Changing of the guard part 2: Skyfall

skyfall

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not someone who religiously follows Ian Fleming’s most famous creation. Until today, I hadn’t even realised that yesteryear was the 50th Anniversary of the film franchise, which began with Dr. No in 1962. In fact, I haven’t even seen Daniel Craig’s second outing as 007…so why in the world am I now writing about his third?

The only way that I can answer that question, is to say that there was just something poetic about Skyfall’s place in the Bond franchise. Whilst I felt it keenly in relation to Chris Nolan’s Batman finale last year at the time – there is always something about films that signify the end of an era – what happens in Skyfall is especially fitting for the 50th Anniversay. By that, of course, I mean the changing of the guard.

Q has been missing for two films, of course, as has Moneypenny. So it was a nice surprise to see updated versions of them in the new timeline, set in modern times. Even more interesting, however, was the introduction of the next head of MI6, Gareth Mallory, formerly a lieutenant colonel in the British Army. The question, of course, is whether we should trust him, given that he comes in advising M to ‘retire gracefully’ in the wake of a mistake with extremely serious consequences: the loss of a hard drive that contains files revealing the identities of all undercover agents amongst Britain’s allies…

(NB: er…maybe this is just me being very skeptical, but which secret service would store all that data in one hard drive? Please don’t tell me they would be that silly…)

Don’t get me wrong though, as I definitely liked how it played out. It was quite nostalgic seeing those single-laned roads that bulged once in a while, and I loved how Bond decided to counter his adversary, who now makes his living off manipulating reality through the cyber realm, by withdrawing with M to one of the most isolated places in the United Kingdom, his family home. Of course, it doesn’t go completely smoothly: being an ex-agent, Raoul Silva is quite comfortable returning to traditional modern weaponry when his tools of cyberwarfare are wrested from him. But it was definitely cool seeing our protagonists find ways to wage war – and win, of course – with the limited tools available to them.

Judi Dench has now departed from the Bond series in a way that befits her portrayal of M – with much dignity. And whilst Daniel Craig is getting on a little in years, I will probably tune in to the next two films: as it’s fascinating to see the film industry’s take on modern security issues that I skim through every once in a while. And I dare say that it’ll be interesting to see if they can top that motorcycle chase atop Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar!

About karice
MAG fan, amateur translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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