The villain keeps dropping cryptic messages on M's laptop: "Think on your sins.' M realizes it is an agent that she, the Mom, had "abandoned' in a prison "to die like a rat'. Bardem is convincing as an evil villain, with bleach blond hair and shades of Anthony Hopkins from "Silence of the Lambs', especially when he speaks with a Spanish accent and wishes to destroy a revered British institution.
M and MI6 come under scrutiny and governmental review. Unable to keep up with the new cyberthreats, her boss Mallory (Ralph Feinnes) tries to push M out, while urging Bond to remain dead. M vows to hang in there with her favorite agent. When she is in the process of explaining the nature of the new threat as dangerous and opaque at a public hearing, the British parliament itself comes under attack. Both M and Bond find themselves scurrying for Winston Churchill's hidden bunker, with the help of a hi-tech Q (Ben Wishaw), in London's subterranean tunnel system.
Mendes wanted to make a Bond film at the edge of the contemporary reality, thrusting Bond into the age of terrorism and cyber warfare, while revealing his true character. " In this movie Bond is pushed to the limit, it kills him in a sense, brings him back and he's a shadow of his former self," Mendes said. This is why, perhaps, the British critics have almost unanimously found this Bond more real and appealing.
When Bond suddenly turns up at his estate in Scotland, his housekeeper Kincaid (Albert Finny) who has not seen him in many years asks, "What are you doing here?" "Some people are trying to kill us. We will kill them first," replies Bond.
Adelle (Grammy-winning Bond aficionado) lends her silky voice to an ode to the end of the world as we know it:
This is the end
Hold your breath and count to ten
Feel the earth move".
Let the Skyfall, when it crumbles
We will stand tall, and face it all together
At the Skyfall
Dinesh Sharma is the author of "Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President", which was rated as the Top 10 Black history books for 2012. His next book on President Obama, "Crossroads of Leadership: Globalization and American Exceptionalism in the Obama Presidency", is due to be published with Routledge Press.