Skyfall begins with James Bond chasing a bad guy through the crowded streets of Istanbul. But why? That's nobody's business but the Turks'. And M's. As the head of MI6, Her Majesty's Secret Service, everything is her business. Okay, well, the bad guy has stolen a list of the real identities of MI6's secret agents. If that list gets out, it's everybody's business, and that's bad for business.
Bond, with fellow agent Eve, pursues the bad guy on a breakneck chase onto a speeding train. After a few train tunnel moments that wouldn't be out of place in a Looney Tunes cartoon, Bond and the bad guy grapple on top of the train as it crosses the bridge. Eve has the bad guy in her sights—literally. She's looking through the scope of a sniper rifle, and M orders Eve to take the shot even though she might hit Bond.
She hits Bond.
Way to go, Eve. Her friendly fire did what bad guys from Dr. No to Blofeld to Le Chiffre have been trying to do for half a century—kill James Bond.
Bond plummets into the ocean, and his lifeless body is carried away by the waves.
In England, M mourns, but only for a moment. She has to face government scrutiny for flubbing the mission and letting the list fall into enemy hands. Mallory, the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, says she will be forced to "voluntarily" retire. To make a bad day worse, someone blows up her office.
At least she's not in it when it happens.
Bond is alive, of course, recovering on a tropical island with his favorite medicines—beaches, babes, and booze. After seeing the MI6 bombing on TV, Bond returns to England ready to fight. M accepts him back but forces him to go through a series of mental and physical evaluations. Bond passes...but unbeknownst to him, he only passes because M lies about his score.
Bond pursues Patrice, the newly identified guy from the train, to Shanghai. Atop a building, Bond kills Patrice by accidentally dropping him off said building. And we're not being sarcastic about the whole "it was an accident" thing—he only meant to scare the guy. Oops.
Bond recovers Patrice's suitcase, which contains a poker chip from an exclusive casino in Macau. Time to ante up.
At the casino, Bond meets Severine, a woman with ties to whoever is behind this whole mess. She agrees to lead him to her boss, who lives on a deserted island. It's deserted because her boss hacked into the network of the city and made them think that there was a deadly gas leak. Everyone evacuated, leaving the whole place behind for the taking. That's one way to get what you want.
Bond is tied to a chair for the big bad to make his big entrance. The big bad, Silva, is a former agent. After being sacrificed by M during a mission (sound familiar?), he has vowed to get revenge against her.
Severine is sadly killed in a shootout, but Bond manages to capture Silva and radio MI6 to get him back to England. Mission accomplished?
No, we still have about an hour to go.
Silva, caged at the new MI6, confronts M. She coldly refuses to acknowledge him, which only makes him angrier. But despite all his rage, he's still just a rat in a cage. Silva is safely secured, until Q—MI6's tech expert—accidentally lets him out.
When Q attempts to hack into Silva's computer, Silva's computer hacks back, completely exposing MI6's defenses. Silva escapes. Bond gives chase. Silva manages to arrive at a hearing where M is on trial for the incident from the beginning of the movie. He opens fire. Mallory jumps between M and Silva and is shot. Bond arrives in the nick of time and rescues M from the fracas.
Mallory survives and helps Q set up a fake trail to lure Silva to Skyfall, James Bond's childhood home in the middle of nowhere in Scotland. Bond and M drive to Skyfall in a classic Aston Martin. At Skyfall, they prove to have seen Home Alone too many times as they rig the entire house with deadly traps to counter Silva's impending assault.
With the help of Kincaid, Skyfall's elderly gamekeeper, Bond and M successfully dispatch all of Silva's men. Silva himself shows up—fashionably late as always—in a helicopter blaring rock music. No, really.
M and Kincaid flee through a secret tunnel. Bond follows soon after, setting up a bomb that will blow Skyfall to smithereens and hopefully take Silva with it.
Silva escapes the explosion and pursues Kincaid and M, who has been shot by one of Silva's men but is hiding it. Silva approaches M and demands that she kill them both with one bullet. He gives her a gun and puts his head next to hers. Silva gets his death wish, but not in the way he hopes, when Bond throws a knife through his back.
Silva dies, which is a victory, but M also dies, which is an even bigger loss. She looks Bond in eyes and says, "I did get one thing right," then dies. Bond cries. And when Bond cries, we all cry.
Back in England, after M's will is read, we find out she's bequeathed her ugly bulldog statue to Bond. He takes it as a sign that he is to continue fighting for England, and he vows to do so. His first order of business is to report to Mallory, who is the new M.
- We begin in a blurry hallway. A shadowy figure marches toward us.
- Is it Slenderman?
- No, it's a different slender man: James Bond.
- Bond enters a hotel room and finds three men dead.
- Housekeeping is going to have a hard time getting all the bloodstains out.
- The men appear to be fellow agents. They were attacked, and their hard drive has been stolen.
- Bond tries to save one man, who is still breathing.
- M, speaking to Bond on a wireless headset, orders Bond to leave the man to die.
- Bond leaves the hotel and gets into a car with a woman to pursue the bad guys through the streets of Istanbul.
- The two run a black car off the road and into a market stall.
- The man in the car gets out and opens fire with a little machine gun. Talk about road rage.
- The bad guy hops on a motorbike, and Bond gives chase on a bike of his own.
- The woman driver also tracks the bad guy, and she and Bond sandwich him on a bridge.
- Our baddie in brown jumps off the bridge and onto a moving train.
- Bond wastes no time leaping onto the train, too.
- After a gunfight on the Istanbul Express, during which Bond is hit, Bond boards a construction vehicle that is on the train and attempts to use its big metal scoop to knock the guy off the train.
- This is the most extreme version of Crane Game ever played.
- Bad guy, who has an infinite number of bullets in his gun, uncouples the train cars.
- Bond bridges the gap with the digger's scoop and continues his pursuit as the train enters a dark tunnel.
- Inside the tunnel, the two men engage in a fierce fistfight.
- On the other side, the woman driver waits with a sniper rifle to pick off Bond's rival. She radios M, saying that she has a shot—but there is a chance she might hit Bond.
- M orders the woman to "take the bloody shot."
- The shot is quite bloody. The agent hits Bond, and he falls off the train into the water below.
- Bond's body is swept away by the river and over a waterfall.
- Um, we still have two hours to go, and Bond is already dead?
- To make this moment even more emotional, here comes Adele to sing the opening theme and really run your feelings through the wringer. Thanks, Adele.
- It's a dark and stormy night: perfect weather for a funeral.
- M types Bond's obituary on her laptop.
- The next day, M is summoned by Mallory, the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, who tells her that the Prime Minister is concerned about the hard drive lost when Bond died. It contained the list of identities of every NATO agent.
- Mallory suggests that M start planning her "voluntary retirement."
- Needless to say, M isn't pleased. "To hell with dignity," she says. She's not going down without a fight.
- Leaving the Chairman's office, M gets an alert that someone is attempting to decrypt the hard drive.
- Good news: it's happening right in London.
- Not only that, it's also happening from inside the MI6 network.
- Actually, it's M's computer that's being used to decrypt the hard drive.
- A virus appears on the screen telling M to "Think on your sins."
- Before M can return to the office, her car is stopped by police.
- M is angry, but it's a good thing the police stopped her: in the distance, her office explodes.
- Does that mean she can go home early? Who doesn't love a half-day?
- While M's office and career are literally going up in flames, Bond is having a steamy encounter with a dark-haired woman near a tropical beach.
- Is that what a man has to do to get a vacation? Fall off a train and almost die?
- Bond takes a late-night stroll on the beach, in shoes, surely getting them filled with wet sand. Did he forget to pack flip-flops when he died?
- At a beachside bar, Bond performs a trick in front of a crowd. He drinks an entire glass of whiskey, with a deadly scorpion perched on his hand.
- The next morning, Bond appears to be suffering from a hangover. Perhaps a little Tail of the Scorpion That Stung Him would help?
- On the TV, Wolf Blitzer informs Bond of a terrorist bombing at the British Secret Service. In short, CNN gives 007 the 411 on the TNT at the BSS.
- Back in London, M stands solemnly over the coffins of agents killed in the explosion. She swears to find whoever committed the heinous act.
- That night, M finds a drunken hobo in her home.
- Oh, wait: it's Bond. He's mad that M ordered the agent to take the shot that almost killed him.
- Bond agrees to put his anger aside because MI6 is under attack.
- M says he can return to duty after he's cleared for service. And maybe he should take a shower.
- M informs Bond that he can't go home to shower, though: she sold his flat. Standard procedure for a dead agent. "You should have called," she quips.
- Let's hope Bond doesn't have trouble finding a new place. Real estate in London is insane.
- Bond is filled in on the terrorist attack by M's assistant, Tanner, who takes Bond to MI6's new secret location.
- It's in one of Churchill's secret underground bunkers.
- They've done a bang-up job sprucing the place up, though. Looks nice. Good lighting.
- Bond undergoes a series of physical tests while Tanner continues to debrief him.
- There are also shooting challenges and a psych eval.
- During word association, Bond pulls out some intriguing pairs like "M" and "bitch" and "murder" and "employment."
- When asked about Skyfall, Bond refuses to respond. Must not be an Adele fan. Or he has serious issues with Chicken Little.
- Later, Bond uses a knife to cut shrapnel from his own skin.
- Bond gives the shrapnel to Tanner for analysis. What could it be? The last scraps of his dignity?
- Bond is visited by the agent who shot him.
- The agent apologizes, and Bond accepts. How much do you want to bet that it helps her apology that she is hot?
- The agent informs Bond that she's been temporarily removed from the field for killing him. Oops.
- Bond meets with M and Mallory in M's new makeshift office.
- Bond passed his tests. Hoorah. He's back on active service.
- Mallory wants to know why Bond didn't stay dead and live a life of luxury on a beach somewhere?
- Bond doesn't appreciate the insinuation that he's too long in the tooth for the job.
- M defends Bond, and Mallory accuses her of being "sentimental" about Bond.
- Mallory has only one piece of advice for Bond: "Don't cock it up."
- Bond leaves, and Tanner reveals that the shrapnel is military-grade uranium. Is that radioactive? Will Bond grow a third arm?
- The material is traceable to the bad guy from the train, whose name is allegedly Patrice.
- Intel says Patrice'll be in Shanghai in two days.
- Bond has 48 hours to prepare, track this guy down, and recover the hard drive.
- When Bond leaves, Tanner says he's surprised Bond passed the tests.
- M lets him know, "He didn't." Gasp.
- Bond meets with his new Quartermaster in an art museum.
- Bond can't believe this young whippersnapper is in charge of anything.
- Q presents Bond with documentation and a passport to Shanghai, as well as a snazzy new pistol that can only be fired by Bond.
- And there's a bonus gift: a radio transmitter that will broadcast Bond's location.
- Not exactly the highest of tech, but it's simple and effective.
- In Shanghai, Bond pretends to be the fanciest-looking Uber driver ever, and he follows Patrice from the airport.
- Bond watches Patrice enter a fancy building, where the man shoots the security guard. Um, anyone could have seen that. This guy is brazen.
- Bond follows the trail of bodies to an elevator, which he hangs onto as it ascends many, many floors. Couldn't wait for the next one, Bond?
- The elevator goes up more floors than Bond expected. He starts to lose his grip. Should have done more pull-ups, 007.
- Thankfully, Bond makes it to the top of the building, where he continues to follow Patrice.
- On the top floor, Patrice sets up a sniper rifle and takes aim at a building across the street.
- Bond, who you'd never want to be your bodyguard, waits until Patrice shoots a man before attacking him.
- Bond dangles Patrice off the edge of the building and demands to know, "Who's got the list?"
- Patrice, who doesn't know how poor Bond's upper body strength has gotten, doesn't answer before slipping out of Bond's grip.
- When Bond looks across the street, a woman who was in the room with the assassinated man spots him.
- Bond, who has never once been disturbed by a beautiful woman looking at him, doesn't seem bothered by being spotted.
- Bond rifles through Patrice's briefcase for clues and finds a poker chip inscribed "Macau." Is that a bird? Toucan Sam's nephew?
- At home, M receives a message on her computer.
- It's clearly a virus, but M clicks it anyway.
- The message takes M to a YouTube video that reveals the identities of five MI6 agents.
- The video promises to reveal five more agents each week.
- The video concludes: "Think on your sins."
- Who is sending these messages? The Pope?
- Bond is in Macau. It's a city in China.
- The agent who shot Bond—she still doesn't have a name—offers him some "room service."
- It's not the service women usually offer Bond in hotel rooms: this woman tells him that the list has been decrypted, and identities will be exposed every week.
- The agent's official directive is to help "in any way I can."
- Bond wonders if the woman is there to spy for Mallory.
- To prove he can trust her, Bond has the agent shave him with a flat razor.
- The agent doesn't slit his throat, so maybe she's not a spy. Although it would be awfully hard to spy on the man if he were dead.
- Clean-shaven, Bond rides a gondola to a beautiful Chinese casino.
- Nameless agent is there to help Bond case the joint. They communicate over secret wireless earpieces.
- At the counter, Bond cashes in Patrice's secret poker chip, which earns him a gigantic case of cold, hard cash.
- The woman Bond saw in Shanghai approaches him and introduces herself as Severine.
- At the bar, Severine asks Bond if he killed Patrice. Yep. He did.
- Bond says he wants to meet Severine's employer, and she tells him to be careful what he wishes for.
- Clearly frightened, Severine tries to leave, but Bond stops her.
- Bond tells Severine that he believes she is being controlled, not protected, by her bodyguards. He offers to kill her boss.
- Severine says that her guards will kill Bond when he leaves, but if he survives, he can find her on a boat in the harbor.
- Off Severine goes. Let the fight begin.
- Bond raises a glass to toast the men who will try to kill him.
- As Bond makes his exit, the guards, predictably, stop him.
- Bond handily dispatches the guards with his briefcase, which must be made of steel.
- But one guard dumps Bond into a pit of Komodo dragons. Bond and the last guard standing fight.
- The guard takes Bond's gun but cannot fire it because of the handprint technology.
- The Komodo dragon pulls the man into the depths of his cavern, and Bond does his best Pitfall Harry impression, bouncing off another dragon and hauling himself back into the casino.
- Another guard tries to shoot Bond, but the unnamed agent disarms him, saving Bond's life.
- In the harbor, Bond surprises Severine on her boat. It has its own shower, which the two make quite steamy.
- M watches in horror as a video of one of her agents being captured and assassinated airs on TV.
- Mallory argues that they can't keep operating in the shadows, because there are no more shadows.
- But M counters that the bad guy doing this is from the same place as Bond: the shadows.
- Right now, though, Bond is aboard Severine's boat in broad daylight.
- As the boat heads for the bad guy's island, Bond triggers the radio transmitter to broadcast his location to MI6.
- The secret island has an entire deserted city on it.
- The bad guy took the island by making the citizens think there was a chemical leak, and they evacuated.
- Bond is escorted into a makeshift server room, where he finally meets the Big Bad. He's a former agent, stationed in Hong Kong, who says he used to be M's favorite.
- Big Bad blames M for making them all into what they are today—killers.
- Big Bad also accuses M of lying, and he has Bond's medical, physical, and psychological evaluation results as proof of her lies. Bond failed them all, even though she said he passed.
- With Bond tied to a chair, the Big Bad unbuttons Bond's shirt and caresses his chest, his neck, and his thighs.
- It's not quite as steamy as the shower business with Severine, but beggars can't be choosers.
- Silva releases Bond and tells him that here, on his island, they can do whatever missions they want, without having a crusty old woman telling them what to do.
- Outside, the Big Bad tells Bond that there is nothing superfluous in his life. When something is redundant, it is eliminated.
- Speaking of redundant, Big Bad has Severine tied to the remains of a crumbled statue. He balances a shot glass of liquor on her head and challenges Bond to redeem his marksmanship score.
- Bond aims the gun, but he hesitates. The Big Bad wonders if 007 is really dead.
- Bond fires and misses. At least he doesn't hit Severine.
- The Baddie takes his shot and kills Severine. "I win," he says.
- With perfect timing, Bond manages to turn the tables and kill all the thugs just as MI6's helicopters arrive to take the bad guy into custody. 007 has still got it.
- In MI6's subterranean lair, M prepares to interrogate the bad guy, who is being held like Hannibal Lecter in a big glass box.
- Bad Guy is angry at M because he was tortured for five months. He protected her secrets, but she disavowed all knowledge of him. He feels betrayed by her.
- With no way out, Bad Guy used the cyanide capsule in his tooth. But like Bond falling off a bridge, he didn't die. He took this as a sign—to look into M's eyes one last time.
- M tells the Bad Guy that he—Mr. Silva is his name—will be transferred to Belmarsh Prison.
- Silva channels Beyoncé to ask M to say his name say his name.
- M won't say it again. She tells Silva that his name was on the memorial wall at MI6 headquarters, which he almost blew up. Oops.
- M will have the name struck off, and no one will remember Silva. Ever.
- Don't mess with M.
- Before M leaves, Silva shows her what hydrogen cyanide does to a person. He removes his teeth, which are connected to large plate supporting his face. All his skin sinks in, making him look like Sloth from The Goonies.
- "Look upon your work, mother," Silva taunts M.
- M leaves. In the hallway, M tells Bond that the man's real name is Tiago Rodriguez.
- Beyond her orders, he began hacking into the Chinese, so she willfully gave him up in exchange for six agents who had been taken hostage.
- As we said, don't mess with M.
- Q attempts to analyze Silva's computer.
- Thankfully, Q invented the security protocols Silva has used to protect his data.
- A lot of Hollywood hacking takes place while M attends a national security hearing.
- The council blames M for the security breaches and dead agents.
- Bond spots the word "Granborough," the name of an old tube line, in Silva's code.
- Q types it in and is greeted with a map of subterranean London. Which, you might remember, is where MI6 is now located.
- By typing that in, Bond and Q have let Silva into their system, which is now entirely exposed.
- Bond races to Silva's holding cell, but he has already escaped.
- Bond follows Silva into a deep vertical tunnel.
- Led by Q, Bond chases Silva into a Tube tunnel.
- Q believes this is all part of Silva's plan, but what could his next step be?
- Stuck in the tunnel, Bond struggles to get a door open as a train approaches. He makes it through just in time.
- Silva, who no one bats an eye at even though he is dressed in a prison jumpsuit, makes his way through the London Underground, where he picks up a mysterious package.
- Using London's Big Brother-type surveillance system, Q spots Silva, disguised as a policeman, on the train.
- Q is a little late telling Bond Silva's whereabouts, forcing Bond to jump onto a moving train.
- At least there's only one way to go on a train—toward the front.
- Bond is afraid that Silva is going for M.
- Q informs Tanner, who tells M they need to get her to a secure location.
- M refuses the leave the hearing, as that will make her look even weaker.
- Silva spots Bond and makes a run for it at the next stop.
- Bond follows on foot, sliding down the banister of an escalator.
- Bond has a better dismount, gaining ground on Silva, but he loses him in a crowd of real police officers.
- Silva slips away through a service door, but he doesn't close it. Rude. And that gives away his whereabouts to Bond.
- Bond opens fire on Silva in the service tunnel, but his aim still stinks.
- Silva triggers a bomb, which blows a hole in the tunnel, a hole that causes an entire subway train to go off the tracks and almost crash into Bond.
- Rush hour is going to be a nightmare this afternoon.
- Silva's men pick him up and take him to M's Parliamentary hearing.
- M, at her most British, recites Tennyson at the hearing as Bond desperately tries to catch up to Silva.
- Bond fails.
- Silva enters the hall and opens fire.
- Mallory attempts to protect M and is shot.
- Tanner drags M to safety just as Bond arrives.
- With the nameless agent's help, Silva and his goons are fended off.
- Bond punctures the fire extinguishers in the room, creating a smokescreen for M's escape.
- In the car, Bond says they need to get ahead of Silva. To do so, they're going to use M as bait.
- Bond and M switch vehicles to a vintage car. A silver 1965 Aston Martin DB5 to be precise, and Bond fans are always precise.
- Bond says he's taking M "back in time," where they'll have the advantage.
- Back at headquarters, Q lays a trail for Silva to follow.
- But someone else sees the signal: Mallory.
- Q fears they've been exposed, but Mallory is actually down with the plan and willing to keep it from the Prime Minister. Keep Calm and Carry On Hacking.
- On the road, Bond makes a pit stop on a foggy, isolated, rural road in northern Scotland. It's where he grew up.
- But they can't stay long. As Bond says, "Storm's coming."
- Bond takes everyone to a foreboding country manor. It's Bond's family home. And a grizzled old man still lives there.
- Bond introduces M to Kincaid, the gamekeeper.
- Bond tells Kincaid that men will arrive to kill them, but he has a plan: to kill them first.
- Unfortunately, that's going to be a little hard, because everything was sold when Bond was presumed dead.
- All that's left is one hunting rifle and a few sticks of dynamite.
- Our heroes aren't going down without a bang or two.
- Kincaid accompanies Bond to practice his shooting.
- Looks like Bond's eye is back: he's a perfect shot at target practice.
- Inside the drafty manor, M stares out the window with worried eyes.
- Kincaid shows M the priest's hole, with a tunnel that leads away from the estate.
- Bond, Kincaid, and M get busy creating a series of traps for Silva and his men, as if they're in an R-rated version of Home Alone.
- As they wait for the siege to begin, M asks out loud if she "fucked this up."
- Bond says no. But he does think M effed up his obituary.
- Then the dogs bark. The showdown is beginning.
- Over a dozen men descend on the house. 3 vs. 13 doesn't seem like a fair fight, especially when two of the three are over sixty years old.
- The old fogeys have more than a few tricks up their sleeves, handily dispatching their attackers and picking up their guns for more firepower.
- After one fierce gunfight, Bond worries that M has been hit, but she assures him that she is fine.
- With the men dead, Bond strips their masks off, but he doesn't find Silva.
- Silva, naturally, has to make a grand entrance—in a helicopter blaring classic rock.
- Bond and the helicopter exchange fire. Not a fair exchange, if you ask us.
- Bond orders Kincaid and M to flee through the priest's tunnel to the chapel.
- Bond stays behind to play dueling rifles with Silva, who has exited his helicopter, escorted by at least a dozen more men.
- Silva chucks grenades into the house, almost blowing Bond to little Bondlets.
- Bond's stirred, but not shaken.
- Following Kincaid through the dark tunnel, M limps at a snail's pace. Could she have been lying about being hit?
- Back at the estate, Silva cruelly blows up James' Aston Martin in front of him. What did that car ever do to him?
- That's the last straw for Bond, who rigs up a massive explosion before fleeing through the priest's hole.
- The house explodes, and chunks of debris knock Silva's helicopter out of the sky.
- Is that the skyfall from the title?
- Shaken but not stirred, Silva spots Kincaid's flashlight in the distance. The old man's survival skills must be rusty.
- Silva follows our heroes across the moors.
- Bond exits the tunnel and runs as quickly as possible after them.
- Standing between Bond and the chapel is a frozen lake, which Silva punctures with gunfire, plunging Bond into the icy depths.
- One of Silva's men falls into the ice with Bond—Silva better pay these guys a lot—and Bond struggles with him in the cold water.
- Bond wins, which means Silva won't have to pay that dude at all, and he swims for the surface. How long can he hold his breath?
- Going to the chapel, Silva passes the gravestones of Bond's parents.
- Inside, he finds M and Kincaid.
- It turns out that M is injured. Silva is angry, because he didn't want his men to touch her. He wants to kill her himself.
- Actually, Silva wants M and himself both to die. He gives M his gun, puts his head next to hers, and asks her to pull the trigger, killing them both with the same bullet.
- Before M can act, Bond throws a knife into Silva's back.
- Silva falls to the ground, and before he dies, Bond says, "Last rat standing."
- Mama rat, however, is mortally wounded, and M collapses into Bond's arms.
- M looks at him, says, "I did get one thing right," and then dies in his arms.
- And we have no idea what happens for the rest of the movie because we're crying so much. Even Bond is crying.
- After a lengthy pause, we dry our eyes and resume the movie.
- Bond looks out over London on a gray day—i.e., any day in London.
- The agent who shot Bond at the beginning of the movie—and still doesn't have a name—meets him on the roof.
- The agent says she declined going back on active service. Fieldwork isn't for her. Instead, she'll be backing Bond up.
- Nameless agent presents Bond with a box from M.
- Inside is the ugly dog figure M kept on her desk. Bond smirks at the cheeky gift.
- Back indoors, Bond finally asks the agent her name.
- Eve. Eve Moneypenny.
- That sounds familiar...
- Bond also meets the new M: Mallory. At least he didn't have to change his initial.
- Mallory puts a Top Secret file on the desk and asks Bond if he's ready to get back to work.
- Does Mallory even have to ask?
- The end.