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Cut to the river Thames, Craig and Tanner are cruising along in a military style fast boat; much like the one Craig stepped off ten years prior, seasick and woozy, when he was introduced as EON’s biggest mistake. As the two pass the old MI6 HQ at Vauxhall Cross, Tanner laments how it will be torn down in a week (just because M’s office was damaged last film, talk about government waste!). Ooh foreshadowing! Juxtaposed against that, right across the river is the new center for national security building, a tall circular glass monstrosity jutting to the heavens, fresh, new, clean, sterile. The boat makes a left under a bridge and in to Q’s new subterranean lair guarded by machine gun toting agents. They try to explain Q moved there to escape the prying eyes of the new regime, but I question how that was allowed, C and his plethora of spy cameras didn’t notice as MI6’s quartermaster division spirited away all of their equipment, projects, and personnel? Nor did they notice all the new heavily armed water sport enthusiasts down by the river?
As they reach the pier Tanner tells Craig to mind his step as it’s a bit slippery and offers his hand for assistance, Craig steps right off without need of it, sure footed as a mountain goat, exposing that Craig is indeed a man’s man!
They enter the lab where Craig is told Q has something special in store for him, as they break the threshold a rifle fitted with a fancy scope is seen on a table, Craig goes right to it, unfortunately for him this is not “Chekhov’s’s gun” and he is told to put it down.
Enter Ben Whishaw as Q, I must confess old Ben did a lot to grow on me here, he really steals the scene. (Not a difficult thing to do when up against Craig, but you get the point.) Gone is the effeminate, uppity, self-important I.T. guy persona, and in its place he does his best to effect a modern day Desmond Llewelyn. Still a bit effeminate perhaps but I guess that’s who Ben is.
Old Q shoots Craig up with the “Nano Blood” which put microchips in his blood stream, I can think of less convoluted ways to keep tabs on someone, but OK. Q shows Craig the Aston Martin DB10™, but since he’s been grounded, I have to ask why? The car’s been reallocated to 009 so why waste time showing it to Craig? Q gives him an Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre edition wrist watch™, available at fine jewelers everywhere, this one’s been packed with explosives, as Q explains “The alarm is rather loud, if you get my meaning.” Why is he talking in riddles, and why give an exploding $6000 watch to a man who shouldn’t be using it? I also must point out, just last movie Q states “What did you expect, an exploding pen? We don’t really go in for that sort of thing anymore.” You don’t eh? No, exploding watches are all the rage now! So exploding pens are ridiculous, but an exploding watch is perfectly fine? OK, I see the logic in that.
They pass the old DB5, ugh the way they flaunt it about. To paraphrase Drax in Moonraker, that car has “the inevitable tediousness of an unloved season”. They can’t play the Bond theme mid film, but we see that darn car every movie! Q says “I told you to bring it back in one piece, not bring back one piece” cute line, but this Q didn’t give him that car, in fact the inclusion of that car in this rebooted universe is rather confusing, I guess even for the film makers, not just for us.
Craig asks Q to hold off on tracking him for a couple of days so he can jet off to Rome, Q agrees but I ask why? Their relationship hasn’t been established to be one of career jeopardizing trust, so why is Q sticking his neck out for Craig? It doesn’t matter, as we’ll see later, many things happen in this film simply because “We say so”.
Cut to pretentious skyline shot of London with creepy music, then to Moneypenny’s desk where she is opening a package containing a cell phone from Craig. I assume it’s a “burner” phone meant to keep MI6 from keeping tabs on their conversations, it’ll be important later on.
Back to Q who is informed 009 is here for the car. Q opens the door to discover the car is gone and in its place a bottle of fine, chilled Bollinger champagne™, coupled with the high tech rifle Craig used in Mexico begs the question, don’t they lock anything up at MI6? This is one of the many attempts to invoke the spirit of the Moore era. They all fail miserably; however I can’t really accurately gauge this one, for one simple reason. Sir Roger never had to steal anything from Q.
Would Roger leave a bottle of bubbly to make up for grand theft auto? Maybe, but he didn’t need to, you know why? Because the producers understood in those days that Bond didn’t need any “personal motivation” or to “go rogue” in order for him to venture out to do battle, do you know why that is? BECAUSE SPYING IS HIS JOB!!! Globetrotting to exotic locals to thwart evil plots is his 9-5; it’s what he’s payed to do! It doesn’t need to be “personal” because, why would it be? How often does your personal life and work life cross? How often do you “go rogue” at work and need to “borrow” the copy machine for a weekend to “get the job done”? Has your sibling ever started a rival company to exact revenge against you? Has a “dark secret” ever come back to haunt your supervisor, requiring you to take action to save them? Yeah, neither should Bond, yet here we are with: This time its personal, No THIS time its personal, No really THIS time its personal, No, no for reals THIS time it really, really is personal!