In the opening sequence of Spectre (2015), James Bond is listening to some bad guys discussing an evil plot. He then starts shooting at them, but they start shooting back - and then, suddenly, the entire building they're in explodes.

It could be that I missed some important dialogue, but there didn't seem to be any readily apparent reason for this explosion. Later on, Bond is reprimanded for it and justifies the destruction of the building on the basis that a greater number of deaths would have resulted otherwise. So the explosion seems to be precipitated by Bond's actions in some way, but that was all I could gather. Did the bad guys have a bomb in the building? It must have been rather a large one. Was it somehow set off by Bond shooting at people? Did I miss the explanation or is it really just not explained at all?

This isn't the only apparently unexplained building explosion in this movie - there's also a rather large one at the end - but that's a different question.

  • 4
    Because things explode around James Bond.
    – user7812
    Nov 28, 2015 at 14:28
  • 5
    They where planning an attack using a bomb. I think they had the bomb in the building and that bomb got hit by a bullet. Nov 28, 2015 at 15:16
  • 4
    Because the people who made the film ordered 400lbs of explosives before they'd even seen the script.
    – user7812
    Nov 28, 2015 at 16:17
  • 2
    I assumed the bad guys blew it up (as they were escaping) to destroy any evidence. Nov 28, 2015 at 16:43
  • 1
    @FranciscoV. you are correct. I saw this yesterday and Bond hits something with a bullet that causes the explosion. The logical conclusion is that he hit the bomb they were planning to set off elsewhere.
    – sanpaco
    Nov 28, 2015 at 23:10

2 Answers 2


The reason you missed the dialogue is because it was in Italian, heard on Bond's dodgy earpiece and quite heavily masked by the ambient sounds.

The film's (admittedly unofficial) subtitles offer the following info about what was being said:

Suited Man: Do you have it?

Sciarra: Yes. It's there. [indicates the briefcase, opens it]

Suited Man: So, when will we blow up the stadium?

Shortly afterwards, James shoots the briefcase, causing the building (evidently some kind of terrorist safehouse) to explode.

The script notes for this scene back this up:

Bond fires, suitcase explodes.

  • Ah yes, the good old "high explosives are volatile" cliche. In the real world, this is not true; anyone who builds an explosive device that's capable of being accidentally detonated through impact or high heat really deserves what's coming to them. Jan 4, 2016 at 20:25
  • 1
    @MasonWheeler - A very quick check on youtube would suggest that shooting an IED with a large calibre weapon has a reasonable chance of making it explode. Obviously it strongly depends on the chemicals used, the detonator used, the explosives used, etc etc, etc. At the very least, by shooting the suitcase Bond is likely to put the bomb out of commission for days or even weeks while they try to repair it.
    – user7812
    Jan 4, 2016 at 21:19
  • 1
    @MasonWheeler While most modern explosives are very heat/shock sensitive, a 50 cal is routinely used for ordinance disposal for this reason. It can create enough of a shockwave to simulate a blasting cap or even a HE ignition charge. Now, I would be in your camp if he shot it with his trusty ppk and it went off. Of course I wouldn't go around shooting explosives with confidence that it won't go off. There is a certain degree of amplification of Murphy's Law that goes into effect when such things are involved.
    – user29502
    Jan 4, 2016 at 21:28
  • 1
    Yes, the I in IED stands for "improvised", as in "cobbled together out of household chemicals by low-level terrorists," so that's not particularly surprising. You'd expect better from an organization of SPECTRE's caliber, though. Jan 4, 2016 at 21:30
  • Heh, I don't know what kind of bomb would be capable of blowing up a whole stadium or city block while also fitting inside a briefcase, especially given that there were lots of little explosions rather than one big one - but this does seem to be the answer, thank you!
    – N. Virgo
    Jan 5, 2016 at 1:41

The event Bond is listening in on (and pointing his gun at) are terrorists doing final prep to leave a bomb at the stadium later that day (who the man in white is one of and Bond has followed to this location). The bomb is in the briefcase. Bond firstly shoots the person who spots him through the window, fourth shot hits the briefcase which causes the bomb to detonate.

Look at this video of the opening scene (about 4:15 into the video):

By setting off the bomb there the casualties were much fewer than it going off in public at the stadium later.

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