Hey, I've watched all the 22 other Bond films - beginning with the 1962 Dr. No. Never before have Bond's heroics left me shaken, not stirred. Here, Bond gets his prey in Macau and has him locked-up in the temporary MI6 HQ (yes MI6 has to move to a temporary shelter after the villain blows-up the famous MI6 HQ by the Thames) in London - just before intermission, giving the impression of a job well done.
The villain is a former agent of MI6 whose identity was revealed to the Chinese in return for six agents in Chinese captivity. Seething with revenge, the villain, Raoul Silva, decides to teach M a lesson by leaking the names of five MI6 agents every week. But then, 007 gets him locked-up in the MI6's temporary shelter before he can release the second tranche of the five names. This makes the villain even more villainous. He decides to kill M. Escaping from the MI6 HQ and getting to M, whose competence is being questioned by her bosses in a secret location, is of course kids play for a former agent. He kills the two Chowkidars assigned by MI6 to prevent him from escaping. He removes the conveniently placed drain-covers which leads him to the subway tunnel and onto the subway station without having to pass through the turnstiles. His knowledge of the subway system is better than that of the serving agent, Bond - who needs to rely on Q for directions.
Even when operating from his HQ, 007 does not seek support or backups. Like the Phantom, it appears that 007 works best when he works alone. He succeeds in saving, almost single-handedly, M from the rampaging Silva. He then spirits M to his boyhood home in rural Scotland. Q scatters electronic bread-crumbs to lure the villain to Bond's 'secret' hide-out where he plays the one-man fortress for M. Bond expects Silva to attack him with all his resources, yet Bond does not carry anything more than his pistol and a car from his archives (an Aston Martin DB5) used by his predecessor in 1964. Fortunately, his predecessors were technologically savvier and this machine has guns embedded into into its parking lights. Even more fortunately for Bond, he can figure out how to use technology fit for only the Smithsonian. More than this car, his Walther PPK and his father's Double-Barreled gun, Bond relies on his knowledge of Chemistry,Physics and Thermo-dynamics to blow up gas cylinders using dynamite. This is done to bring his house down in order to cause collateral damage to the villain's chopper.
Bond, who is usually very perceptive, does not realize that his boss, M, was lying when she said that only her pride was hurt by the villain's bullets. Her limping is also lost on the caretaker of Bond's home who was assigned of lead M to safety through a secret passage.
In the penultimate frame, Bond kills Raoul Silva. M too succumbs to her injuries in this frame. This is Bond's first failure since his creation in 1962.
On account of the tragic death of M, this is also the first time, since 1962, that Bond does not get to smooch after completing his assignment.Quite tragic!
Bond's second failure in a single outing is also another first.And,oh yeah! The action's good!