A new kind of Bond picture, which delves into 007’s backstory, as it expands him from whiz-bang action figure into a more fleshed-out character. Still, there’s plenty of plot, extreme action sequences, and a few surprises.
As the movie opens, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is in Istanbul, hoping to retrieve a computer on which is a list of all NATO agents embedded with terrorist cells worldwide. However, the safe house has been attacked, leaving a number of dead agents, and the computer’s hard drive has been taken.
Bond and newbie field agent Eve (Naomie Harris) pursue suspected assassin Patrice (Ola Rapace) in an extended chase that includes the Grand Bazaar, and finally ends up on a train. Bond and Patrice are duking it out, and Eve is ordered to take her shot, but hits Bond, who falls into the river below.
No worries, though, since this IS a Bond pic, and he can’t die. Instead, he reappears in M’s (Judi Dench) flat, and wants back in. This surely is a good time for him to return, as MI6 itself is under attack. Bond continues his pursuit of Patrice, and this eventually leads him to the real quarry, Silva (Javier Bardem), a talented, but very disaffected former agent.
Bond and M are now on the run from Silva’s army, and must resort to old school spycraft to defend themselves.
***SPOILERS AND OTHER COMMENTS***
“Skyfall” ends up being the name of Bond’s boyhood home in Scotland, and becomes a retreat—of sorts—during the pursuit.
Silva’s personal vendetta against MI6 and M herself took considerable planning, not to mention considerable expense. Supposedly, with his masterful computer skills, Silva had no problem garnering the necessary funds.
Silva takes the stolen computer data, and starts outing the undercover NATO agents, who are summarily executed within their terrorist cells. This is being done to kill M’s career, with the added “benefit” of embarrassing MI6 at the same time.
While Silva’s revenge motivation drives the story, it is more than a bit far-fetched, as are his supernatural cyber skills. But then, in an era of PC, finding good villains is becoming increasingly difficult.