Skyfall: 007 Successful Transformations of Bond Lore

6. Gadgets

Bond's arsenal of gadgets is impressive. He's had a submarine-car, an invisible car, a laser watch, a high-powered magnet watch, an exploding pen, an exploding keychain, and a menagerie of doohickies and gizmos to help Bond slink out of the tightest of spots. 'Skyfall' succeeded in cutting it down to bare bones. Perhaps Bond put it best: "A gun and a radio." Unlike the two previous installments, 'Skyfall' graces Bond fans with a Q Branch, and a new quippy Q in Ben Whishaw. The rapport between the two is reminiscent of that between the late Desmond Llewelyn and previous Bonds €” one the tricksy tinkerer making the big sticks and little gadgets and one that carries them, and never brings them back in one piece, if at all. Bond's pistol is the classic Walther model, though it's a 9 mm, rather than the traditional 7.65 mm. The kicker: it only responds to Bond's palm print. It's an obvious nod to 'Licence to Kill,' in which Timothy Dalton's (underrated) Bond had a similar device in the form of a high-powered sniper rifle. It's one of the most simple and practical of all Bond gadgets, and yet, effective as hell. The radio is a nod to Sean Connery's 'Goldfinger,' in which Llewelyn's Q gives Bond what he calls a "homer." A beacon that can find Bond anywhere, anytime, no matter what. As per Bond formula, these gadgets typically come into play at the last possible second, when the audience is too wrapped up in the ever-escalating plot and 007 is in an impossibly damning situation. The gadgets serve as a deus ex machina, and they've been overused in countless Bond films. Director Sam Mendes took a different approach. The pistol goes the way of the Komodo, with a soon-to-be devoured henchman attempting to use the pistol on its owner, as Bond responds, "Good luck with that." The homer does serve to get Bond out of a jam on Silva's island, but it doesn't serve the overall story as much. It's just a great Bond moment. Silva's technological superiority is completely emasculated as his island is stormed by Bond's brigade of paramilitary commandos, just in time to save Bond from impending doom. But it doesn't save Bond in the final moments of the film. It's discarded. Silva gets away, and the true spectrum of his ploy is exposed to the audience gradual, with both the characters embroiled in the story and the audience experiencing the action putting the pieces together simultaneously. In the final conclusion, Bond battles with little technology at all €” just a few sticks of dynamite, his father's hunting rifle, and some rusty nails. It's a huge departure. It's personal, and it gets messy. It's "the old way" as Kincaid, played by an effortlessly magnetic Albert Finney, puts it. Though the biggest surprise, for me, was the inclusion of the classic gadgets in Bond's Aston Martin DB-5. The DB-5's gadgets end up (albeit briefly) foiling attempts by Silva to hunt down M. Though short-lived, the appearance of the lethal enhancements to Bond's signature ride brought giddiness to a moment of an otherwise anxiety-ridden climax.


Andrew Weber hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.