A Licence to thrill - TopTenMM Opening Sequences

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Nominee #5 Skyfall (2012)


Bond battles a villain different from any he has fought before. And to win this fight, he has to make the journey home- back to Skyfall.

Director: Sam Mendes

Writers: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade

Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris

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Skyfall’s opening scene is slow-burn. But once it’s got you by the belt and braces (and everything else) it just doesn’t let go.

The usual spy entrance, Bond walking through a dark alley with a gun pointed at – whoever – into a dark room with bodies strewn on the floor and all M (on the wire) can think about is the hard drive she’s after ‘Is it there?’ When he tells her ‘It’s gone!’ she persists ‘Are you sure?’ And he walks out, down into an another bright alley and then the brighter street. Only a shade or two between alleys. Eve’s in a grey truck. Bond hops in as they tail a black Audi – only a shade or two between cars. The music picks up, pulsing, pounding.

The vehicles are rubbing shoulders. Bond gets impatient and wrenches the wheel to lift the Audi, belly up....and down. The Audi gunman gets out, sprays the street with bullets, grabs a stray motorbike and is off. Bond grabs another stray and is off behind him. The bikes hug each other through ridiculously crowded streets and then fed up of the crowds mount another alley – this time a staircase, up a floor and on to the rooftop of a bazaar.

They’re racing alongside. Bond’s in a tie and both men keep their jackets on. They crash through a glass pane and down on to the bazaar road again - a universe of shops, wares, people. In the blur it’s hard to tell seller from buyer. Eve in the truck, guided by HQ, takes a shortcut and meets the bikers............on a bridge. Mr Audi (now Biker 1), still with his jacket, jumps off the bridge onto a moving train with Bond dutifully after him. The train happens to be carrying a rather harmless earth-mover and stacked cars. Harmless until Bond decides to weaponize the earth-mover to take some fire and to pursue Biker 1 (for our purposes dammit, or it’d be rather pointless) who is fleeing and firing along the way. As Biker sees the earth-mover dusting off the cars and approaching him, he decides to uncouple the coach to leave Bond to his dusting off. Eve’s truck is now alongside the coaches and she helpfully warns Bond who punches the earth-mover fist into the coach ahead and climbs on to the metal arm before it rips clean off - and free of - coach and train. He lands into through that punched hole, into the coach that’s still part of the train. Eve’s truck peels off on a dust road, as the train enters a tunnel.

When the train reappears Bond and Biker 1 are locked in combat on the rooftop as it hurtles through a rather scenic countryside of hills and trees. Bond apparently has the hard-drive but the men are interrupted by ‘get down now’ tunnels.

Bond’s hit. The music stops. Bond flies off the train, plunging all the way down into the water below.

Eve’s now on higher ground but a good distance away. She whips out her rifle and has them in her sights. M on the wire realising that another tunnel is approaching and that Eve may miss her shot altogether, dismisses Eve’s concern that she may hit Bond. ‘Take the bloody shot!’. Eve does. Bond’s hit. The music stops. Bond flies off the train, plunging all the way down into the water below. One splash. No other sound. Biker now the lone man on the train, looks back at a stunned Eve, only partially puzzled that he’s still alive to duck under another tunnel. Eve’s voice can barely be heard on M’s speakerphone at HQ, ‘Agent down’.

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