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I'm obviously a massive fan of it as it's my favorite Bond film, but you're absolutely right: this film has all the ingredients to be an indisputable top five film for everyone, and they didn't pull it off. As great as I think it is, it doesn't reach its still-higher potential, and it could have.
Take for instance the scene with Mr White, a great scene with great acting from both but you never get the feeling that either are in any immediate danger, there's no ticking clock aspect and because of this the exposition can feel dull and boring. You feel like Bond and White could sit there and chat forever.
What would have made this particular scene better, is if Bond got there and Mr White tells Bond Spectre have sent someone to kill me and he's on his way. You can then carry on with the scene with mostly the same dialogue. This would then up the stakes and the tension to the dialogue because we the audience would know something is coming but we wouldn't know when it was going to happen.
Then you could have had Bond having to protect a frail Mr White from Hinx, which then gives the audience a callback to Skyfall with Bond having to protect M. Let's say Hinx arrives, a shootout happens and Mr White is killed by Hinx but Bond gets away. Now Bond is fully aware of Mr Hinx's capabilities and now he feels a real responsibility to protect Mr White's daughter Madeline as he couldn't protect her father. Which would in turn add even more stakes to the already great train fight as Bond barely survived his last encounter with Hinx and it would add to the tension of the scene later, when Blofled shows Madeline the tape of her dad dying as it was Bond who couldn't protect him rather than he just shot himself.
It would also add to the pacing of the film, as it would be more like a race against Hinx to get to Madeline and protect her
I had similar thoughts on how this scene could’ve been improved as well. There needed to be an action sequence of some sort. Maybe Hinx, on orders from Blofeld and with a small squad of SPECTRE goons, could’ve led an assault on Mr. White’s chalet to kill both Mr. White and Bond: two for the price of one. Mr. White, however, dies in the process, leading to a chase through the wilderness where Bond has to evade Hinx and his men.
I would’ve preferred something like this as opposed to the scene that we actually got i.e. Bond in the plane having to rescue Madeleine.
I also read this as a bookend to "Every now and then a trigger has to be pulled." "Or not pulled." from Skyfall. Only that it is (like most of SP) not really hitting it correctly, as not shooting Blofeld isn't some complicated, in-the-moment, facts-on-the-ground, tactical decision only Bond could make. In a way Bond is the only person who would possibly execute Blofeld in that situation.
I think the whole film is so bloody smug and pleased with itself.
Which is why the brilliant fight on the train seems so out of step with the rest of the film.
+1. As much as I enjoy the PTS, I gotta admit that the “one shot” take is a little pretentious, as is the SPECTRE meeting. In places where the film should have been hurrying along and getting to the point, it drags the momentum.
1. The PTS one shot bit is great including the initial pan past DC and then back to him as the camera follows Sciarra. May be it is just taking more to impress me these days but I was very underwhelmed by the helicopter fight scene both one first viewing and subsequently.
2. I have no issue with Waltz and Craigs performance, they should have just removed the family connection, it wasn't needed and took something away from the menace of subsequent scenes.
3. The brain drill was a pointless and over the top means of torture that purely served as a setting to provide background details. It would have been better if a more physical threat was presented such as in Casino Royale.
4. The funeral scene and Lucia's villa scenes are excellent
5. Q is brilliant in this and has great scenes with Craig but dragging him to the Hoffler Clinic was a pointless effort to expand the role.
6. I really enjoy the MI6 HQ/funhouse scenes and any opportunity to showcase London is welcome but I feel the Morocco base was underutilised.
7. I just didn't buy into the Madeleine love story, she hated him then he dispatched Dave Bautista and can't keep her hands off him...? I also think Madeline is very one dimensional, I am surprised she is back for NTTD to be honest.
8. DC just doesn't do humour, it doesn't work for him.
I know Fukunaga is a big fan of them, and a fan of doing them right, so I do hope we get something similar from him during an action sequence or set piece in NTTD.
I also saw it as a callback to QOS where Bond has Yusuf arrested rather than killer. Hence his remark in SF.
This is the best negative comment I think you've made against SP. Yes, there are some places where I think they just wanted it to be so pretty they forgot about real conflict... still, I'll take a bit of glacial ride over yelling at the characters onscreen watching them do things that I'd never do (so they certainly shouldn't).
Yes, that's SF. ;)
This time I was a bit more open to it, I guess.
Im so disappointed with that last hour or so it dropped from top-five right to the middle-to-low tier of films for me. Overall I think the movie has a major identity problem. Hints of marvel fun, hints of Moore, hints of MI-seriousness. A Bond film that works sticks to what it strives to be.
Things just kind of happen in the last hour with no background detail or cause.
Very good point @MattyHerrmann
The identity problem is why the whole film seems 'off' somehow. It just doesn't work.
Good point, and I feel the same. It's a bit like the record-setting explosion: as a Bond fan, I knew on paper that these things were meant to be really extraordinary, but up on screen it lacked impact.
Maybe it's the way it's filmed or something - I realize that a helicopter doing a barrel rolling loop is bloody impressive, but perhaps it could have been made more visceral or immersive somehow.
Within the helicopter itself, the fight does just feel sort of cramped and I don't get the sense of danger or immediacy that should be just huge.
Hints at M:I seriousness? Whaaat?
It’s the M:I franchise who’s trying to mix a lighter MS fun with some Craig era’s serious tone.
I agree. They feel so inconsequential, like froth, yet I can never really put my finger on why.
All the elements are there for the MI films to be properly tense thrillers. They have plot and subplots and characters and urgency and high stakes and stuff. But whenever I’ve watched one, it feels like I’ve just watched an advert or something similarly pointless. Odd really.
Can’t agree more. I basically watch them just to enjoy some cool and well crafted action and stunts. M:I is basically: let’s see how far Cruise will go this time around.
The train fight in SP is up there with the best fights of the series. It's not as iconic as the one from FRWL but I like the SP fight even more at the moment. Hinx is a serious threat there, a well-dressed killing machine. It's great that there is no music for the first part of the fight and when the music kicks in (and Bond is smashed through a door), I think, holy sh*t, how will he survive this? Awesome!
Unfortunately, as stated by many others, the rest of the action scenes don't even come close.
Some of you state that Craig doesn't succeed in the funny moments. I don't feel this way at all. I liked the humour in SP and enjoyed all the funny parts, especially the first scenes with Q.
But why oh why is this movie boring several times??? The SPECTRE meeting: boring (why does Blofeld wait so long before he starts talking? Some say atmosphere, I say booring! The funeral scene and the score used there: boring.
The meteor talk: boring (or at least far away from as cool as it wants to be). Nine Eyes: very boring. Bond searches a hidden door in Whites house? Very boring. Bond never searches anything, he always knows where to look after a few seconds. The hidden room in L'americain is a too long scene, hence boring. Tanner's facial expression: boring. SP is the only Bond movie where you feel the length of the movie, the only movie where you check the time on your watch and THIS is unforgivable.
The brilliant fight scene deserved a better film.
The M:I movies have a black hole at their center.
Seen them all, and i find them instantly forgettable! FALLOUT is on television tonight, but having seen it once, cant be bothered to watch it again!
They dont come anyway near Bond for quality!
Fallout is (unfortunately) a better movie experience than SP (imo).
By a mile.
Not by me!
Which one is sillier than GF or OHMSS?