7. Bond Never Lies Once
Sure, the opening sequence in 'Skyfall' was as to be expected. There was a multi-vehicle chase, the crunching and clattering of twisted metal via the collision of heavy machinery, all with Bond very much in control of the situation, that is until the sequence comes to an abrupt end. Bond is shot, plummets off a bridge, by his own ally, Eve, no less played confidently and charmingly by Naomie Harris. As the predictably kitschy title sequence featuring the classically languid visages of women began, with Adele's adequate (yeah, I said adequate) theme swooned in the background, I could almost feel a collective, "What on Earth just happened?" throughout the theater. He just fell of a bridge. He's gotta be dead.
But he's James Bond. He never dies. He can't die. I've seen the trailers! There are still 138 minutes to kill. Still, it took a few seconds for this to sink in. And then I remembered my childhood, the first time I watched Connery's 'You Only Live Twice,' and the look on my father's face when he said, "You're going to like this one," or something to that effect, then having Bond meet a similarly instant, heart-wrenching death in the opening sequence. I (briefly) wanted to turn it off, just as I did in 'Skyfall.' To this day, it's still one of my least favorite Connery film, presumably because of the (albeit minor) childhood melodrama trauma. One could say, "Sure, they took a page out of their book," but it's more than that. Bond's presumed death was more than an accidental friendly fire. He was killed at the behest of Judi Dench's M. She didn't care if it wasn't a clean shot, she wanted the job done. Bond's death was a mistake, but a minor set back. Later in the film, it tears at Bond's already frazzled psyche as he questions whether he's an asset or an expendable cog in the grand scheme of MI-6. Bond's loyalty is tested, but it's not trivially, it shakes him. He ultimately overcomes, as he always does, and finds himself back in the fold, though not without consequence. He's still a broken Bond.