The Toxic Skyfall Bullet

edited April 2014 in Skyfall Posts: 54
I was thinking about Skyfall and the way we discuss why Bond has lost a part of who he is and how he regains it, and the answer actually seems quite obvious:

From the moment Patrice's depleted uranium shell enters OO7's shoulder, he is being poisoned by the shrapnel.
From the moment he removes it, he steadily returns to form.


All of Bond's woes can be put down to this shrapnel.

Depleted uranium (DU) is not just radioactive, more importantly it is chemically toxic to the human body and will create a selection of physiological and neurological symptoms which neatly explain the results of his tests.
(For more info on these effects, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#Chemical_toxicity)

In the film, we can see that by the time Bond collapses during the tests, and is bemused by his inability to hit the target with his Walther, he knows something is wrong inside his body. He rejects the idea that he has "lost a step" and takes a knife to his own body to remove what he suspects might be causing the problems, with the added benefit of identifying Patrice more quickly... something he could have done by spending a few hours sat at the Identograph. :)

So just as Bond is at his lowest ebb before he removes the shrapnel, we can see by his swim in the hotel pool in Shanghai that he is almost match-fit again.

This makes me think that during the scotch marksmanship scene, Bond is in complete control of his actions, from before he even set foot on the island. Severine has been a means to an end, and he considers her expendable (she has after all been complicit in at least one of Patrice's murders and is a villain).

As he shakily points the musket at the glass atop her head, he knows he can make the shot, but he misses on purpose so that he can spring into action moments later and capture his prize.

Thoughts?

Comments

  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,231
    Interesting analysis @PalkoPalko. My problem with your theory is that Bond still seems to be physically affected when he struggles to keep his grip on the bottom of the elevator when he is shadowing Patrice. Perhaps even when he loses his grip on Patrice himself after the encounter.

    I have always thought that Bond missing the shot was a psychological barrier though. I'm not sure that I can agree with you that he did it on purpose but it would seem odd that he has perfect aim once he springs into action so I don't think it was his injury that was limiting him.
  • Yes, the effects don't suddenly disappear, but lessen rather quickly.
    Perhaps the moment he shaves the stubble off and puts the dinner jacket on is when he's back to health, which is a neat visual metaphor.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    pachazo wrote:
    Interesting analysis @PalkoPalko. My problem with your theory is that Bond still seems to be physically affected when he struggles to keep his grip on the bottom of the elevator when he is shadowing Patrice. Perhaps even when he loses his grip on Patrice himself after the encounter.

    I have always thought that Bond missing the shot was a psychological barrier though. I'm not sure that I can agree with you that he did it on purpose but it would seem odd that he has perfect aim once he springs into action so I don't think it was his injury that was limiting him.

    Eh? I think it's important to remember he still sustained 2 gun shot wounds. The fact that Patrice's bullet is no longer inside him is beside the point. Bond would still be suffering from some sort of physical pain if he's applying strain to his arm/shoulder and hanging off the butt-end of a lift; and ascending multiple stories whilst in hanging mode would do exactly that.

    As for the Severine death scene, I agree with @PalkoPalko.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,231
    I think that the scene was intended to show us that he is still not 100% back to full health. Yes, it would be difficult for the average person to keep their grip in that situation but this is Bond that we are talking about. Why do you agree with the death scene theory?
  • Posts: 19,339
    The pain from the recoil of the gun wouldnt have helped Bond either tbh.
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,231
    It doesn't seem to bother him afterwards though.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    PalkoPalko wrote:
    I was thinking about Skyfall and the way we discuss why Bond has lost a part of who he is and how he regains it, and the answer actually seems quite obvious:

    From the moment Patrice's depleted uranium shell enters OO7's shoulder, he is being poisoned by the shrapnel.
    From the moment he removes it, he steadily returns to form.


    All of Bond's woes can be put down to this shrapnel.

    Depleted uranium (DU) is not just radioactive, more importantly it is chemically toxic to the human body and will create a selection of physiological and neurological symptoms which neatly explain the results of his tests.
    (For more info on these effects, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#Chemical_toxicity)

    In the film, we can see that by the time Bond collapses during the tests, and is bemused by his inability to hit the target with his Walther, he knows something is wrong inside his body. He rejects the idea that he has "lost a step" and takes a knife to his own body to remove what he suspects might be causing the problems, with the added benefit of identifying Patrice more quickly... something he could have done by spending a few hours sat at the Identograph. :)

    Thoughts?

    Interesting. I have to admit that I never really considered the connection between the bullet and its scientific make-up. Being a Brit I don't really have any exposure to firearms, so talk of guns/ammunition etc goes right over my head. I'd always thought the 'depleted uranium' line was a little flourish added in for effect, but it's interesting to know its potentially a plot point. I'm wondering why it wasn't elaborated on, as if what you surmise is true, it certainly warrants a little more exposition.
  • Posts: 5,767
    RC7 wrote:
    Interesting. I have to admit that I never really considered the connection between the bullet and its scientific make-up. Being a Brit I don't really have any exposure to firearms, so talk of guns/ammunition etc goes right over my head. I'd always thought the 'depleted uranium' line was a little flourish added in for effect, but it's interesting to know its potentially a plot point. I'm wondering why it wasn't elaborated on, as if what you surmise is true, it certainly warrants a little more exposition.
    The notion of DU poisoning Bond is very interesting. However if there would have been any intention of using the toxicity of DU for the story, any Bond film, even one containing a number of subtleties like SF, would have explained it in a not subtle way. Because, no offence @PalkoPalko, beside you hardly any Bond audience knows anything about DU. Tanner mentions that it could have cut Bond in half, which hints to the bullet material being extraordinarily hard. But Tanner mentions nothing about toxicity. So my guess would be the toxicity of DU was ignored in SF, as much as it would make sense in the real world.

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