES DIRECTED THIS? Awesome.
Back to LONDON-MI6. M is writing Bond’s obituary since he’s dead and all and I guess the rest of this movie is just going to be about his funeral and handling his personal affairs. She even has a little frowny face ceramic bulldog figure on her desk to show she’s sad! Off to the Ministry to have a drinking-and-jaw session with the head jerk who says hey we lost that computer drive that lists all of our secret agents that are all over the place, so you know, we’ve got a problem. He suggests that she retires and go away and M doesn’t look too thrilled about this voluntary retirement that she’s being forced to take. This dude’s like the buck stops here so she walks out because she’s got a Bond to bury.
Back in the car, her lackey receives a call on his cell phone and turns out Q’s figured that someone’s trying to decrypt the hard drive. They track the signal and it’s somewhere in London; apparently it’s coming from MI6 and they’re trying to trace where it’s coming from. And it appears to be coming from M’s computer. Whoops! Some wacky image flashes on-screen of a picture of M laughing and text that reads “Think of your own sins.” A police blockade stops her and just then the top of the MI6 office explodes.
“Someone must have put aluminum foil in the microwave again. Whoops.”
But enough of that intrigue! Bond’s somewhere doing it with somebody, so we’re going to watch that for a while. What, is this guy made out of adamantium? How is he not dead? Whatever, he’s living the boho life in a shack on a beach and making it with a native, so I guess he’s doing pretty well for himself. Bond goes for a stroll on the beach at night and finds himself in a drinking contest at a bar because I guess this was his backup plan all along. Only this drinking contest involves drinking while a live scorpion rests on his wrist. He wins and everyone cheers and CUT TO Bond looking all mopey the next day at the bar. What can I say? This guy loves to drink. But the TV behind him starts talking about the terror attack on the British Secret Service and he sees MI6 on fire, so I guess it’s time to unfake your death for King and Country, Bond!
Back in Britain, M’s looking over a row of coffins and then is driven home. She goes into her house and pours herself a drink, but guess who’s standing in the shadows? She asks where the hell Bond’s been and he says, “enjoying death,” which is a really kickass line. He gives her guff for letting that lady shoot him but she says hey fella, you know the deal: you’re expendable, dig? She says look up, buttercup: we need you and you need to retake the tests to get back to duty. Also, we sold your house and put your stuff in storage, doy. Also: get out.
So Bond’s driven to the underground Batman lair that the Secret Service has, “new digs” as one guy puts it, and they go into what was once Churchill’s bunker, which is also neat. The new MI6 looks kind of crappy but then again they’re pretty much working in a subway station now. Bond’s put on monitors and exercises while Lord Chumpington gives him exposition about what’s going on. Blah blah the list, possible inside attack, intrigue, etc. Bond’s out of shape and has to get his target practice up but he’s still injured from taking a bullet in the chest. Off to a psychological exam, which M witnesses behind two-way glass, and these word association games show what a weird dick Bond really is. Once the psychologist gets to the word skyfall, Bond pauses and the music gets all Halloween-like. Then he gets up and walks the fudge out of there because nuts to this.
In the next scene, Bond literally takes a knife to his bullet wound and personally pulls the shrapnel out himself, then brings the fragments to Lord Chumpington and says get this analyzed, fool. CUT TO Bond just kind of hanging out in a waiting room and well, well, well, if it isn’t his partner that shot him in the opening action sequence. Bond says it’s a good thing I’m indestructible or else I’d be angry. They banter about how funny it is that he was shot by her.
“I look forward to sexually harassing you.” “Shut up, Bond.”
CUT TO that frowny ceramic bulldog and Bond comments on how shitty it is. Then that dude Mallory walks in and introduces himself to Bond, and Bond splits out of there. But Mallory asks Bond why he didn’t just stay dead, since it’s a horrible life being an agent, and besides that you’re getting old dude. Mallory gives Bond some shit and also gives M shit too because that’s apparently this guy’s purpose at MI6. He leaves by telling Bond not to cock it up and after this jerk leaves Lord Chumpington says they analyzed the fragments and it had uranium or some sort of thing all over it and they narrowed it down to some ghost assassin. M says go and kill this guy, yeah? Report to the new quartermaster and oh boy, we’re going to meet New Q!
Bond hangs out in an art gallery and some nerd sits next to him. Bond’s first extinct is to punch the nerd but he realizes this is the new Q, who looks about 15, and suppresses his impulse to smash nerd. Q introduces himself to 007 and Bond gives him some crap for being young. He gives Bond a ticket to Shanghai and a box that’s a Walther PPK with a fingerprint scanner so only he can fire it. He also gives Bond a distress signal locator. Q mocks the exploding pen from back in the day and says that’s old hat; you get a gun and a radio, and also return the equipment in one piece, yes? And then he gets up and walks out. An understated Q, but any Q is better than no Q at all.
Now to beautiful Shanghai, which is lit up like a Christmas tree at night. In a rooftop pool, Bond takes a swim because, again, his life is kind of a perpetual vacation, and then he sits at a bar looking like he’s in a cologne commercial. He gets a notification on his phone that the jerk he’s there to ice is arriving at some terminal so Bond dresses up like a chauffeur to tail him. Where did he get that chauffeur hat? Where does anybody get those hats?
Did he bring it with him? Did he buy it there? I NEED ANSWERS!
Anyway, Bond tails this guy and Shanghai looks very impressive. Bond takes out his gun to follow this dude but sees this guy immediately kill somebody in the lobby of a building. So he just walks right in to investigate; it’s not like the security there is going to be a problem anymore. He watches the assassin get into an elevator and then in one swift-as-hell move jumps up to the open bottom of the elevator and hangs off a bar underneath it as it takes off into the sky. But old Bond isn’t as spry as he used to be and struggles to keep hold. The elevator stops and Bond climbs up between terrifying-looking scaffolding to get back into the building.
Once on the same floor as the assassin, the whole level just seems to be empty offices with glass partitions. There he sees the assassin set up a glass cutter. Thanks to a bunch of crazy lights outside reflecting all over the place, he can’t see Bond and continues getting his gun together to shoot some people across the way. Bond sneaks up on him like his toes are made of velvet (I don’t know) and the assassin is about to take his shot and…Bond just kind of lets him do it. He blows a guy’s head off across the way and he and Bond start having an absolutely insane fight next to an open window. Bond gets him over the side of the building and asks who he’s working for but whoops! The dude slips and down he goes. Bond seems pissed at this and takes a moment to stare at the pretty girl in the apartment across the way before getting out of sight. He investigates the assassin’s gear and finds some crazy-looking poker chip.
But enough of that! Back to London and M is getting some terrible hacker shit on her computer. It’s a link to a YouTube video that exposes five agents in the field and their cover names. Whoops! MEANWHILE, back in China, Bond is getting ready for a shave while shirtless when he gets a knock on the door. It’s room service but no, it’s that agent that shot him in the beginning! Bond’s wondering what she’s doing there and she says relaying a message, duh. She tells him that the list is starting to get released online and admires that Bond uses a straight razor for shaving. Bond offers her the razor to shave him and incredibly, she does.
Bond says I’m pretty sure you’re doing some shady shit, like spying for Mallory, and she says whatever, we’re all bad people, remember? CUT TO Fireworks go off in the sky over Shanghai and Bond is on a boat going to some amazing looking club. He also looks fairly amazing in his tux and this guy’s life is just a million dollars a minute. This film is really well-shot but it’s no surprise since Sam Mendes is the director. So this is some wild casino and he and Agent Moneypenny (which kind of throws the concept of Moneypenny as just a desk jockey out of the window, but that’s what reboots are for: to shake it up) are working this together. I had to look up the agent’s name just now to find out it’s Moneypenny, and I probably spoiled a fun reveal for myself in this movie but I’m writing this by the seat of my fingers (what does that even mean?).
Bond wanders around staking out the place and then cashes in that special poker chip. The woman behind the cash counter says one moment and Bond espies the woman from the night before across the way. Bond is delivered a suitcase, which is filled with cash, and also some poker chips to play with because why not? Bond walks across the floor of the casino while that lady follows him and says buy me a drink, sailor? She says she was waiting to see who was going to show up and cash that chip in, and he gives her the Bond, James Bond line. This is Severine, who I guess is our Bond Vixen in this caper. They go get a drink and Bond drops off his receiver to Moneypenny because he doesn’t want her to hear him flirt with Severine.
Bond says do you have a Beretta strapped to your thigh or are you just happy to see me? Anyway, I want to meet your employer, lady. She smokes and smiles and tells Bond be careful what you wish for, guy; I gotta split. But Bond stops her from leaving and lets her know that he knows she’s a prisoner judging by her bodyguards and her pretending that she’s not afraid. She says I live in constant fear but Bond’s like nah, it’s cool, I can help you. Bring me to your boss and I’ll kill him for you, deal? She says that’s nice, maybe we can get this going on and also these bodyguards are going to kill you after I leave; but if you don’t die, here’s my address so meet me there in an hour. She splits, Bond raises his glass to the bodyguards, and he starts walking out of this place.
But first he poses for a Dior print campaign.
He’s intercepted just before leaving by some goons so he uses the metal suitcase full of money to beat the crap out of these guys. Bond falls into a Komodo dragon pit with the biggest of the dudes and Bond’s genuinely astonished to see Komodo dragons while this guy beats him up. He takes Bond’s gun to shoot him but that’s not going to work due to the thumbprint tech that locks it. One of the dragons pulls the bad guy into his lair and Bond steps on the back of another one to get back up. A guy up top’s going to shoot him but nah, Moneypenny’s got Bond’s back.
At Severtine’s houseboat, a bodyguard checks in on her and she’s disappointed it wasn’t Bond, since she has a bottle of champagne and two glasses ready for him. She takes a shower and of course Bond, being a creep, just walks there with her naked. They get down to sex because that’s kind of what James Bond does, aside from killing, and then CUT TO London. M’s watching TV and they’re showing footage of various undercover agents getting assassinated. Yikes! M and M’s Boss jib-jab about MI6 and whether or not they’re antiquated. But enough of that because CUT TO Severine’s awesome schooner on the waters. Bond emerges and activates his homing device while Severine stands at the hilt and they arrive at some broke-down city in the middle of nowhere.
They walk through a deserted city, now with their hands tied behind their backs, and Severine explains his this mysterious “he” created a panic so the island-city would be abandoned. Bond’s taken to a room where he’s tied to a chair with a bunch of computers all over the place. An elevator descends and we get to see the Big Bad, who starts a monologue as he walks across this giant room towards Bond. Hey! It’s Javier Bardem, who plays terrifying monsters well. Turns out this dude used to be an agent back in the day and this guy just lays into how pathetic Bond and M is. He lets Bond know that M lied to him about being cleared for duty: he failed his medical, physical, psychological, and marksmanship tests. Ouch. Somehow Javier is even more terrifying with blonde hair and blonde eyebrows.
At this point, while caressing Bond’s chest, Javier (his name is Raoul Silva; I looked it up) gets some homosexual flirting out of the way before untying Bond. Silva also mocks England because why not? and pitches Bond the idea that he should work with/for him as a rogue agent. Then they go for a stroll around the abandoned island while Silva details his insanity to Bond. They have Severine tied up by a statue and she’s been beaten, which is unpleasant. Silva gives Bond a shooter of his favorite scotch while Silva goes up to Severtine and gives her a kiss, which is also unpleasant. He places the shooter of scotch on the top of her head and says guess what, Bond? You’ll be shooting that off her head with an antique pistol.
This…doesn’t look safe.
So at gunpoint and with jaunty music playing over the speakers, Bond takes aim. Aaaaaand….he shoots and misses. So Silva takes his shot and he shoots Severine dead. Bond then goes into action mode and literally kills every single guard within 30 seconds. He has Silva at gunpoint and a bunch of helicopters swarm from above. So, you know, whoops. Sorry, Silva. Back at MI6, M walks up to check out the latest nut in their collection of candy bars. Silva’s a creep like usual and M stonewalls him. He gives some wah-wah story about being tortured for five months but come on, Bond was tortured for 11 months just a few movies ago and he still kept his cool. M then throws some shade at how his past will be wiped clean and he shows the incredibly disgusting disintegrated mouth he has thanks to the cyanide capsule he bit down on while in custody years ago and that was one of the more disgusting things I’ve ever seen in a Bond film. Then he laughs like a maniac because Javier Bardem might actually be insane in real-life.
M takes a moment with Bond to give him some backstory about that lunatic they just left. Apparently she had given Silva up for six agents to the Chinese years ago and also find out what’s on this nutbar’s computer, eh? Now with Q, Bond listens to this nerd prattle on about how secure Silva’s computer security is, but fortunately since Q invented these security measures it’s no big deal. They come across some crazy-looking stuff while M sits in on some big meeting about MI6 and its importance to keep England safe. While M catches flak for the whole “national security was breached under your watch” kerfuffle. Q and Bond try to figure out the encryption involved with this maniac’s system.
Turns out they’re looking at a map of subterranean London. The doors start to open in Q’s lab and Silva has hacked the system from the inside while they were rooting around in his files. Also, Silva’s gone. Aw, nuts! Into the sewers Bond goes to go after Silva, who’s just ahead of him. Q tracks Bond’s location to give him directions and now it’s a game of Bond and mouse. Q says yeah so this was all planned so he could hack our system, my bad. He goes for a service elevator to escape in but nope, the door’s jammed and also there’s now a train barreling down on him. Bond smashes against the door until finally shooting the door open and he just barely escapes being crushed.
“Dum dee dum, about to die, fiddle-dee-dee…”
Meanwhile, Silva’s in the subway and two police officers hand off a package to him. Bond slips into the crowd in the subway and he looks like a god among normies. Q spots Silva, who’s now dressed like a police officer and Bond has to run to catch the train, which has already departed, so Bond hops onto the back of the train. The engineer lets him in and now Bond’s searching the crowded cars for Silva. Turns out Silva’s after M and she’s notified that she has to get out of there but she says nope: I gotta keep taking this shit from these people.
Bond spots Silva, who sees him, and they dash through the tube while Bond shoves people out of his way. Bond slides after Silva in the partition of the escalator but loses him in the crowd of police officers. Silva grins like a jerk knowing that he got away but Bond sees a side door open in the station so he figures, must be Silva’s sloppy work. The Minister still craps on M but Mallory interrupts his berating so M can get a chance to say something. Meanwhile Bond spots Silva and starts shooting at him while he climbs up a ladder. Silva stops and says here’s a fun thing I did: I set explosives up all over the place and he blows a hole in the ceiling, which makes an entire subway train crash through. This distracts Bond for a moment while Silva gets the heck out of there. A police car pulls up and picks up Silva.
At least the train’s on time.
Meanwhile, M defends herself to these empty suits. Silva shoots his way into the building that M is in while she tries to straighten out these screwheads. Bond races to try to save M while she gives a nice poetry reading (no, seriously). Silva comes in and starts executing everyone, but Mallory actually saves her from being shot while Bond tries to get there with his robot legs. Bond gets there and starts firing. He kicks a gun over to Moneypenny and they all have a big old shootout. Bond shoots the fire extinguishers for cover as he fires on Silva but Silva just kind of walks out of there like fuck this noise. Back outside, Silva hops into a police car and off he goes while just steps behind Bond looks around like whaaaaa? M gets loaded into a car and is rushed off to safety.
Hey! Bond’s driving her and he says we’re flipping the script on Silva, and it’s just you and me, M. He calls Q and says leave some hints for that idiot Silva so we can totes obliterate him, yes? Bond goes to his garage and holy smokes, it’s a 1963 Aston Martin! This thing is pure sex and awesomeness. The original “James Bond Theme” plays as they zoom off and that’s pretty kickass, as well. Bond teases about using the eject seat of M doesn’t stop complaining and it’s a pretty cute moment, really. Mallory shows up at Q”s lab and figures out what they’re doing immediately and he says keep doing what you’re doing then, eh?
CUT TO the Scottish highlands, a place I desperately want to visit, and it looks like a piece of heaven on earth. Bond takes a moment to enjoy the view and M asks if this is where he grew up. Bond says yeah and my parents died when I was a kid, too, so let’s have a quiet moment to ourselves, yeah? They drive to his ancestral mansion to cool their heels and it looks like nobody’s been there for a long, long time.
“Just my family’s ancestral home in Scotland. What, you don’t have one of these?”
Everything’s covered up like furniture ghosts live there and Bond looks around like he’s going to punch everything. And oh shoot, a dude with a gun! But it’s some insane old man that says it’s nice to see you, James. It’s a gamekeeper named Kincaid who lets Bond know that they sold the place when they thought he were dead. Bond lets him know that someone’s coming to kill them so they need guns. But the gun room was also sold out. Son of a bitch! Kincaid also puts a bunch of knives on the table saying the best way is the old ways; also, I’m going to stick around and help you murder this dude because I’m a crazy old man.
Bond gets a couple of test shots done while M stands by the window looking out like the grim specter of death is going to descend upon her at any moment. Kincaid kicks his game at M and shows her some secret tunnels to escape through. He also gives M some sad Bond Backstory about how he hid in the tunnels for days after his parents died. Then Bond, M, and Kincaid get the place ready for a slaughter and make shrapnel-filled explosives and bury more explosives under the floorboards and board up the windows. Bond gets the family’s box of dynamite from out the garage and Kincaid saws off a shotgun. This just goes to show that the Scottish are pretty nuts. With everything set for the onslaught, Bond just hangs out with a shotgun while letting M know she didn’t screw everything up, which is nice of him to say.
“Honestly? This is how I pass most of my time: staring out the window with a shotgun in one hand. You know, I think I do need some help, M.”
The dogs start barking and here comes Silva and his little army of assholes trying to take down M and Bond. Bond hid in his car and started firing at them with his machine guns that come out the front; Kincaid blows a bunch of dudes away and quips, “Welcome to Scotland,” which is a pretty sharp line coming from a grizzled old man. M sets off a ton of explosives and wipes out a whole room while Bond starts shotgunning everyone in sight. Going back into the house, Bond picks up an assault rifle while Kincaid does his best to keep killing despite being cornered. Just as he’s going to be shot, Bond blows more dudes away because he’s a damn hero.
M is cornered in a room and starts firing and Bond comes in to mow that guy down. Now that they’ve killed all those guys, Bond says that Silva’s not here. But then he hears a chopper flying towards the house with a megaphone that’s playing an ironic rock song. Bond says get to the kitchen while I try to shoot him out of the air. Instead, the house is rocked by gunfire from some giant machine gun. This is a pretty cowardly move by Silva, but then again he’s an insane, homicidal terrorist, so I guess anything goes. Bond tells Kincaid and M to get to that secret escape tunnel while he stays to kill everybody that’s left.
And indeed, here’s Silva with another small crappy army to fight Bond. Silva tosses grenades into the house because he sucks and Bond’s just dodging explosives at this point. Sometimes the score kind of sounds like the soundtrack to The Dark Knight. In the tunnels, a wounded M struggles to keep moving. Bond gets the bright idea to use propane tanks to kill everybody so off he goes to do just that. M appears to have escaped and she and Kincaid while that jerk Silva blows up Bond’s car. This righteously pisses him off so he starts working in overtime to get these propane tanks into killing mode. Into the secret tunnel he goes and he sets off dynamite on the propane tanks to make a large kaboom.
Pictured: said kaboom.
Indeed, that does the job as it kills Silva’s helicopter pilots and they crash into the house and an even bigger explosion goes off and everything is completely decimated. Unfortunately, a fireball rips through the tunnel that Bond is in but, being a superhuman, he dodges it. Kincaid and M see the explosion and somehow, Silva’s still alive. But durnit, he spots Kincaid and M in the distance and goes after them. Bond, coughing but alive in the tunnel, gets up and keeps moving while Silva stumbles after M.
Finally, Bond gets the heck out of that tunnel and runs after what he somehow preternaturally knows is Silva going after M. He jumps and kicks one of Silva’s goons in the face and then tests the ice on a lake to see if it’s solid enough to run after. It’s not, but he does it anyway. And then that dick Silva starts shooting at him while he’s still on the ice. Silva monologues for a minute and it looks like Bond’s goose is cooked since he has one of Silva’s goons on him with a gun and Silva spots lights in a chapel in the distance. But Bond just grabs the dude’s gun and the guy, like an idiot, shoots a hole the ice out beneath them. They fight underwater and Bond strangles this dude with his leg. Not finding the hole he came in through, Bond swims down and takes this guy’s flare gun so he can illuminate the ice. He’s out of control.
At the chapel, Silva takes a moment to kind of laugh at Bond’s parents’ grave because he’s the worst and then gets inside, where he finds M. Kincaid’s caught unawares without a gun and now Silva goes into full-on evil mode as he gets up close to really enjoy his revenge murder. I’ve said it before, but Bardem really does play an insane monster well. He hands a gun to M to shoot both him and her together, but before that happens Bond throws a goddamn knife into his back. Silva does not appreciate this one bit but he’s the villain so fuck that guy. Bond watches as Silva keels over and M says something pithy before collapsing from her injury. Bond holds M in his arms as she dies and Bond starts crying. It’s a hell of an emotional scene and I don’t have anything funny to say about it.
Back in London, Bond stands on top of MI6 and Moneypenny comes up to him. Bond says I thought you were going back to active service, but she says nah, I’m gonna stick around in the office so we can have flirty banter instead. Moneypenny gives Bond a box that was willed to him by M, and it’s the frowny ceramic bulldog that was on her desk. Aww. They get back to the office where that hat rack is and she finally drops her name as Moneypenny (I kind of spoiled that earlier, but I needed to refer to her by a name so that’s that). Bond goes in to meet New M, and it’s Mallory. He hands over his 007 Top Secret dossier and they say it’s time to get back to work. The Bond theme strikes up and it’s another badass Bond movie in the can. They also tip the hat that this was released during the 50th anniversary of Bond, and with one more Bond flick to recap, I feel like I’ve been writing these for 50 years.
- Yeah, I kind of figured they were purposely not telling use the agent’s name so they could reveal her to be Moneypenny, but I had to find out her name because I’m already not good at catching peoples’ names in these movies and it gets tiresome to keep referring to someone as “the agent from the beginning” or “the agent that shot him.” It was a clever idea to hide the reveal, but some of us (specifically, and possibly only, me) are recapping these movies live for some reason so…I don’t have a point.
- This movie won Best Song at the Academy Awards that year, and boy did it deserve it. Maybe they can just award the Best Song Oscar to it every year if no songs nominated that year are better. They can alternate between this one and “The Spy Who Loved Me.”
- As the Bond films enter contemporary times, the amount of violence, bloodshed, and general cruelty have really ramped up to an insane level. Poor Severine. An awful life of abuse snuffed out by being shot.
- Sam Mendes! What a fantastic director; that’s like getting Ridley Scott to make a Star Trek movie.
This was a fantastic James Bond movie. After the OK but kind-of lacking Quantum of Solace, this movie serves as a conclusion to a trilogy started with the also-stellar Casino Royale. This is possibly the edgiest Bond to date and Daniel Craig plays Bond like a cold-blooded sociopath (I know I’ve mentioned that in every recap of the Craig-era Bonds, but it is kind of his signature Bond “style” at this point).
The action is fantastic, there are moments of pathos usually not touched on in Bond films, and Javier Bardem as Silva introduced one of the more nightmare-inducing villains in the franchise’s history. We’re back to practical stunts and it really helps providing the film with a sense of realism. This was a very dark Bond film, as well, concluding with the death of Judi Dench’s M. But in these modern times, a dark Bond film is only appropriate; the goofy tone of Roger Moore these days would sink the series instead of making it relevant like the new Bond movies do. I kind of miss the lighter moments of Bond, but I always have the older ones to look back on for their campiness.
So that’s that: only one more Bond film to go and I’m done with this project. Next up is the 25th Bond film in the franchise, Spectre. Join us, won’t you?
Sleek, violent, fast-paced, and never boring, there’s a reason why Skyfall is the highest-grossing Bond film of all time. It’s a wild ride that doesn’t let up. Everything in the film is first-class, from the cinematography to the editing to the music to the story. A really fun flick that ranks up there as one of the best Bond films out of the gigantic library that the franchise has already produced, Skyfall is one of the best. Four out of four Bonds.