So are the Daniel Craig films meant to be a prequel to Dr No or aren't they? for everyone that claims it is answer me this very simple question: Where does he get that Aston Martin DB 5 from? Because unless Skyfall is set after the events of Goldfinger there is absolutely no way he could have it. It is very clearly the same car as it has the exact same licence plate and the exact same gadgets. Unless we officially call this a reboot Skyfall would have to come after Goldfinger despite the complete change in casting.
I think it depends on what you want to accept, and what you don't. Bond has obviously been in the game awhile, since the movie's theme is about him being a relic of the age of espionage. They reference Goldeneye with the exploding pen remark and Goldfinger with the DB 5. On the other hand, the way Moneypenny's name is dropped in the end, Bond makes no mention of having ever heard the name before, implying she's the first (although M and Q are clearly well-worn code names). I was running on the assumption that they were finally putting an end to the floating timeline until the Moneypenny scene, when I had to question everything. Up until then, though, I saw very little evidence that this is a reboot.
It's in the same continuity as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, which is a reboot to the original Bond franchise. In this continuity, Bond wasn't even a 00 agent before the 21st century (see the opening to Casino Royale), so Dr No and Goldfinger can't have happened.
Fair enough, but I still fail to see where he got this car from. Either Mi6 provided it to him which is unrealistic because the DB 5 is ridiculously old, very rare, and stupidly out-of-place for a covert agent or Bond owns it in which case I fail to see why Mi6 would have spent thousands of pounds modding his private vehicle.
I think that since the car belongs to the MI6 and they obviously cannot sell it on the market it has been stored in a garage secretly owned by the MI6 when it was no more useful. Bond for some reason knew where it was thought that it would be useful for its gambit.
I was under the impression that the car was the one that Bond won in Casino Royale. As to the modding thing, well he's a secret agent. Wouldn't it make sense to have a car loaded with guns just in case?
not so: CR car is American Drive, silver with leather interior. The Skyfall car is a mockup of the Goldfinger/Thunderball car, gold colored. MI6 would keep the Goldfinger car in storage. Desmond Llewellyn's Q was always insisting on Bond returning equipment in pristine condition. Also, relics of Bond's adventures turn up in every 4th movie or so, establishing that the previous adventures did in fact happen in universe.
There IS a precedent, at least in the novels, for Bond taking it upon himself to trick out his personal vehicles. In John Gardner's first entry, "License Renewed," Bond has his Saab outfitted with some handy gadgets, albeit mostly defensive ones. The only offensive one that I recall was some kind of port through which he could fire a .44 Magnum revolver he kept in the car. The outfitting was done without MI6's knowledge or approval, given M's unamused reaction when he finds out. Craig's Bond seems to be quite lucky at casinos. If he could afford machine guns and an ejector seat, he could probably also afford a paint job and new interior, even switching the steering wheel over.
Daniel Craig's Bond (in this continuity) became 007 in Casino Royale, so it's VERY easy to imagine there had been plenty of other 007s in MI6's service in the decades prior. Craig's 007, a 'relic' of the age of espionage, probably read up on previous 00 Agents and their toys and either had the car built that way with his winnings from Casino Royale or found it in MI6 storage and fixed it up. M recognizes the ejector seat and comments on it, and considering her age in the film it would make sense that she had known the previous 007 Agents.
The film probably contradicts itself on this on purpose. Q's codename is implied to be inherited (he is described as the new Quartermaster, implying there was an old one, and the title "Q" is instantly given and accepted) and we know that the name "M" can be used my more than one person even if it comes from that person's surname. "Silva" is a cover name, but James Bond obviously isn't. Yet the same Aston Martin, complete with the ejector seat, exists in this universe and was in use during the Cold War. Best answer is that Broad Strokes is intentionally in effect and personal Fanon will probably work out what is or isn't canon for now.
The other 20 Bond movies never happened, or if they did, they didn't happen to James Bond and not in the exact way they were shown (Moneypenny isn't M's secretary for one thing) The Daniel Craig movies have zero continuity with the others. All nods are simply fan service. Incidentally, it couldn't be the exact same car even if they were in continuity, since James rammed it into a wall in Goldfinger and then Goldfinger had it taken apart.
It could be that all the previous Bonds were real, but their real names wasn't 'James Bond'. Maybe James Bond is just a code name and the title goes from one person to another after a while.
The multiple Bonds theory is actually a popular fan theory, but this film josses it with the gravestones for Bond's parents.
Not unless that was part of the cover and those gravestones were planted or had their name changed. Or maybe i'm just old school and like the idea that after Pierce Brosnan's Bond retired his code name was given to Daniel Craig's Bond. Maybe that's why I loved the exploding pen reference so much.
I was under the impression it was just one of many Cold War relic cars used by 00 agents that just happened to be lying around in a hidden cache somewhere because you never know when you need older tech for Rock Beats Laser and Bond just got the idea to use it. It just so happened to have the features and license plate found in the pre-Casino Royale Bond films.
Personally I like that idea that Bond is a code name passed on to each new double oh, but Skyfall kind of annihilated that by having Craig referred to as James by the person who knew him before he was a spy and Bond being his parents last names.
Has anyone stopped to think that maybe "James Bond" really is a code name given to all 007s, but it's just that Craig-Bond happens to be the first agent to also have that name in "real" life?
Lazenby 007's real name was most likely Bond too, since his wife took the surname "Bond"; would he really have married her under his MI6 code name? And Moore 007's real name is definitely James Bond, as he meets an old friend from his (pre-MI6) student days, who knows him as "James Bond". Also, Lazenby and Brosnan both quote the same family motto ("The world is not enough."), which Skyfall reveals to be the motto of James Bond's family. So either all these are just amazing, astronomical coincidences, or the "James Bond is only code name" theory doesn't hold water, and the different Bonds are simply different interpretations of the same character.
OR MAYBE the names in the grave, the wives names and everywhere else where edited out in post-production and where replaced with the code name... by the MI6.
Except Kinkade called him James Bond to his face and knew him by that name, the rifle that belonged to his father has his initials carved onto it, Craig Bond's second target ever knew him by the name James Bond before he got the 007 designation, and it's a Fucking stupid idea to give a secret agent a name used by other secret agents. You may as well paint a big sign on Bond saying "I work for MI6! Shoot me!" Why go through all that effort to give this one guy a code name when he already has a code number, and make that code name the one that all these organisations in the original continuity knew as being an MI6 agent, when you're not even certain you want him around until the end of Casino Royale? The "James Bond is a code name" thing just makes no sense in or out of universe.
What if the films are edited so that names are changed a la Laundry Files. The events of the films are documented histories.
Pretty sure that belongs in WMG, and no.
This never happened to the other guy.
Why does Bond wait for three months to remove the shrapnel from his chest? And shouldn't even a small amount of depleted uranium within your body be a bad thing?
Well, it's not a good thing, but it's not devastatingly bad either; the thing that's actually depleted in "depleted uranium" is the significantly radioactive isotope, so the only real problem in having some lodged inside of you is its chemical toxicity. That's about the same as that of lead, so leaving a few fragments in your body is inadvisable...but tolerable if it's only for a few months.
Likely because he didn't want to risk any doctors ask as to why he had bullet shrapnel in his shoulder since he was effectively dead and probably wanted to be left alone at this point. Plus at that time he didn't know it was depleted uranium and figured that leaving it in would be fine. Now as to why he didn't get one of MI6's doctors to pull it out is another question...
The fewer people involved, the less likely something would leak out.
This troper took for granted that he was just storing it there. That he knew it was there and figured hey, it wouldn't get lost.
How is it that a depleted uranium round broke up inside Bond? Depleted uranium is used to pierce tanks. The point is that the rounds don't break up. Even if it went through the backhoe shovel before hitting him, the bullet should still have been solid. Unless James Bond in fact has adamantium bones.
Bond was shot while driving the construction crane, so the bullet likely ricochetted off of something before going through the glass of the canopy and only THEN hitting him. And of course, less we forget, James Bond is Made of Iron.
So are tanks...
This is actually mentioned in the movie, that he was lucky of only getting hit by the shrapnel and not the bullet itself.
How did Bond survive, anyway? First he got shot, then he fell a hundred feet from the roof of a moving train, and then got dropped over the edge of a waterfall. Realistically speaking, any one of those thing should have killed him, (and heck, M died from a comparatively less fatal-looking gunshot than what Bond got) and yet nobody in the movie even bats an eyelash at him coming back alive a few months later.
The waterfall makes the water below "soft". It is aerated and therefore does not compress as still water would. Bond's first bullet wound was not life threatening. We aren't 100% sure where the second shot was but assuming that it was in the same area as the first then the wound would not be life threatening.
Bond is a Made of Iron superagent who, even in his middle age, is still more than capable of opening up a can of whoop-ass on men younger than he. M is was a small, elderly woman who was shot in the leg, which, judging by the amount of bleeding, probably nicked one of her major arteries.
The fact that Bond could dig the shrapnel out of his shoulder with a pocket knife suggests that the wound was probably superficial, which may make sense if the bullet was slowed by penetrating the glass of the caterpiller. Bond would probably be dead if the bullet had penetrated his thoracic cavity and if he had received no medical attention at a hospital. You got me on the waterfall drop. Also, it seems pretty clear that (M bled to death).
They say in the film that the shot from Patrice was a glancing shot, or else, paraphrasing here, he would be dead. Eve's shot was a clean shot, in and out in roughly the same spot. The fall...well, who knows?
Tomorrow Never Dies can't have happened as M was in a station chief role in Hong Kong in 1997, the time that film takes place..
Um, yes, since the Craig films are a reboot that take place in a different continuity. Which we've known since Casino Royale.
Its basically a Cosmic Retcon without in-universe explanation. Since Pierce Brosnan is implicity the same guy Sean Connery was in the 60's, its feasible to see M and Craig-Bond as the same people again and for the stories to take place in one continuity (making Casino a prequel) because continuity has been loose in this series for decades anyway.
In the end, would it have been impossible for Bond and M to call for reinforcements? Or were they intentionally making themselves vulnerable to lure out Silva? I wasn't sure why a regiment of SAS weren't waiting, or why the RAF didn't take out the helicopter.
If I remember correctly Bond specifically requested the "bread crumbs" be only enough for Silva to follow up on and nobody else. Presumably this meant any outside contact and arrangements, such as a SWAT team, would have been picked up and cause Silva to bug out - likely scuppering any real chance at netting him. A concrete explanation is never given on-screen however.
M answers this question in a single line: "So I'm to be bait?"
Exactly. Dozens of people, if not hundreds, have died because of M. The entire reason why Bond and M drop off the face of the earth is so that no one else has to die on her behalf. In fact, it's this willingness to forgo any attempt to save her own skin by using any more of her 'disposable' agents as a shield that redeems her (even if it's too little too late).
But Fridge Logic applies there, too. Silva may be obsessed with M, but he's also threatening every other NATO agent on the planet. It's in everybody's best interest that Silva be killed or captured. When M sets herself up as bait with minimal support, she's increasing the chances that Silva will survive the encounter, and thus increasing the chance that he'll expose the rest of the NATO agents in the days to come. So it actually would make more sense if she got Q to send in reinforcements of some sort, provided that she could do so without Silva finding out.
Silva has shown himself to be an awesome hacker, so involving even a platoon of the SAS to help deal with Silva dramatically increases the chances of Silva spotting the trap and (as a result) not turning up. They want MI6 want Silva "dealt with", not scared off.
The real question is why didn't the SIS set up a sniper team (Eve with a suppressed Barrett?) or two somewhere in the mountains to hit the hostiles with enfilade fire.
Who in their right mind would let Eve and a sniper rifle near James Bond again? Besides, other than Modern Warfare I don't think a sniper team has ever done well against a helicopter.
Frankly there is a lot of crap that could have been done better; Bond the supposed expert failed in my book. I mean, that long walk the first wave took across open ground was a godsend to any defender. Why were there no snares or pressure traps (easy to make with shotgun shells, he managed it with the floorboard!)? Or tripwires on the doors (again, shotgun shells are perfect)? Come to think of it, why didn't an agent such as Bond have a stash of stuff hidden somewhere like real agents do in case things get nasty and they are left without support? Poor show 007!
Um, did you watch the film? He *did* have a huge stash of stuff ready to be used - he just didn't anticipate it would all get sold off after his "death", which forced him to improvise.
With the resources they had(limited number of shotgun shells) I wouldn't have wasted trips and snares and pressure traps on the walk up to the house- too much open ground, too many variables on where they would or wouldn't step. Inside the house, walls and corridors limit where they'll be and make it easier to predict. Tripwires on the doors would have been useless as they used explosives to open the doors rather than kicking them in, so again, resources that would have been wasted. Ultimately I think with the resources they had available they did an excellent job.
Even if Bond had an arsenal in his possession, it was a ridiculous expectation on his and MI-6's part for him to be able to take on a squad of mercenaries with no knowledge whatsoever of their numbers or armaments. The fact that Bond wasn't expecting or prepared for Silva's chopper and backup team proves this.
Again, they didn't want to risk tipping off Silva, and Bond specifically requested that he left to act on his own. Obviously Q and Mallory trusted him enough to get the job done. Plus, Q and Mallory had no idea where Bond was going either, so they couldn't really set up an ambush even if they wanted to.
That opens up some Fridge Logic, though. If Q had no idea where Bond was going, he wouldn't have been able to create the false tracking signal that led Silva to Skyfall, and it's a specific plot point that Bond's car has no tracker for Q to go on.
I got the impression that Q was supposed to set up a false trail away from Skyfall— the idea being that Silva would find them eventually anyway; but Bond wanted Q to set up a false trail to lead Silva away temporarily and give them a little more time to prepare.
Also, a trail leading away from Skyfall would make it look like they were trying to hide: better cover than if it looked like an open invitation and a trap.
Ok, but if Q led Silva away from Skyfall, then how did he find Bond at Skyfall? Bond's off the grid at that point. There are no tracking devices on him. One imagines that, realistically, Bond and M would wind up just hanging around for a couple days before they finally realize that Silva doesn't know where they are, and thus the entire plan is moot.
Silva has a lot of resources at his disposal. Once he realised that he was being led on a wild goose chase he stopped, took another look at Bond's record and probably used satalights to take a peek at Skyfall. It wouldn't be that hard to figure out that "hey, Bond's gone off the grid, he's probably holing up somewhere he knows well."
It remains a second question as to why they couldn't scramble reinforcements to arrive after Silva is already on the ground at Skyfall and no longer monitoring communications. The UK is a tiny place; the air force could have been there in a couple of minutes to deal with their li'l helicopter problem.
Once more with feeling, Silva is already shown to be a dangerous man. They couldn't anticipate what arsenal he'd bring. And M didn't want anyone else dying for her- they weren't going to risk bringing in reinforcements for Silva to pick off. The guy damn well near took out an supposedly secure parliament meeting with a gun, not to mention everything he's done to MI6 at that point.
The fact that he is a dangerous man and they don't know what kind of arsenal he'd be bringing is why they should have brought in reinforcements. Conservation of Ninjutsu is a meta-law, not something that the characters are supposed to actually treat as real- one James Bond and a couple of old people should not be seen as better than one James Bond, two old people and the army, the navy and the air force. Reinforcements don't exist to be slaughtered (at least, not in-universe); they exist to even the odds and increase the chances of beating the other guy.
For that matter, were the RAF and others explicitly told to stay away from Skyfall? With what justification? Frankly, it's hard to see how Silva could be allowed to fly assault helicopters over the UK without being taken out for safety's sake. Given that he conducted a major terror attack on London something like a day earlier and his last known residence was a former chemical manufacturing center, it's hard to see why anyone wouldn't just scramble jets and shoot him down.
As chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, I thought Mallory was M's superior - So wouldn't his taking on M's role be a demotion? Why is he taking the job?
Odds are, he still is the Chairman but now he's, essentially, taking a more direct involvement in MI-6's affairs.
Or he actually was demoted for how he handled the incident. It's not like the ministers on that committee can blame Judi Dench's M anymore.
It's possible that he took it voluntarily. The events of the film, especially combined with M's heroic speech and later death in the field may have made him rethink whether he really wants a "mere" political career instead of a more direct involvement. It's also not like it's a low-prestige or low-paid role.
Put it in U Sian terms for American Tropers: a Congressman on the Intelligence Committee gets appointed to be head of the CIA. It's not a demotion, it's a lateral move from the legislative branch to the executive.
He doesn't outrank M. M answers only to the Prime Minister directly (Though she still has to answer Parliament's questions). Mallory is assigned as a monitor and facillitator for M's transition, but his job doesn't outrank hers, the opposite, since he's beholden to the Minister of Defense. As such, his Promotion to M really is a Promotion, since he's not working with far less oversight and answers only to the Prime Minister. M's own line in Casino Royale:
Who the hell do they think they are? I report to the Prime Minister, and even he's smart enough not to ask me what we do. Have you ever seen such a bunch of self-righteous, arse-covering prigs? They don't care what we do; they care what we get photographed doing
What kind of idiot uses depleted uranium bullets for a 9mm Glock configured to fire in full automatic? At the handgun level its not like its going to provide any kind of benefit, its way too distinctive and with the amount the assassin sprayed all over the place he probably would wind up blowing half the jobs paycheck every time he pulled out his sidearm.
It was almost certainly a desperation weapon. Notice he doesn't actually use that weapon until he's forced to - i.e. in an open fight already. Every other time he's using relatively discrete weapons. As for the why, well as said earlier in the film had Bond been hit any more accurate he would have been "cut in half". Were the assassin able to keep a steady aim atop the train, Bond would have been dead and the film much shorter.
Desperation would explain why he pulled out his sidearm but not why he loaded it with an incredibly expensive bullet that provides no benefit and makes him easily trackable. Were the filmmakers just assuming that depleted uranium = M1 Abrams round? If so they are sorely mistaken. And even if the writer needed a way for MI6 to trace where the shrapnel came from they could have gotten ballistics back from a normal bullet and traced it to the manufacturer. Sure its an extra step but its significantly less stupid.
It's a plot point the guy is kind of stupid though. As said the CIA have been onto this guy for months due to his methods. Convenient for the plot certainly, but it wasn't specific to Bond and MI6.
You're overthinking it. It's obviously a reference to The Man with the Golden Gun, as is Bond shooting mirrors in the title sequence. google the Sam Mendes interviews about Skyfall. He states that everything in the movie is an homage to what he remembers about the previous Bond movies. He deliberately did not watch the other films but relied on what stood out in his mind and made an homage to that. http://www.npr.org/2012/11/09/164430652/from-the-theater-to-mi6-sam-mendes-on-skyfallhttp://www.timeout.com/london/film/sam-mendes-interview Things that dont make sense to US real life humans make sense within the context of the James Bond universe. Now that it's on DVD I see that the gray suits are a throwback uniform to the Connery era, as is the "New" office which is the Connery Bond M/MI6 office.
I assumed that he had switched out his magazine as Bond was entering the backhoe (he is shown reloading as Bond enters) so that he could punch through the metal because as a general rule of thumb depleted uranium rounds are armor piercing. I mean it makes sense that if he's already blind firing into something that would probably flatten a 9mm bullet why not make it armor piercing so that it will go through?
That's what I thought. It's actually a rather smart move on his part; having a varied array of bullet types means that he can be flexible in rapidly changing conditions. Having armor-piercing rounds just in case your target is shielding himself is just being pragmatic. (Of course, maybe there's a armor-piercing round that could do just as well without being so distinctive. Someone with a better knowledge of bullets might have to correct me.)
Gun owner/enthusiast here. Typical defensive rounds use hollow point bullets, which lack a pointed nose and instead have a hollow or flat front that expands inside the target for maximum damage. If additional penetration is needed, full metal jacket rounds can be used, which are pointed and covered in a hard metal like steel. Depleted uranium rounds would probably provide additional penetration, but if you anticipated the need for that much penetration on a mission/hit you'd be much better off with a rifle or carbine.
Also, a lot of card carrying assassins tend to like leaving calling cards on their kills. Perhaps DU bullets was Patrice's way of boasting, "I did this."
Indeed. That, plus it not being his primary weapon/default ammo suggests that it is something he does when he has to send a message and that he switched to it for practical purposes.
M's name is so secret that she threatens to have Bond killed for mentioning it in Casino Royale, but she's dragged in front of an apparently public parliamentary committee in this movie. Would it not be exceedingly awkward for this meeting to proceed without her name ever being mentioned once, especially if the news were there?
It could be a nod to the "coming out of the shadows" theme; notably, members of the Intelligence and Security Committee (i.e Mallory) are either MPs or Lords and, thus, are very public figures. Then again, the first time we see her in Casino Royale she's coming out of a press conference.
Or she could've been joking about Bond being overly familiar with her.
Or perhaps the name she uses in press conferences and hearings is itself an alias to hide her real name.
It could be that the 00-program is an official secret, and that therefore M does not exist, even though the head of MI6 is a public office. Naming her in the context of her role as M is therefore different from naming her in the context of an officially-unrelated job, and might even be worse than revealing a single secret identity as it ties a major public figure to the extra-legal black ops team.
Another issue with M's name: is it really "Emma"? I thought it was just Kincade's interpretation of hearing Bond call her "M", but a lot of people treat it as her real name, so... what's the truth?
No, you're right, it was just his interpretation. Think about it, how would he have known her name, especially when he had no clue as to Bond's line of work.
Bond specifically says "I had no idea that [M] stood for..." before being cut off. So presumably either her first or second name starts with an M.
FWIW, in the novels author Raymond Benson gave her the name "Barbara Mawdsley."
See Freeze-Frame Bonus on the Main page; The gift box containing M's porcelain bull dog has her full name printed on it. It's Olivia Mansfield.
How exactly does Silva survive cracking open his cyanide tooth? I'm no chemist but I thought all you needed to do was breathe in and you're dead. Does hydrogen cyanide expire? I had thought perhaps Silva blamed M for having a defective suicide tablet, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I can't imagine you can be "trained" to commit suicide like that, so was it simply user error? Is there anyone more knowledgeable on the topic that can shed some light on this?
Its most likely that the dose was to small to actually kill him, but that's just a guess.
I keep having attacks of Fridge Logic regarding this. In addition to the issues about dose, and how he survives at all, how do you lose so much on the upper left (teeth/jaw/cheekbone) and still have enough mouth/tongue to speak with? So far I've concluded that, within the logic presented in the film, maybe he was hanging upside down when he took it, and that he must have had some reconstructive surgery.
Don't think too hard about it: cyanide kills by interfering with your body's ability to use oxygen; it's pretty much impossible for cyanide to inflict injuries like Silva's. Maybe the "defective" capsule was actually filled with something completely different?
In hindsight, it might have been a lot more straightforward if the captors simply stopped him attempting to bite on his capsule, and then smashing his mouth in as a punishment afterwards.
Or he did bite into it, but the cyanide pill didn't actually cause the injuries, which might have been a result of the torture.
Even Silva himself admits how unlikely it was, with him mentioning that life somehow "clung to him like a disease". The guy just had really shitty luck.
This trope is apparently Truth in Television: there were a few cases of WWII agents who accidentally survived their cyanide capsules after being captured too. Their lives afterwards sucked.
Some of the plotters involved in the Franz Ferdinand assassination also bit into cyanide capsules that didn't work.
Cyanide vapor is created by dissolving the actual compound in acid, so it's possible the tooth contained a bit of that that was intended to create said vapor (or there was an acid tooth and a cyanide tooth, and they had to be cracked together), but the comparative parts weren't calibrated properly and thus the acid overwhelmed the actual poison. Weak amounts of cyanide can also induce heavy vomiting, which brings up more hydrochloric acid- from the victim's own stomach- which would definitely feel like one's insides were being burnt out. Finally, all that acid could definitely induce a wound in the jaw and palate that could, if the victim survived, become infected and lead to degenerative necrosis. (Also, it would make sense for M16 to create something that would burn out an agent's teeth and a large part of their face upon death- it would destroy a large portion of the agent's identifiability.) So while an ordinary cyanide pill wouldn't inflict the damage shown on Silva, it's possible to think of circumstances where a sufficiently high-tech cyanide capsule tooth might.
One of the main themes in the first two of Craig's Bond movies was that Bond was a rookie. It's only at the end of Qo S that he seems to have gotten a hang of things. But since he's only just gotten used to the job, it seems weird for the theme of Skyfall to be that he's getting too old for the job. I mean, he only just got experienced at it!
Just because he was a rookie to the 00 program doesn't mean that he hadn't been working for MI6 for years prior. It sounds like the Prague job was his first kill assignment and given his age at that point, M decided to promote him even though it was only his first outing, as it were - hence her remark about it being too "early" to promote him.
I get he was with MI6 prior to Casino Royale, but Casino Royale and Qo S do still make it a point to show Bond making mistakes and being lectured by M. It just seems weird to me for Skyfall to talk about Bond being too old when they only just resolved the question of Bond making rookie mistakes.
We can probably assume that Bond has been completing missions off-screen for at least a few years between Qo S and Skyfall.
Not to mention that the whole theme of Skyfall was the the question "Do we need men like Bond in the modern age?" The question carries more weight when Bond himself is presented as old and ailing.
It's less "Is Bond too ailing and over the hill to be effective?" (though his injury makes for a good physical metaphor), and more "Is the Bond-type hero too antiquated to function in the modern world?"
How exactly did Silva escape? Yes, his virus hacked the system and opened all the doors, but when Bond shows up, both armed guards who were watching Silva are dead on the ground despite both being at least 20 feet from Silva's cell. He's never shown to have a gun or any type of weapon during that entire scene, so how did he kill them? Did he develop laser eyes?
this is what makes him both legendary and scary, ala Hannibal Lector in Lambs
I presume that when he escaped he did indeed pull a Hannibal — he either utilized his training or independently gathered skills to get a guard's gun and take them both down, possibly while they were distracted by the doors opening/sirens sounding, or he went for a freakier approach.
Maybe he had a knife or something built in to his freaky jawbone implant thing
A key running theme throughout the movie is that Silva and Bond are Not So Different — how many times have we seen James Bond extract himself from a tight spot or get out of more-or-less similar circumstances even when he was unarmed? If Bond can manage it, Silva can; that's all we really need to know.
The Second Shot
When chasing Patrice in Istanbul, Bond gets shot in the right shoulder. We see the shot, we see the blood, and we see later where the shrapnel is stuck. But it's also a clean shot, there's a bloodstain on his back meaning the bullet passed through. He's later shot by Eve Moneypenny, and it's another clean shot apparently. But where was he shot? We never see a scar or an indication. He jokes that it hit four ribs and some minor internal organs, but where? Did he get shot twice in the same spot, as the opening credits hint (the blood comes from where he was shot by Patrice, but Bond shrugged off that injury)?
Judging from the scars (which gets looked at a couple of times in the movie), it looks like there are two bullet holes in roughly the same place. The fact that it is the only scar looked at, and the only one that seems to be giving him trouble, further substantiates this. How either bullet didn't pierce his lung is another question entirely.
If Bond had died in the opener, there would have been no movie, so Broad Strokes applies
Exactly why was Moneypenny suspended after shooting Bond? True, she eventually decides she wants to take a desk job but it still seems unfair. She told M she couldn't get a clean shot and M ordered her to take it. As far as I see it, it wasn't her fault. So why was she the one punished?
It's just standard procedure during an internal inquiry of this nature in such agencies; to offer a related example, police officers who are involved in shooting incidents are often temporarily suspended until it's been confirmed that the shooting was 'clean' and justified. She was the one holding the gun at the time, so the act of pulling the trigger was ultimately down to her, and given the nature of espionage work they don't want her going anywhere nor being reassigned out of the way until it's all cleared up, so until it's all figured out she's on suspension from active field duty.
Why didn't Eve take a second shot? Patrice was wide open after she accidentally hit Bond, so she could have eliminated him and stopped him from delivering the list right then.
Why did Silva let himself be captured?
Okay, the movie explains that he let himself be captured so he could hack into the MI6 computer system and get their data. But, first of all, he wouldn't have needed to let himself be captured personally, all he would have needed was let Bond acquire his computer, which Q would've then plugged into their system. Secondly, he didn't actually do anything with the MI6 data. His plan seems to have been to escape, then go and kill M at the governmental hearing. But the date and place of this hearing was most likely public knowledge, or at least Silva wouldn't have needed to hack into MI6 to get that info. So what was the point of letting Bond catch him? I guess he just wanted to show to M and Bond how invincible he was, but this also put his whole plan at tremendous risk, and indeed caused it to fail. If he had not let himself be captured, he could've simply walked into that governmental hearing and shot M without anyone suspecting it beforehand. And if he wanted the MI6 data for reasons unrelated to his revenge plan, he could've done that too by letting MI6 think they've managed to get his computer.
The point wasn't just to defeat MI6, it was to *humiliate* them - M specifically. By "infiltrating" the organisation and escaping in such a way, then - to his mind - it further cements the idea of how pathetic and useless MI6 is in the face of terrorism. Combined with M's hearing for a similar cock-up chances are this would have completely crushed public opinion and totally undermined support.
While imprisoned, Silva tells M about his experiences as a torture victim, and how he decided to become her enemy. He specifically says that he wanted to look into her eyes one last time. My interpretation is that his main reason for getting himself captured was so he could meet M face-to-face and give that speech. It's Personal, after all.
The problem with these explanations is that, firstly, there were numerous other- safer- ways to get close to M (eg. Bond seems to break into her house at will, in two different movies; Silva seems to know where M is 24/7); second, there were numerous things that both could and frankly should have gone wrong- it is, like many parts of his plan, an example of the villain appearing competent because the heroes are incompetent. Bond could have chosen not to miss with the shot underground; Q could have not plugged the laptop in or had it taken away to a safer location (or just failed to find the trap); M could have put more guards on him or otherwise took better measures to stop his escape; M could have left the hearing upon learning that Silva escaped; Bond could have chosen to kill him on the island; Silva could have been locked up somewhere else; etc., etc. It just comes across as an attempt to make him like The Joker from The Dark Knight, except that a) Bond, unlike Batman, does not subscribe to Thou Shall Not Kill, b) MI6 are usually written as a lot more competent and sophisticated than the Gotham Police Dept., and c) The Joker would consider being killed by the heroes a victory anyway, so whether his plan to get captured failed did not matter. And for that matter, d), The Joker made a lot of stuff up on the fly, or only planned a few days earlier- according to Q, Silva supposedly plotted everything out years ago, which means he planned for things he had no business planning for (such as the bomb in the underground or knowing for definite when and where and even that M would be hauled before a parliamentry committee).
The William Telling shoot-off
Why did Bond take the shot when he and Silva were in the shoot-off? He knew full-well that he wouldn't make the shot, and Silva wouldn't hesitate to kill Severine. Fine, he had a gun to his head, he may have seen completing the competition as his only way out. Acceptable casualties and all that. But he then proceeds to kick the snot out of all of Silva's henchmen anyway, and if he hadn't taken the shot he would've had another weapon to take them out. It just seems like he let Severine die for no reason, but maybe I'm seeing it wrong.
He didn't know Silva would be Cutting the Knot by shooting Sev. Also, they were expecting him to try something with the loaded gun, not so much with the empty.
Also, one can assume that the guards were more alert while Bond had a loaded weapon than after he had already fired.
What and where exactly is the random abandoned Chinese island that Bond is taken to to meet Silva for the first time?
In real life the island is Gunkanjima in Japan. As with a lot of the film most of the scenes were actually shot on sets in the UK. The island is about 500 miles away from Shanghai and (obviously) in a different country, so whether it's supposed to be the same one in-story is anyone's guess (although... since it's swarming with tourists and coast guard, probably not).
In point of fact, Bond is taken to that island from Macau, which is even further away from Japan. (Roughly a thousand miles, in fact, which means either it's a different island or Bond had a LOT of time to fool around with Severine aboard the sailboat.)
How old is Silva supposed to be? I was assuming he was Bardem's age, but if he was working in Hong Kong from '86-'97, that would have made him exactly 18 when he started out there and that seems somewhat implausible.
Presumably the the cyanide capsel burnt him so badly that, besides having an artificial jawbone and teeth implanted, he had to get some facial plastic surgery. So he could be older than he looks.
That and some people just age kind of badly.
Shouldn't he be older than Bardem though?
18-ish is kinda really flimsily justified. If not going through the military, intelligence agencies actually recruit pretty young. The CIA for instance loves headhunting at colleges.
Especially if he was recruited as a hacker. In the '80s, it wasn't uncommon for Playful Hackers to get recruited by the organizations they hacked.
Throughout the whole pre-credits section, Eve and MI6 headquarters are shown to be in constant radio contact with Bond (e.g. Eve alerts Bond from her car that Patrice is uncoupling the train carriages). If memory serves, he's never shown to lose his earpiece. So when Eve is struggling to get a clear shot at Patrice on the railway bridge, why couldn't someone have told Bond that there was a sniper in place and he should try to move a few metres away?
Bond was in contact the entire time. He comments to M about her order to "Take the bloody shot". Bond and Patrice were grappling. They were both latched on to each other fairly well. However this brings up the question of why Patrice wasn't dragged off the train with Bond.
Simple: When Bond got shot, he lost his grip in shock.
At that point they were exchanging punches - the grip they had on one another likely wasn't as concentrated as it had been previously.
During the climax, Bond kills a mook by choking him. Nothing wrong with that, except that they're both underwater at the time, so the mook already can't breathe. That doesn't preclude the possibility of blood-choking, except that (if I recall correctly) Bond does the choking with his legs, which would be much harder. So is Bond badass enough to know how to do a blood choke with his legs, or am I missing something here?
He's putting extra stress and pressure on the mook, forcing him to breath through reflex or the like which would flood his airways. Panicking or losing control when you're under water is going to be deadly, especially in a colder climate. Bond was in control so didn't suffer to the same extent.
Incorrect. He is applying a blood choke to him (sometimes called a 'sleeper hold'). Most people can last for over a minute without air before falling unconscious. A blood choke, if properly applied and compressing both major arteries in the neck, can render somebody unconscious in just a few seconds, and dead in just a few more seconds. If you recall, Bond used a similar move in the stairwell to kill machete wielder in Casino Royale, once Bond actually got him in the hold and clamped down, he was dead in about 15 seconds.
Why was the List on a laptop in Turkey?
Why would something as important as a list of undercover NATO agents be on a random, easy-to-steal laptop? Something of that importance should really only be behind multiple firewalls of the agencies in question. Was it stolen before the start of the movie and Bond and co. had just recovered it? If it was the British copy of the List, why were they in Instanbul, and if it was the Turkish version, why was MI6 recovering it instead of the Turkish equivalent?
Perhaps it was security-through-misdirection? If I knew that MI6 had a secret list they wanted hidden I would assume that it would be somewhere in England, and Turkey would be one of hte last places I would consider looking for it unless I found out otherwise.
Its probably a bit of satire on the part of the filmmakers. Bond films often take stuff from the news or modern issues and tie it into their plot, and for the last several years one of the things that has been in the news in Britain is how absolutely terrible successive governments are with exactly this sort of thing- officials, civil servants and government ministers actually have carelessly lost or misplaced laptops and other highly sensitive information (in one notorious case, it was actually left on a subway) in the years preceding this movie. Reality Is Unrealistic.
Everything involving computers
When M is in the car near the beginning, her aide reports that the stolen hard drive is being decrypted, and they're getting a signal. Um...how? The data on the drive doesn't know whether it's being decrypted or not. If you ran a program on the drive it might phone home, but who would ever do that? It should go without saying that you should never run exe files on an enemy hard drive. The best I can figure is that the hard drive is outfitted with a radio transmitter that broadcasts a signal whenever the drive spins, a la the first Mission: Impossible movie. However, the aide specifically says that the signal is coming from behind the MI 6 firewall, which means it's a network signal and not a simple broadcast. So...how does that work?
It's encrypted (obviously), and it needs to be decrypted. Perhaps as a security measure the hard drive is configured so that it can only be decrypted with a key from inside MI6's mainframe, nessitating a connection so that if lost it can be tracked. They just weren't expecting Silva to be able to hack into MI6's systems and obscure where he actually was.
So...the key is on MI6's servers, and you need a network connection to download a copy of the key? (Presumably you're supposed to delete the local copy of the key after using it.) And as part of the authentication process, you have to tell the servers your current location? I guess that could work...though I don't see how that would help you track the drive if it was stolen. Any thief worth his salt would know not to run random files he finds on the drive (such as this decryption program), especially not with an active network connection that might phone home. So the thief would just be stuck with a drive that he can't decrypt (except via brute force). Though if he felt he had a way to beat the servers' authentication system, and to make the thing lie about his actual location, then he might try that. Which, I suppose, is what the bad guys did. Ok.
That still leaves the question of why MI6's IT staff would have decryption keys stored on a network accessible system instead of disconnected storage and why they did not immediately destroy any and all backup keys for a laptop known to have been stolen.
MI6 headquarters suffers a deadly cyber-attack, so they move to a new base. In this new base, they imprison Silva, the man responsible for the original cyber-attack. So why the heck do they put him in a jail cell where the door can be opened via computer? Obviously they should lock him up with some physical bars and locks, to eliminate the chance that his hacking skills (or the skills of his allies) will help him bust out.
It can be openned via computer, but this is a closed network with no access to outside signals. Nobody thought that the hacking attempt would come from within MI6's own network.
When accessing Silva's laptop, Q comments that it contains security protocols that will potentially delete sensitive data. He later states that the "polymorphic code" is changing whenever he tries to access it. And then, when they uncover the encrypted map of London, somehow this hacks the MI6 network and opens the prison doors automatically. Does any of this make any sense? You have the physical laptop, so just download the data to your own machine and don't run any exe files from the enemy drive! And you should probably airgap your machine too, just in case you screw up.
Considering how computer saavy Silva is, he could have set up failsafes that if any attempt to take the data outside of it's normal operating environment it deletes itself. Plus a big theme was that MI6 was growing complaciant.
You can't set up failsafes on raw data. The pattern of 1s and 0s on the disk is physically there for the taking, and no program can stop you from taking it. And once you have it, you can analyze it to your heart's content without any risk that the data will somehow spring to life and do something nasty. (Just don't run any exe files!) See the next point.
The short answer is that not even one element of what Q does or says is even tangentially connected to reality. On the one hand this leaves us wondering about why he did those things, but on the other it makes it impossible for us to reason about what he did wrong because there is literally no logic to the words coming out of his mouth (maybe therefore an intentional directorial choice because they don't want us wasting our attention on that?).
It bugs me that MI6 systems are repeatedly compromised, yet everyone goes on using those systems as if they still work. Granted, they do move to a new base after the first one is attacked. But Silva has access to that one too; he reads off the results of Bond's fitness tests. Yet when Silva is captured, they bring him to that very same base. Then that base gets hacked again by Silva's laptop, but 10 minutes later Q is still using those same computers as though he can be sure that they aren't compromised. Q and Bond talk over the radio about their plan to mislead Silva. But for all they know, Silva could be listening in the whole time!
Depends on wether or not the radio was appart of the same system. Given the size of any government department, MI6 would have to be using several different systems, if only so if one goes down they're not dead in the water. Not to mention that different systems would have different requirements and thus be kept seperate; what you need to keep your computers running isn't relevant to operating a radio, so you'd build two seperate systems for efficiency sake and again, for redundancy in the event that you lose one system you can keep doing things.
Releasing the list
Silva releases the list by posting it to YouTube five names at a time. What's stopping MI6 or indeed any other government agency on the planet issuing a takedown notice on the videos before they can do any damage?
They switch to a new account, or move off Youtube, or put it in multiple places at once. Heck, Silva can hack MI6; he can hack Youtube.
Have you seen how well attempts to take information off the internet usually go? MI6 takes the video down, five different people put it back up again.
The Train in Istanbul
The way the train is arranged makes no sense. Why would a train have a passenger car at the front, followed by three Volkswagen Beetles all packed almost up against the passenger car with seemingly no restraints to keep from sliding off the train, then an excavator, which I believe also had no restraints? Unless I missed something here, is this standard in Istanbul? I know in the United States, we don't normally see combined passenger-and-freight trains. It's usually one or the other. And everything on a flatcar is fastened tightly or sealed inside a container to prevent such a thing like what Bond did from happening.
Mixed passenger and freight was quite common on branch lines in the UK until the 1950s; it's not beyond the realms of possibility that it's still used in rural Turkey for places with a service only once a week or so.
As for why there were no restraints, I've never actually been to Turkey but I am willing to hazard a guess that they have different attitudes towards Occupational Health and Safety to the United States.
The money in the casino
What did Eve do with the suitcase of money after Bond left the casino? And why did Bond give a one-liner about gambling when he could have told her to send the money to White Cross (Universal Export's Widows and Orphans Fund, mentioned in the books a couple of times)? After everything Silva did, they could have used the funding.
I doubt she actually did gamble the money away. Personally, I just assumed Bond kept the money and had it sent to his own account, but I didn't think about it beyond that one scene. In any case, I'm sure MI6 could have put it to good use somewhere.
So she shot Bond. Bond fell. Patrice was alive. So far, so good. Plot Hole: Why the fuck she doesn't keep shooting at Patrice?!
Well, as far as she knows she DID just kill her partner, who may or may not have been the best agent in M16. That's a very big Oh Crap to have to absorb. Eve does wind up agreeing that she isn't cut out for field work, and IMO it had less to do from missing a near-impossible shot, to how she obviously froze up afterwards and failed to finish the mission.
She's shown having to make a quick decision about whether to shoot because the train's about to disappear out of sight.
The Shanghai Job
Who was Patrice murdering in Shanghai and how did that figure in Silva's plan? Was he one of the men who tortured him?
It's quite possible the man killed in Shanghai was associated with Silva's torturers, but I assumed by the presence of Severine, who seems to serve as Silva's personal representative/second-in-command, that it was possibly just an assassination that Silva had taken on, either for pay at someone else's request to finance his personal vendetta or to further another personal goal. The painting ended up in his hands through some of his black market contacts, and was being used as bait to get the target in an accessible position.
I guess that's possible, but it seems to violate the Law of Conservation of Detail that Silva would arrange an unrelated assassination during his grand scheme. He owned a casino and could pretty much rape any secure computer system he wanted, so it seems bizarre to go off on an errand like that for money.
With that accounted for, it could be entirely a setup — Silva hires Patrice, either giving him the ridiculously distinctive bullets and using him for a couple other assassinations or picking him on the basis of his highly identifiable signature bullets, specifically so MI-6 will have a trail for what they dig out of Bond (or what Bond digs out of himself as the case may be). The job in Shanghai is a setup exposed enough for Bond to have easy access to it and to pick up on the trail Silva's leaving (as well as to be struck by Severine from afar) but discreet enough that he'll readily think it's all been their own idea.
What did the owner of the casino give Bond along with the money? After Bond is given the case the guy hands him what looks like a set of keys and says "With compliments of the house." After watching the movie a second time I assumed they were the keys to Bond's Aston Martin later in the movie, but that doesn't seem likely. Am I missing something?
It's a stack of casino chips.
Safety via Obfuscation
So Silva has a list of our agents, and he's putting names on Youtube. You know what would be a great way to protect our people? Put up a bunch of our own videos, listing actual terrorists as if they were undercover agents. The bad guys won't know which videos are legit, and they might wind up killing some of their own people!
Except that the MI6 operatives are still listed on YouTube. Meaning that anyone who sees past what is, it has to be said, a pretty obvious attempt at a double bluff is still going to be in a position to whack a British agent if possible. They don't want to play games with Silva, they want him stopped.
Despite the fact that Q actually namedrops it in the film, Security Through Obscurity is not repeat not a valid security technique, to the point where if one of your team suggests using it, you fire them on the spot and sue the HR department who said they were qualified. It does not work. In this specific case... you really think <hostile foreign agency> doesn't have the resources to simply kill all ten thousand decoys? 'Cause they do, and they will, and your ass is going in front of that congressional committee. (Or out behind the chemical sheds.)
Silva's MI6 Hacking
M Mentions Silva was captured before the transfer of Hong Kong to the Chinese (Before July 1997). Even considering his hacker background, how is he so up to date on MI6 proceedures and firewalls? He's literally 15 years out of date. By the time he was captured, MI6 had barely just moved into the headquarters he hacked. How does he know so much about their systems to pull what he pulled?
Q Branch Being Handed Over to an Incompetent
Does it make sense for a newspaper company to have a rookie who believes newspapers are completely obsolete in charge of their sales? Of course not. So why did SIS stick the new Q in charge of Q Branch? At the very least, his behavior is terrible. Regardless of his advances in cyberwarfare, he still took a massive step back to pre-World War Two gadget technology, acted like a martinet to those under him, and acted with horrendous overconfidence and incompetence that only got people unnecessarily killed. So why did this loon even climb so high in the first place?
In the market chase scene, when Eve and Patrice are ramming cars, why didn't Bond take a shot through his window with his pistol? He glances at him and has a good couple of seconds to take a shot, and since he's never really cared about collateral, why didn't he take this opportunity to stop him right then and there?
The World Is Not Enough
So what came first; Bonds motto or the nineteenth Bond film of the same name? Did the producers just think it sounded good or did Bond have it in mind when he used it against Electra?
The motto. It shows up at least as early as On Her Majesty's Secret Service when they detail heraldry; it's apparently the family motto.