“I know I can’t do this job forever, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to leave the department in worse shape than I found it.”
MI6 agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) is on a mission to hunt down a mercenary named Patrice (Ola Rapace) and recover what he has stolen – a computer hard drive that contains details concerning undercover agents placed in terrorist organisations by NATO states. However, he is unsuccesfful when M (Judi Dench) orders Eve Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) to take a shot at the target, even though Bond is wrapped tightly to him. Eve takes her shot, and Bond goes down, falling from the moving train into the rapids below. Patrice escapes with the drive, and M gets a lot of flak from Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the Chairman for the Intelligence and Security Committee. They want her resignation, and are forcing it upon her, though all M wants to do is fix the wreck that has been caused in the wake of Bond’s death and Patrice’s escape.
On the way back to MI6 headquarters, M’s laptop is hacked and the signal is traced back to her office. In a rush to get back and apprehend someone, M is stopped in time to see MI6 headquarters explode. Bond catches a news broadcast on television where he has been recuperating and returns to London immediately, and M is furious that he did not make contact when he recovered. He is still angry with her for insisting Eve take a dodgy shot and wounding him. The blame can go on endlessly. Bond is an absolute wreck, both his body and mind are deteriorated and he is drinking excessively. M agrees to put him back on active duty provided that he passes all the MI6 physical and psychological evaluations again.
Bond does dismally at his examinations, though M lies and declares him fit for duty. Some shrapnel from Bond’s wound assists in identifying Patrice, and Bond is sent off to Shanghai to recover the hard drive with the undercover agents’ names on it and execute Patrice as well as identify his employer. In Shanghai, Patrice executes a man and scuffles with Bond, leading to his death. Bond knows nothing of Patrice’s employer, but has another clue to follow up on. Bond heads to Macau, where he meets with Séverine (Bérénice Marloh), who was present at the assassination that Patrice was sent to carry out. Bond tries to work it out of her who Patrice’s employer is, and eventually he succeeds. Bond is taken to Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), originally birthed Tiago Rodriguez. He was once M’s cream of the crop, but nowadays dedicates his time to cyberterrorism and is very good at it. Bond, however, outsmarts Silva’s capture with the radio transmitter that the new Q (Ben Whishaw) provided him with, and Silva returns to Britain a prisoner.
Trouble starts soon after captivity. Silva’s laptop infiltrated MI6 systems when Q plugged it into the network, and Silva escapes. With an incredibly clever disguise, he makes his way to M, who is in the midst of a public enquiry, intent on killing her for his perceived betrayal of her. Bond saves M, inadvertently kidnapping her, making sure that Q lays a path that only Silva can follow. The mission is definitely off the books, and M places her life and trust into Bond’s hands. Bond takes M to his childhood home, Skyfall, where they enlist the help of the gamekeeper, Kincade (Albert Finney).
Will Bond be able to protect M? Will Q successfully map a way to Bond that Silva will be able to follow and suspect nothing? Will Bond be able to deal with his past demons and return to his roots to protect a woman he holds as dear to him as that of a mother?
An 8/10 for Skyfall. This was another solid entry to the Bond collection, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. While this movie was distinctly different from every other Bond movie, it just worked. I thought Daniel Craig did a bloody excellent job of coming back as Bond, washed out, bitter, angry and drinking far more than he needs to. Javier Bardem provided a truly genius Bond villain, and was simply amazing to watch. He had it all, excellent. Ralph Fiennes was a very welcome edition, I truly do enjoy him, and he was worthy of the way things went down. The latest Q is also something fascinating – Ben Whishaw takes it up a notch and modernizes the Quartermaster’s position entirely. A lot of this film focuses on M, and Judi Dench again delivers a fantastic performance, and the relationship between her and Bond has changed very little – still very much like mother and son. A lot of the story focuses on her, and it is a welcome addition. Skyfall gives us another look at Bond prior to rising up to his 00 status, and is executed well. The action at Skyfall itself is phenomenal, and it didn’t let up, the story never ceased, and the characters were ever present, no matter the circumstances. The humour that was featured was not over the top, but very witty and sharp as it came along. The intro for Skyfall is definitely my favourite of them all, and was just absolutely stunning to watch. This was a good way to celebrate fifty years of Bond, I must admit. However, I am pretty depressed that my Bond run has finally concluded. I was seriously getting used to the idea that I would have a Bond every week for the rest of my life. Oh well, now we wait for the next installment.