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James Bond Films

Skyfall (2012)

James Bond Films
Dr. No (1962) | From Russia With Love (1963) | Goldfinger (1964) | Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967) | On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) | Diamonds are Forever (1971)
Live and Let Die (1973) | The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) | The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Moonraker (1979) | For Your Eyes Only (1981) | Octopussy (1983) | A View to a Kill (1985)
The Living Daylights (1987) | Licence to Kill (1989) | GoldenEye (1995) | Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
The World is Not Enough (1999) | Die Another Day (2002) | Casino Royale (2006) | Quantum of Solace, 007 (2008) | Skyfall (2012)

The James Bond Films (official)
See Bond Girls in Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall (2012)
d. Sam Mendes

Opening Credits, Title Sequence

A color action sequence opened the film before the title credits, when Bond was shot and fell from a train on a bridge into a deep river. The title sequence was a surreal depictment of Bond's presumed drowning death and rebirth (with inkblots of blood, including thematic images of shooting targets, a graveyard, skulls and death, Chinese dragons, a building on fire, a combat knife, mirrors, etc.).
There was no traditional gun-barrel sequence at the start - it came instead at the end of the film. A final title card before the closing credits announced: "JAMES BOND WILL RETURN."
Main Title Sequence: (designed by Daniel Kleinman)
Title Song: "Skyfall" (written by Adele and Paul Epworth, sung by Adele)

Film Plot Summary

In the well-orchestrated opening 15-minute sequence, Bond (Daniel Craig) entered a hotel room where he found two dead on the floor (# 1-2 deaths). (Bond relayed to M (Judi Dench), the head of MI6, that a third MI6 operative was still alive but lethally wounded: "Ronson's down. He needs medical evac"). [Ronson (Bill Buckhurst) soon died of his injuries. (# 3 death)] An encrypted hard drive had been stolen from the agent's laptop, with highly-important MI6 data on it. Outside on the streets on Istanbul, Turkey, Bond was picked up by a fellow professional, young operative Eve (Naomie Harris) in a Land Rover in pursuit of the assassin - a French mercenary known as Patrice (Ola Rapace).

The twisting car chase ended when Patrice's Audi crashed, and he took off on a hijacked police motorcycle, with Bond in pursuit on another bike. (Eve followed the two throughout the long chase scene in the Land Rover.) Up staircases and along rooftops, through the crowded Grand Bazaar, and finally sailing onto a moving train, Bond then maneuvered the controls of a large backhoe/tractor on one of the freight cars toward Patrice in front of him, and was shot in the right shoulder through the windshield. When Patrice disconnected the freight carriage Bond was on, Bond clawed onto the last passenger car with the large backhoe, ran along the length of the long scoop, and jumped onto the car in front to keep up with Patrice.

During their hand-to-hand combat atop the train, Eve (with a sniper rifle and scope) was positioned at a vantage point with her gun aimed at the two scrambling fighters. She cautioned M: "I may have a shot. It's not clean." With no time left as the train approached a tunnel on a long bridge, M ordered: "Take the shot. I said take the shot" - although Eve was worried: "I can't, I may hit Bond." M fiercely commanded: "Take the bloody shot" - and with a misjudged firing, Eve hit Bond by accident. [It was unclear where the bullet struck him.] He fell backwards off the train into a river far below. Eve announced: "Agent down." Bond's body sank into the deep water, as the opening theme song by Adele began ("This is the end, Hold your breath and count to ten") under the title credits. It was presumed that Bond was dead.

In her office at MI6 headquarters in London, M wrote Bond's obituary ("believed killed"). The next day, she met for the first time with the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), acting as an intermediary between MI6 and the British government. He was concerned about the computer drive, lost three months earlier, that contained the identities "of almost every NATO agent embedded in terrorist organizations across the globe." He challenged her position and authority when he threatened her organization with political pressure and "retirement planning" - meaning the transition of MI6 to culminate with M's voluntary retirement in two months' time - with dignity. She resisted: "To hell with dignity. I'll leave when the job's done." On her way back to her office with assistant Bill Tanner (Rory Kinnear), she learned from Q-Branch that there were attempts to decrypt the stolen, encrypted hard drive - from behind the secure firewall at MI6's base in London - from M's own computer! Someone had hacked in -- and she received the taunting, horrifying message: THINK ON YOUR SINS. She watched from afar as an explosion blasted the vulnerable offices of MI6. [Later, eight flag-draped coffins indicated that a number of MI6 employees had died.]

Bond was surprisingly alive in a Turkish beachside shack (peaceful waves splashed gently in the background), making love against a wall, seen in silhouette, to an unidentified, nude dark-haired woman (Tonia Sotiropoulou) (# 1 tryst). After sex, he sipped from a Heineken beer bottle as his lover laid next to him. In a nearby bar, he played drinking games with a scorpion perched on his hand. As Bond sat at the bar, Wolf Blitzer on CNN-TV's breaking news announced a "major terrorist attack" in London - a "possible 'cyber-terrorist assault' on the British Secret Service." According to the report, there were six dead and many more missing or injured. In London, M vowed: "I'm going to find whoever did this."

Stubbly-bearded and with bloodshot eyes (and obviously popping pills), the gaunt Bond reappeared within the dark shadows of M's private home, sarcastically telling her where he had been: "Enjoying death." He added: "007 reporting for duty." He was angered she had ordered: "Take the bloody shot." She refused to apologize: "I made the only decision I could, and you know it...You know the rules of the game. You've been playing it long enough. We both have." She reiterated that MI6 was "under attack" and Bond as her sole ally was needed to be hurried into service.

It was required that Bond have a debriefing, pass tests, and be declared fit for active service before returning to duty (she added: "and a shower might be in order"). His apartment had been sold and his belongings were put into storage, so he required a hotel for accommodations ("you're bloody well not sleeping here"). Bond submitted to the physical and psychological tests required, in MI6's new relocated underground base ("part of Churchill's bunker" with tunnels), established as an emergency measure. It would only be a short while before the classified list of NATO agents was decrypted. It was suspected that the computer hacker might be someone in M's past - when she worked in Hong Kong.

Bond was subjected to the tests, including a word-association exercise with a doctor - instructive regarding Bond's psyche:

Agent. Provocateur.
Woman. Provocatrix.
M. Bitch.
Gun. Shot.
Murder. Occupation.
Country. England.
Skyfall. Done.

007 quietly objected and ended the session ("Done") when he heard the cryptic word "Skyfall." Bond was not really technically fit to be passed as an agent (he was physically weak and in pain, and his target shooting trial was miserable). Although he failed the tests, he was passed ("by the skin of your teeth") and reactivated for service duty by M, who appeared "sentimental" about Bond. Mallory suggested that Bond simply retire, since he had been seriously injured and had "lost a step." As Bond accepted his work appointment, Mallory asserted: "Don't f--k it up." [Note: Mallory was a former Lieutenant Colonel in Northern Ireland, in the Hereford Regiment, where he spent three months at the hands of the IRA, and refused to divulge confidential information.]

With a razor, Bond painfully removed bullet shrapnel fragments from his own right shoulder gunshot wound for analysis. The fragments of ammunition were discovered to be "depleted uranium shell, military-grade, hard to get, extremely expensive." The fragments pointed to Patrice - the mercenary assassin in Istanbul. Bond met with M in her office, where he was surprised that one of M's tacky desk ornaments, a white china bulldog with a Union Jack flag painted on its back, survived the explosion. Intelligence had reported that Patrice would next surface in Shanghai in two days time (for another deadly hit), where Bond would be sent. M instructed: "Find out who he works for, and who has the list. Then terminate him, for Ronson." Meanwhile, Eve had been temporarily reassigned from field work in Istanbul, to office work ("Something to do with killing 007") - she was assisting Gareth Mallory in the transition.

Before leaving for Shanghai, Bond reported to the new Quartermaster (or Q) (Ben Whishaw) for documentation, in London's National Gallery. At first without introducing each other, they were sitting on a viewing bench to contemplate J.M.W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire painting, with differing opinions:

Q: "A grand old warship being ignominiously hauled away for scrap. The inevitability of time, don't you think? What do you see?"
Bond: "A bloody big ship."

The tousle-haired, nerdy, 20-something Q (Ben Whishaw) was greeted by Bond's sneering quip about his young age: "You must be joking...Because you still have spots." Q retorted: "Age is no guarantee of efficiency." Bond replied: "And youth is no guarantee of innovation." Then Q summarized his unique abilities in the new age of cyberterrorism:

"I'll hazard I can do more damage on my laptop sitting in my pajamas before my first cup of Earl Grey than you can do in a year in the field."

Q provided Bond with documentation (his ticket and passport for Shanghai), and a gun case (with a modified Walther PPK/S 9mm short pistol, with a micro-dermal sensor in the grip making it only usable by Bond). He also was presented with a tiny, standard-issue radio tracker-transmitter (when activated, it would broadcast his location). Q sensed Bond's disappointment with only two gadgets: "A gun and a radio. Not exactly Christmas, is it?" Q responded: "Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don't really go in for that anymore."

In Shanghai, with colorful neon lights decorating the skyscrapers at nighttime, the camera zoomed into a rooftop pool where Bond swam laps. While seated at a bar, his phone displayed EWA Flight 226 arriving at 9:00 pm. At the airport, Bond posed as a uniformed limo driver - he identified arriving passenger Patrice, and followed his taxi to a skyscraper in the downtown area. Patrice entered the building and shot the security guard. (# 4 death) Bond pursued the bad-guy assailant up into the interior of the skycraper, following his trail and finding another bloodied dead guard. (# 5 death) 007 jumped onto the bottom of an exterior glass elevator carrying the Frenchman to the top of the towering building. With a high-powered rifle with scope, the killer assassinated an art connoisseur viewing a painting in an adjacent apartment (with floor-to-ceiling windows). (# 6 death) Bond and Patrice briefly fought together, in silhouette, against the backdrop of glass and neon lights. After an outer glass wall broke, Bond dangled Patrice from the side by his hand, as he demanded: "Who's got the list? Tell me, who are you working for?" Without answering, Patrice slipped out of his grasp and plummeted to his death. (# 7 death, # 1 Bond kill)

Bond glanced over to the apartment where the murder had occurred, and saw an accomplice to the killing - a mysterious femme fatale woman dressed in black staring back at him. In Patrice's guncase, he found a gambling casino chip - payment for the assassination. The chip was emblazoned with a yellow dragon, and indicated the casino's location on the edge of the chip - MACAU.

Back in London, M's laptop computer revealed the names (and aliases) and photographs of five NATO agents. M phoned Tanner: "Their cover's blown. They're in danger. Get them out now." The hacker promised: "FIVE MORE. EVERY WEEK." He vengefully added, once again: "THINK ON YOUR SINS." In Shanghai at Bond's luxurious hotel, red-dressed Eve arrived (posing as room service) with new information:

"Whoever stole the list has already decrypted it. They posted the first five names on the Web...They're posting five more next week, and the week after. It's some kind of sadistic game."

She watched him as he was about to shave "the old-fashioned way" with a straight-edged razor - he handed her the razor to slowly and personally shave him. He had already been informed by M about the list, so he asked "the tantalizing question" about what she was really doing there. She seductively explained that her "official directive was to help in any way I can." He suspected she was spying for bureaucratic Mallory, but nonetheless started to unbutton the front of her blouse. After shaving his vulnerable neck, she stated: "That's better. You look the part now....Old dog, new tricks." [Later, when she revealed her identity as Moneypenny, it could then be conclusively assumed that they didn't have sex together.]

The scene abruptly switched - Bond was traveling on a lantern-lit flotilla to the waterbound Macau casino, past colorful red and yellow dragons, more floating lanterns and under a fireworks display. After sailing into a giant dragon's mouth, he walked in over a bridge where he saw a large Komodo dragon in a pit. Wired to him and already in the casino was Eve, whom he told: "You look beautiful in that dress." At the casino window, Bond posed as the hitman and redeemed his chip as payment for the assassination. 4 million euros were delivered to him in a case, along with some complimentary gambling chips. The mysterious woman in a backless dress noticed that he had been paid and came up to him and sexily asked for a drink. He introduced himself in the customary way: "Bond, James Bond," and she identified herself as Severine (Bérénice Marlohe). She was followed by three ever-present bodyguards.

At the bar, they engaged in seductive talk about the concealed weapons they carried (she had a Beretta 70 strapped to her thigh). She asked why he had killed Patrice, and he replied: "I want to meet your employer." After a long drag on her cigarette, she warned: "Be careful what you wish for." He told her: "You put on a good show." He identified the tattoo on her wrist from the Macau sex trade. She had been abducted at age 12 or 13 and sold into the business as a sex slave. He sensed she was desperately afraid of her present captor and "pretending not to be." He offered to try and help her escape: "Bring me to him," and promised he was capable and willing to kill her employer, who was holding her against her will. She warned: "When I leave, they're going to kill you. If you survive, I'm on the Chimera. North Harbor. Berth seven. We cast off in an hour." She wished him luck and left.

When Bond was attacked, as predicted, by Severine's three bodyguards, Bond began to beat off the men. The first bodyguard (Liang Yang) was knocked unconscious by Bond. A second burly attacker (Tank Dong) fell into the Komodo dragon pit with Bond, who lost his sensor-equipped Walther pistol to the man. However, Bond was saved when the smart gun wouldn't fire. The large Komodo dragon bit into the man's right leg and dragged the screaming man into a dark cave to consume him. (# 8 death) When Bond climbed out of the pit, the third attacker (Roger Yuan) was knocked unconscious by Eve, who was entrusted with the case of money and told to bet it all on red at the roulette table. Bond joined Severine on her boat, literally, while she was taking a steamy shower ("I like you better without your Beretta"). She replied: "I feel naked without it." They kissed under the flow of water before sex. (# 2 tryst)

In London, the controversy within the Ministry of Defense was escalating, and MI6 was in crisis with footage leaked onto the Internet about the identities of the first five agents. A third undercover NATO agent, MI6 operative Husein working in the Middle East, had now been assassinated. It was considered "the greatest internal security breach in modern British history." M was ordered by the Prime Minister to appear for an inquiry, to defend her organization.

Severine's sail-equipped yacht approached her employer's foggy and deserted island - located off the coast of Macau. The hideout was abandoned, and full of crumbling buildings. "With a single computer," the villain had cleared out the island, claiming there was a chemical leak. The two were led with their hands bound behind their backs by the yacht's crew (Silva's bodyguards) into the main compound. They were separated so that Bond could meet separately with cyberterrorist Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) in a giant decaying room full of servers and a few computer stations.

As he slowly approached after descending in an elevator - a very grand entrance, the vengeful and blond-haired Silva introduced himself with a story about his childhood (when he lived with his grandmother). It was a time when his earlier small island home had become infested with rats. A buried oil drum with a hinged lid was set up, with coconut as bait, to lure the rats into the drum - where they would be trapped after a month. The hungry rats would then cannibalize themselves. The two surviving rats would be caught and released into the trees - where their only diet now consisted of rat ("You have changed their nature"). Silva compared the two of them to the two last surviving rats ("We can either eat each other, hmmm?, or eat everyone else").

Bond heard that in Silva's past, he had previously worked as an MI6 agent with M - in Hong Kong at Station H, from 1986 to 1997. Silva was bitter about M and told Bond: "You're still clinging to your faith in that old woman." To shake Bond's trust in M, Silva declared that she had also betrayed and lied to Bond about passing both his physical and medical evaluations. And he stated that Bond still had "pathological rejection of authority based on unresolved childhood trauma." M had overruled the failed tests and cleared Bond for duty. Silva indicated his dangerous M fixation:

"She sent you after me, knowing you're not ready, knowing you will likely die. Mommy was very bad."

In a mock seduction scene, the bisexual Silva unbuttoned Bond's shirt and looked at the bullet wound in Bond's right shoulder: "Ooh, see what she's done to you." He gently traced his finger over Bond's chest and neck, and stroked his legs.

He was bitter about his experience with MI6 and M: "At least here, there are no old ladies giving orders and no little...gadgets from those fools in Q-Branch." He described himself as an independent cyberterrorist, who could profitably and cleanly control world events (the stock market, spy satellite transmissions, elections) with "just point and click."

The two came outside where Severine was still bound by her hands, with clear evidence that she had been beaten. She was in front of a large, broken down and deteriorating statue. [Over the loudspeakers played the French pre-war song, Boum!, by singer/songwriter Charles Trenet.] Silva forced Bond to demonstrate his marksmanship and target-practice skills, by shooting at a small shot glass (with vintage Macallan whiskey) balanced on Severine's head. When Bond shakily aimed, Silva sighed and taunted:

"Oh, I can't believe it. I can't believe it. Did you really die that day? Is there any, any of the old 007 left?"

Bond shot first - and missed (probably deliberately). Silva then quickly aimed and shot Severine in the head - and killed her. (# 9 death) He quipped: "I win. What do you say to that?" Bond quipped: "It's a waste of good Scotch." He then quickly struck one of Silva's guards in the head and then shot him in the leg, and then shot and killed three other guards (# 10-12 deaths, # 2-4 Bond kills). British Naval helicopters appeared above as he held a gun on Silva. Bond had transmitted his location by radio to MI6 forces.

Silva was returned to MI6's temporary headquarters in London, where he was incarcerated in a glass cell. When he met again with M after many years, Silva recalled how he had suffered when he was imprisoned and tortured for five months with no air - while he protected M's secrets. He felt betrayed and blamed her for his capture, torture, and imprisonment. Silva described how he had attempted to kill himself with a government-issued cyanide capsule in his back left molar - he remembered how he had been scarred: "It burned all my insides, but I didn't die." He then realized why he had survived - "I needed to look in your eyes one last time."

Plans were to transfer Silva to Belmarish Prison, to be remanded in custody until the Crown Prosecution Service deemed him fit to stand trial. M promised to never see him again ("Soon, your past will be as nonexistent as your future"). As she was about to leave, he removed his dental work (prothesis) to show her his deformed and disfigured teeth and grotesque mouth (with a sunken left jaw) - he called her "Mother." He chuckled and laughed to himself. M told Bond what had happened in the past. Silva (born Tiago Rodriguez) was a "brilliant agent," but he started hacking beyond his brief, hacking the Chinese. She said: "The handover was coming up and they were onto him, so I gave him up. I got six agents in return and a peaceful transition." In a deal with the Chinese, she had sacrificed Silva in return for six other agents, but he had felt abandoned and used.

Silva's safe-guarded computer was examined by Q - who reported that the villain had "established failsafe protocols to wipe the memory if there's any attempt to access certain files." When Q thought he had successfully accessed the computer files, he stated it was still a challenge: "'s like a Rubik's Cube that's fighting back." Q unlocked and accessed a subterranean map of London, and then inadvertently set off Silva's programming that was designed to hack into the MI6 computer system and release him from his cell (Q summarized: "He hacked us").

Meanwhile, M was testifying before a harsh board of inquiry regarding the security of England's future, and her "reckless disregard." She was questioned about the massive security breaches and dead operatives, her lingering in a "golden age of espionage," and how her department had become "irrelevant" and "antiquated" - without the need for Double-O agents. She spoke in her defense:

"Well, I suppose I see a different world than you do, and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I'm frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map. They're not nations, they're individuals. And look around you. Who do you fear? Can you see a face, a uniform, a flag? No! Our world is not more transparent now, it's more opaque! It's in the shadows. That's where we must do battle."

Realizing Silva might have freed himself, Bond raced to Silva's cell and found two dead security guards (# 13-14 deaths). He pursued Silva into the underground tunnel system and to the Tube. Q realized that Silva had planned on being caught, so that he could carry through on his vengeful plot against M:

"This isn't an escape. This was years in the planning. He wanted us to capture him. He wanted us to access his computer. It was all planned. Blowing up HQ. Knowing the emergency protocols. Knowing we'd retreat down here."

After narrowly escaping being run over by an underground Tube train, Bond pursued after Silva in the tunneling transportation network during rush hour, where the bad guy had disguised himself as a uniformed policeman on a departing train. Bond realized he was after M, and sent Tanner a note to immediately evacuate her from the inquiry proceedings, but she insisted on continuing her testimony. Silva detonated a blast in the Tube's wall, and sent a derailed "Not in Service" train hurtling toward Bond to thwart him.

Silva was picked up by a police car filled with similarly-uniformed police henchmen, before entering the Ministry building to target M. At the security entrance, the group shot three guards (# 15-17 deaths), as M was still testifying and defending her agency. She claimed she was keeping her nation safe from shadowy individuals, as she asked the panel: "How safe do you feel?" She read some of her husband's beloved poetry, "Ulysses" by Tennyson (as Bond raced on the streets of London to her location):

"We are not now that strength which in old days Moved Earth and Heaven; That which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

Silva charged into the inquiry room with his two henchmen, and gunshots rang out - he shot one man in the chest (# 18 death), and killed a black policeman (# 19 death) across the room. Silva's two henchmen also shot and killed the two police officers (# 20-21 deaths) at the doorway. Mallory reached out to protect M and took a bullet in the left arm. More bullets flew around as Bond entered the building, and M was dragged from harm by Tanner. Another police officer was shot (# 22 death) in front of Bond as he kicked in a door and entered the room from the side. Bond pushed a gun over to Eve who joined in the defense from another angle. Silva also shot another police officer (# 23 death). Although injured, Mallory grabbed the policeman's downed gun and killed one of Silva's henchmen (# 24 death). (Although not shown, it was presumed that Silva's second henchman was killed (# 25 death) - probably by Bond, but maybe by Eve?) Silva was forced to flee when Bond shot at fire extinguishers and engulfed the room in smoke. Eve helped to evacuate the room.

M was hurried by Tanner into a parked black Jaguar XJ L outside, where Bond was concealed. He sped off and told M that he was possibly kidnapping her! She worried about the effects of Silva's vendetta against her: "Too many people are dying because of me." Bond was determined to get ahead of Silva: "It's time to get out in front, change the game" - and proposed to use her as bait for Silva - and she agreed. He radioed to Q and asked for unofficial assistance, to provide a complex electronic trail: "We're about to disappear...I need you to lay a trail of breadcrumbs impossible to follow for anyone except Silva" - the secret directive to go rogue was supported by Mallory.

Bond drove to a garage where he exchanged the Jaguar for his own vehicle - a silver Aston-Martin DB5. He told her that they were going "back in time. Somewhere we'll have the advantage" - to Scotland, his childhood home and the familiar remote location of his family estate at Skyfall. His parents had died when he was young, prompting M to admit: "Orphans always make the best recruits." The rural Skyfall Lodge with creaking floorboards was empty and many of the furnishings were draped. They were met at gunpoint by white-bearded gamekeeper Kincade (Albert Finney), who told Bond that the dusty old place was sold after he was presumed dead. Bond warned: "Some men are coming to kill us. But we're gonna kill them first."

As they readied their defense (to keep their advantage) for a showdown with Silva, they found the gun room empty (possessions had been sold to a collector) except for Bond's father's old double-barreled hunting rifle, and there were a few sticks of dynamite. Kincade declared: "Sometimes the old ways are the best," as he set down a hunting knife. Behind a cob-webbed door was a hiding place known as the "priest's hole" - with a hidden tunnel that led under the moors closeby. Their plan was to improvise with lethal booby-traps (similar to Home Alone (1990)), including home-made bombs (with nails and glass) strategically placed. After shuttering the windows, they waited. M admitted: "I f--ked this up, didn't I?" Bond told her he had read the obituary she had written, exclaiming: "Appalling!", especially when she called him "an exemplar of British fortitude."

Dogs began barking, signaling the approach of Silva's dozen or so mercenaries with hand-held machine-guns. On foot, they surrounded the estate and set an explosive on the front door. Outside in his parked Aston Martin, Bond activated the machine-guns embedded in the headlights and killed three of the assailants (# 26-28 deaths, # 5-7 Bond kills). Inside, Kincade (with a mirror trick, in homage to The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)) blasted two of the men with his sawed-off hunting rifle (# 29-30 deaths) - and announced: "Welcome to Scotland." Another was killed (# 31 death) when he stepped on a hidden mine in the floorboards. M set off home-made nail bombs in the overhead electric light fixtures and killed two more (# 32-33 deaths). Bond killed two other men outside with his shotgun (# 34-35 deaths, # 8-9 Bond kills). The two remaining gunmen stalked after Kincade, one of whom Bond shot dead (# 36 death, # 10 Bond kill), but the second man shot and seriously wounded M (in the left side hip) before Bond could kill him (# 37 death, # 11 Bond kill). Silva's first assault wave was completely decimated.

As night approached with cold blue hues, the sound of helicopters (with rock music playing John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom, sung by the Animals) announced Silva's second round of attack (Bond noted: "Always got to make an entrance") - preceding a Straw Dogs assault of insurmountable odds. With its mounted machine-gun, the chopper strafed the estate with many rounds of firepower. M and Kincade fled to the priest's hole, and used the underground tunnel to retreat to the chapel on the grounds, a distance away. Silva disembarked with eight more heavily-armed mercenaries, and tossed incendiary grenades into the building, upending Bond when they exploded, and setting the estate on fire. Silva ordered the destruction of Bond's vehicle in the yard, and it blew up in a spectacular fireball. Single-handedly, Bond retaliated by detonating a stick of dynamite with two large gas tanks, and then retreated into the tunnel to follow M and Kincade (he turned back and said: "I always hated this place"). The massive fiery blast caused the helicopter to crash into the destroyed house - killing its two pilots (# 38-39 deaths, # 12-13 Bond kills) and an undetermined number of Silva's men (probably six) (# 40-45 deaths, # 14-19 Bond kills).

In the far distance on the moors, Silva spotted Kincade's flashlight beam and on-foot followed the light to the chapel. Bond emerged from the tunnel and ran to the chapel, knocking out (incapacitating or killing?) one of Silva's two remaining men with a jump-kick to the neck (# 46 death, # 20 Bond kill). While traversing the surface of a frozen lake, he was confronted by an exhausted Silva and his sole remaining mercenary (Jens Hultén). Bond machine-gunned the ice and the two fell into the icy water (Bond's second underwater plunge in the film), where Bond strangled him with a crushing leg hold before he drowned and sank into the depths (# 47 death, # 21 Bond kill). Bond grabbed the dead man's flare and ignited it, to see the hole in the ice above him to escape.

During the struggle that delayed Bond, Silva stumbled to the chapel in disrepair (outside, he saw the cemetery gravestone of Bond's parents, Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix Bond). Inside the chapel, he noticed M's seriously bleeding wound ("You're hurt! What have they done to you?") but nonetheless held his gun to her head. Then, he forced his gun into her hand, put his head next to hers, and begged her to kill them both simultaneously with one shot - his kamikaze mission:

"Free both of us with the same bullet. Do it. Do it. Only you can do it. Do it."

Bond rescued her at the crucial moment by hurling his father's combat-hunting knife into the middle of Silva's back - a primitive method to commit murder. As Silva painfully staggered forward before collapsing dead (# 48 death, # 22 Bond kill), Bond declared: "Last rat standing." Afterwards, M sarcastically chastised Bond for showing up late ("007, what took you so long?"). Unfortunately, M groaned, fell into Bond's arms, and then tragically succumbed to her lethal wounds. (# 49 death). As she died, she said: "I suppose it's too late to make a run for it....I did get one thing right."

In the epilogue, Eve spoke to Bond on the rooftop of the new MI6 headquarters, telling him that she had declined returning to active service ("You said it yourself. Field work's not for everyone"), and that she would remain in a desk job. Eve presented Bond with a box, willed to him by M, which contained the flag-draped china bulldog statue from her desktop. Eve added: "Maybe it was her way of telling you to take a desk job."

There were two outstanding reveals in the conclusion. As the two entered the outer MI6 office with a coat rack and desk, Bond asked for her proper introduction: "We've never formally been introduced." She replied: "Well, my name's Eve. Eve Moneypenny" - she was the familiar MI6 secretary. Tanner escorted Bond into the inner office, where he met with Mallory - the new head of MI6 to replace M.

Bond was presented with a TOP SECRET document, as Mallory stated: "Lots to be done. Are you ready to get back to work?" Bond replied: "With pleasure, M. With pleasure."

Film Notables (Awards, Facts, etc.)

The 23rd film in the series after a long four year gap since the last film, and the third film with now 44-year-old blue-eyed Daniel Craig as Bond, on the 50th Anniversary of the Bond Films. It was the first one word Bond movie title in seventeen years, since GoldenEye (1995).

This marked the first (and only) time that an Academy Award-winning director would helm a James Bond film - Sam Mendes (American Beauty (1999)).

This Bond film scored five Oscar nominations (a major record for the 50 year-old franchise) and two Oscar wins: Best Sound Editing, and Best Original Song (Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Adele's "Skyfall" - the first Original Song contender in 10 years to have also been a top-10 hit on Billboard's Hot 100). [Note: It was the first Oscar-nominated Bond tune since For Your Eyes Only (1981).]

The only two Academy Awards wins for previous Bond films were Best Sound Effects Editing for Goldfinger (1964), and Best Special Visual Effects for Thunderball (1965).

Its other three nominations were for Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins), Best Original Score, and Best Sound Mixing. There was no Best Supporting Actor nomination for villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), or a nod to Judi Dench for her long-running role as M. Javier Bardem was the first Spanish actor to play a James Bond villain, and the second Oscar-winner to appear in a Bond film (Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill (1985) was the first).

It was not a continuing story or sequel to the previous film, and uniquely contained information about agent 007's childhood and past. In a sense, it was a daring deconstruction of the James Bond role and all its accompanying iconography, with some throwback-tributes to legendary elements in the franchise. The film's title "Skyfall" was not an original Ian Fleming book title, and the plot was not related to any previously-published Ian Fleming novel or story.

The characters of Miss Moneypenny and Q, who didn't appear in the last two Bond movies, were resurrected. The natty and nerdy Q, now tousle-haired and 20-something, was portrayed by Ben Whishaw. He was the 4th actor to play Q in the official James Bond series. 35 year-old Naomie Harris played Miss Eve Moneypenny - she was the first black actress in the role, and her full name was not disclosed until the film's ending. This film also marked the 7th (and final) appearance of Judi Dench in the role of M (over a period of 17 years), the head of MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service). The new M was revealed in this film - ex-Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes, the fourth actor to portray the role). At age 49, Fiennes was the youngest M since Edward Fox in the non-canonical Never Say Never Again (1983).

The four years between the filming of Quantum of Solace (2008) and Skyfall (2012) was the longest gap between Bond films that featured the same actor in the lead role.

This was the first Bond movie to be filmed in China (in Shanghai). It was also only the second Bond film in which the lead character was shot. (Previously, Sean Connery in Thunderball (1965) was wounded in the right leg during a chase amidst the Junkanoo carnival festival.)

There were only a few product placements and gadgets in this film, notably Sony (SNE) gadgets (Sony Ericsson smartphone, SONY VAIO laptops, XPERIA T wireless device, Bravia HDTV, and Cyber-shot camera), Heineken beer, Macallan whiskey, and a rugged Land Rover (along with some other fancier vehicles).

With a production budget of $200 million, and gross revenue of $304.4 million (domestic) and $1.108 billion (worldwide). It was the first-ever billion-dollar Bond film.

Set-pieces: the pre-credits opening sequence in Istanbul with the chase of an assassin across Istanbul rooftops (via motorcycles) and atop a moving train, the 'shadow' fight (at night-time against a backdrop of moving neon lights) on the top floor of a Shanghai skyscraper, Bond's pursuit of Silva (disguised as a uniformed policeman) in the Tube, and the final confrontation against Silva at the Skyfall castle.

Bond Villains: sadistic and vengeful cyberterrorist Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a former MI6 operative

Bond Girls: Severine (Berenice Marlohe, French actress)

Number of Love-Making Encounters: 2

Film Locales: Istanbul (Turkey), London (England), Shanghai (China) and Macau, Scotland (at Skyfall)

Gadgets: a modified Walther PPK/S 9mm short pistol (with an embedded micro-dermal sensor in the grip), and a tiny, standard-issue radio tracker-transmitter (to broadcast one's location).

Vehicles: a Land Rover, a Range Rover Vogue SE, Jaguar XJ L, Aston Martin DB5 (with ejection seat and machine gun headlights)

Number of Deaths (Bond Kills): 49 (22)

James Bond
(Daniel Craig)

Eve (Moneypenny)
(Naomie Harris)

(Judi Dench)

Bill Tanner
(Rory Kinnear)

Gareth Mallory
(Ralph Fiennes)

(Ben Whishaw)

(Ola Rapace)

(Bérénice Marlohe)

Raoul Silva
(born Tiago Rodriguez)
(Javier Bardem)

(Albert Finney)

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