Does anyone else consider SKYFALL a suitable end to the Craig run?

donnydracodonnydraco America
in Skyfall Posts: 13
Hello, everyone! New member, here.

One of the more fascinating aspects to being a cinephile lies in the conceit of "head-canon", which is to say, the penchant for expunging any sequels/follow-ups of a franchise that aren't agreeable to one's personal tastes. At times this is motivated by quality-control (e.g., JAWS is my favorite film, and one that must stand alone, in light of the diminishing returns of its sequels). In other instances, it's more of an issue of preserving the purity of a narrative (e.g., DIRTY HARRY is also a favorite, and one that works better as a self-contained urban thriller, in light of the moral ambiguity of the finale).

But then there's the most peculiar facet to head-canon. A dilemma, really. What happens when a film series hosts a whole string of distinct endings, yet, before it's even wrapped up, lands on one so pitch-perfect that one is hesitant to move beyond it? I've happened upon this several times, most notably in Nolan's DARK KNIGHT trilogy. For me, the story ends with the middle chapter, not so much because of the qualms I have with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, but because I simply believe THE DARK KNIGHT has the better, more resonant ending. I love that Batman, Gordon and Dent had saved Gotham from the Joker's nihilistic terror campaign, but at tremendous personal cost to all three (banishment, deception, and corruption/death, respectively). I love that we're left to entertain the notion that civilization could be upheld by a Noble Deception. It's provocative, and astonishingly adult--far preferable to what transpires in the RISES coda.

So it goes with SKYFALL. I've sat on NTTD for nearly a month and a half, and after deliberation, decided that SF is how I prefer to leave the Craig run. It's not so much a question of weighing the merits/demerits of the two films that follow (i.e., the Swan Saga), as it is a "Quit while you're ahead" judgment. With CR, QOS, and finally SF, I think there's just enough trauma and character growth, just enough stretching and subversion of the Bond formula, to make Craig's Bond the most effective in the franchise, but no more. With SF, Bond dies, is resurrected, wages war in a hellscape apocalypse, loses his surrogate mother, shuffles off the coils of his childhood haunts, slays his shadow doppelganger (Silva) and in the final scene, is properly cemented as equal-parts tragic/heroic myth. Sublime. Just sublime. And it feels so right. Consequently, everything following SF seems an afterthought, even the superlative elements.

Does anyone else feel the same?
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Comments

  • edited November 12 Posts: 206
    I made the same point on here last week. Skyfall ended with everything back in place, M's a stiff-assed curmudgeon with his old office, Moneypenny is behind her desk, Q was re-introduced . . . It certainly felt to me like the 'Bong begins' thing had gone full circle and we were going to go back to a mission per film with no personal baggage. "Back to work..."
    I couldn't have been more wrong, could I?
  • donnydracodonnydraco America
    Posts: 13
    I made the same point on here last week. Skyfall ended with everything back in place, M's a stiff-assed curmudgeon with his old office, Moneypenny is behind her desk, Q was re-introduced . . . It certainly felt to me like the 'Bong begins' thing had gone full circle and we were going to go back to a mission per film with no personal baggage. "Back to work..."

    Yeah. Bond is fully-formed at the end of SF (for better OR worse...is he now a purged hero, a resolute monster, or both?) and as you said, the circle is completed. For all intents and purposes, Mallory is shuttling Bond off to Jamaica, to investigate the disappearance of a certain operative named Strangways.

    I'm not saying this should be the ending to the Craig cycle, only that's it my ending.

  • MalloryMallory Do mosquitoes have friends?
    Posts: 1,515
    I made the same point on here last week. Skyfall ended with everything back in place, M's a stiff-assed curmudgeon with his old office, Moneypenny is behind her desk, Q was re-introduced . . . It certainly felt to me like the 'Bong begins' thing had gone full circle and we were going to go back to a mission per film with no personal baggage. "Back to work..."
    I couldn't have been more wrong, could I?

    We all thought that. And wanted it too. DC and EON try to sell a dead pup of their 'connected storyline of the 5 films' - if it wasnt so horrendously done, that may have worked.
  • FeyadorFeyador Montreal, Canada
    Posts: 223
    That's really interesting & well put ... but for me all of the EON films are canon and I tend to give them equal weight in relation to each other, which isn't to say that I enjoy them all equally.

    One of the things I like about the "Swann Saga" [as in a remembrance of things past?], but all of the Craigs, really, is that they feel consciously in dialogue with what came before them. But, of course, where I see "dialogue" others see something "unoriginal" and/or "subversive."

    However, I'd add my own example to those you present above: the first two Godfather films, which are among the glories of American cinema. But Godfather III, not so much ....
  • GadgetManGadgetMan Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 3,879
    It would have been suitable to end Craig's run of course, and the brilliant use of the Bond theme as Bond and Mallory exchange patriotic words, is very Bondian. It's just as stylish and uplifting like CR's ending and it signalled a return to standalone alone adventures and would have still worked with Craig....maybe Bond 24 was the film that really needed a Nolan or Boyle, but as soon as Mendes returned, serializing the series again was on the cards and it didn't exactly turn out well.
  • edited November 12 Posts: 3,338
    Feyador wrote: »
    That's really interesting & well put ... but for me all of the EON films are canon and I tend to give them equal weight in relation to each other, which isn't to say that I enjoy them all equally.

    ^^^ This.^^^ All of the Bond films are exactly equal in validity. They're ALL fictions. I like FYEO more than I like MR, but I've never tried to pretend that MR or DAD or SP or any of the lesser lights in the series (to my mind) are somehow non-canon. This topic thread, so far as I can tell, is simply another outgrowth of the "How Dare They Kill James Bond???" mind set active among a vocal minority of this forum. C'mon, gang, get serious here: ALL of the James Bond films are attempts at creating an entertaining lie. If you didn't like this one, sorry; another bus will come along shortly. Maybe the next one will be more to your liking.
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited November 12 Posts: 179
    I'm not sure if I will ever watch NTTD. After the past decade's worth of Hollywood intentionally destroying franchises I enjoy, I'm not willing to tolerate any more of it, particularly with Bond. I'm just absolutely sick of this trend. So, I don't have anything to say about NTTD except that Bond shouldn't ever be killed off on screen, at least not on a mission. Maybe a Michael Corleone-style death of an old Bond looking back on his life might be appropriate, but he should never be killed, not when the whole allure of the character is that he always makes it.

    As for the question of canon, I only think the Fleming novels are canon, and the movies are just interpretations of the character he invented. In terms of movie-canon, Skyfall and Spectre are so "meta" in what they do that they almost don't feel like Bond movies at all but commentaries on the Bond franchise. Nothing feels right about them. Bond's character is off, Blofeld is off, the romance with Madeline feels like a poorly-rendered copy of Bond and Tracy from OHMSS. However, Spectre does end on a high note, and I'm happy with that being the last Bond movie I ever watch, as I have no hope for the series at this point.
  • Posts: 12,839
    I really hate to say this and it would have gutted me back then, but I think SKYFALL probably should've been Craig's last film.
    We would have been on Aidan Turner's 3rd film by now and enjoying his Dalton like era had Eon skipped SP and NTTD.
    :)
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 1,033
    As much as it would been a strong symbolic ending, I would have felt cheated not seeing Craig's Bond in his peak.
    It's a shame about some of SP and NTTD's choices afterwards upon reflection
  • edited November 12 Posts: 3,338
    slide_99 wrote: »
    I'm not sure if I will ever watch NTTD.

    Waitaminute. Does that mean that after posting your complaints about NTTD ad infinitum for the last month or so, you haven't even seen the movie you're complaining about??? Gotcha. I thought I was a grumpy old fart, (born in 1954 I can remember when it seemed heresy to suggest that somebody other than Sean Connery would ever play 007!) but I at least come by my complaints legitimately. If you haven't seen NTTD even once then your complaints seem -- at the best-- unfounded.

  • Posts: 206
    Mallory wrote: »
    This topic thread, so far as I can tell, is simply another outgrowth of the "How Dare They Kill James Bond???" mind set active among a vocal minority of this forum. C'mon, gang, get serious here: ALL of the James Bond films are attempts at creating an entertaining lie. If you didn't like this one, sorry; another bus will come along shortly. Maybe the next one will be more to your liking.

    But there has to be some narrative cohesion. You can't just say "it's all fiction so nothing matters". If that was the case, have him fly like Superman in one film, or have him with X-ray vision in another, or be able to teleport like Mr Spock . . . and according to your logic, it doesn't matter what happens to him because 'it's all fiction anyway and he'll be back to normal again in the next film'.

    This 'mindset' you speak of, has valid reasons for being so vocal.


  • donnydracodonnydraco America
    Posts: 13
    Feyador wrote: »
    That's really interesting & well put ... but for me all of the EON films are canon and I tend to give them equal weight in relation to each other, which isn't to say that I enjoy them all equally.

    ^^^ This.^^^ All of the Bond films are exactly equal in validity. They're ALL fictions. I like FYEO more than I like MR, but I've never tried to pretend that MR or DAD or SP or any of the lesser lights in the series (to my mind) are somehow non-canon. This topic thread, so far as I can tell, is simply another outgrowth of the "How Dare They Kill James Bond???" mind set active among a vocal minority of this forum. C'mon, gang, get serious here: ALL of the James Bond films are attempts at creating an entertaining lie. If you didn't like this one, sorry; another bus will come along shortly. Maybe the next one will be more to your liking.

    "Head-canon" doesn't apply to the first 20 Bond films, as each is more-or-less self-contained. It would be redundant, for example, to state that DAF is not the true successor to OHMSS, as that's not its aim. Only Craig's run made a stab at narrative/thematic through-lines (the one possible exception being LTK); as such, I don't feel it's unreasonable to take its multiple exit-points into consideration.

    I'm glad that many fans embrace the totality of the five-film run; I just happen to not be among them.

  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 5,014
    If SF was the end of the Craig era, sure, it would have been completely appropriate.
  • edited November 12 Posts: 206
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    I really hate to say this and it would have gutted me back then, but I think SKYFALL probably should've been Craig's last film.

    Just about an hour and a half in to the film, No Time to Die felt like 'The Daniel Craig Show' a little too much for me. I didn't get that at all from SF, or SP even.
    That sounds quite mean when I say that. I'm sure he's a great bloke and all . . .
  • Posts: 5,918
    Echooo, echooo, echooo….

    And so on.
  • Posts: 206
    peter wrote: »
    Echooo, echooo, echooo….

    And so on.

    Illuminating!

    You can join the debate properly if you want. Sentences and everything.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython "I want you looking FABULOUS."
    Posts: 5,134
    Nah, NTTD was the correct way to end Craig’s run.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,612
    First off, SF is not my favourite Craig Bond. There was a time when I found it almost un-re-watchable.
    But after seeing NTTD, a film I'm almost certain I will never watch again, I have totally softened to it. It has some truly terrific bits in it. And Bond himself doesn't die in it.
    SF might have been a good way to end it, but then we'd not have gotten SP, a film I personally get a great deal of enjoyment from despite the obvious mis-steps.
  • Junglist_1985Junglist_1985 Los Angeles
    Posts: 411
    You can’t just pick what you perceive to be the actor’s last great film and say they should’ve called it quits… in that case Goldfinger should’ve been Connery’s last, For Your Eyes Only should’ve been Roger’s last, Tomorrow Never Dies should’ve been Brosnon’s last (in my opinion).

    Doesn’t all that sound absurd?
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,612
    You can’t just pick what you perceive to be the actor’s last great film and say they should’ve called it quits…
    You SO can. And people DO. ;)
  • Posts: 206
    chrisisall wrote: »
    First off, SF is not my favourite Craig Bond. There was a time when I found it almost un-re-watchable.
    But after seeing NTTD, a film I'm almost certain I will never watch again, I have totally softened to it. It has some truly terrific bits in it. And Bond himself doesn't die in it.
    SF might have been a good way to end it, but then we'd not have gotten SP, a film I personally get a great deal of enjoyment from despite the obvious mis-steps.

    Yup!
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited November 12 Posts: 179
    You can’t just pick what you perceive to be the actor’s last great film and say they should’ve called it quits… in that case Goldfinger should’ve been Connery’s last, For Your Eyes Only should’ve been Roger’s last, Tomorrow Never Dies should’ve been Brosnon’s last (in my opinion).

    Doesn’t all that sound absurd?

    The difference is that Craig was basically out after Spectre, and if the rumors are true, he came back to the role only when they offered him a planet's worth of cash and a promise that they'll kill off his Bond. The obvious question is why on Earth EON agreed to that when they had a satisfactory conclusion with Spectre's ending. If it takes all that to get your actor back into a role then you should really be looking for a replacement.
  • Mallory wrote: »
    This topic thread, so far as I can tell, is simply another outgrowth of the "How Dare They Kill James Bond???" mind set active among a vocal minority of this forum. C'mon, gang, get serious here: ALL of the James Bond films are attempts at creating an entertaining lie. If you didn't like this one, sorry; another bus will come along shortly. Maybe the next one will be more to your liking.

    But there has to be some narrative cohesion. You can't just say "it's all fiction so nothing matters". If that was the case, have him fly like Superman in one film, or have him with X-ray vision in another, or be able to teleport like Mr Spock . . . and according to your logic, it doesn't matter what happens to him because 'it's all fiction anyway and he'll be back to normal again in the next film'.

    This 'mindset' you speak of, has valid reasons for being so vocal.


    Who's this "Mallory" thug and how did he get involved here?

    There's plenty of narrative cohesion in NTTD. James Bond does not fly; moreover he was first referenced as being "Superman" in by Tiffany Case in DAF. For that matter, Spock does not teleport on his own power. You'll need to work a little harder than this if you insist on assembling a straw man... but I can't see why you'd want to bother.
  • Posts: 206
    You talk about narrative cohesion, but the James Bond cinematic character has been killed, yet he's not dead. He'll be back.
    And that's cohesive?
    Come on!
  • Posts: 5,918
    slide_99 wrote: »
    You can’t just pick what you perceive to be the actor’s last great film and say they should’ve called it quits… in that case Goldfinger should’ve been Connery’s last, For Your Eyes Only should’ve been Roger’s last, Tomorrow Never Dies should’ve been Brosnon’s last (in my opinion).

    Doesn’t all that sound absurd?

    The difference is that Craig was basically out after Spectre, and if the rumors are true, he came back to the role only when they offered him a planet's worth of cash and a promise that they'll kill off his Bond. The obvious question is why on Earth EON agreed to that when they had a satisfactory conclusion with Spectre's ending. If it takes all that to get your actor back into a role then you should really be looking for a replacement.

    So let me get this straight: You know that Craig was out and what dragged him back again was a boat load of cash and the promise they’d kill off his Bond.

    You know this because you have an “in” at EoN? Or are you piecing this together via the corporate media click-bait machine?

    Coz I also heard that Craig was miserable on Sp (kinda showed in his performance), because he was in great discomfort through most of the shoot due to a severe knee injury he sustained (during his fight with Hinx), he was on painkillers, and many scenes had to be re-drawn (mainly action sequences) to work around the fact he was hobbling around like an old man.

    By Craig’s own words, he thought he was done because if he couldn’t perform the physical, then it was over.

    But Broccoli persisted, even after discussing certain directions with CJF. Obviously those new directions weren’t enough to entice her. She still waited for Craig (circa 2016).

    And this talk of money: by the time of SP, Craig was already so wealthy he could live several lifetimes and still not have spent his final dime. He’s a respected actor inside the industry and plenty of gigs we’re waiting for him (both high brow television and films). But he came back to do one last film for some cash and to do a death scene? I don’t think your theory holds much weight here…

    Once again, he was, at that point, richer than you could ever imagine and as for having a dramatic death scene? he’s died several times on stage and in films…

    So this idea Craig came back disingenuously is, quite frankly a crock.

    Just accept the fact that you hate the film or the actor or the ending, or whatever, and move on.

    One day there will be a new Bond. New adventures. It will have nothing to do with this timeline. And hopefully it’ll be to your standards.
  • You talk about narrative cohesion, but the James Bond cinematic character has been killed, yet he's not dead. He'll be back.
    And that's cohesive?
    Come on!

    "They" haven't done anything to James Bond. Just as in this instance: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/08/06/book-on-shelf/

  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,612
    slide_99 wrote: »
    Craig was basically out after Spectre, and if the rumors are true, he came back to the role only when they offered him a planet's worth of cash and a promise that they'll kill off his Bond. The obvious question is why on Earth EON agreed to that when they had a satisfactory conclusion with Spectre's ending. If it takes all that to get your actor back into a role then you should really be looking for a replacement.
    I concur!
    Despite NTTD's excellence in so many areas, it really showed me how bad a great movie can be. And in the end, Dan just didn't get/love Bond at all.
    He slit BOND'S wrists, to paraphrase a famous quote.
    Get another actor like Pierce who actually WANTS the role.
  • Posts: 206
    chrisisall wrote: »
    slide_99 wrote: »
    Craig was basically out after Spectre, and if the rumors are true, he came back to the role only when they offered him a planet's worth of cash and a promise that they'll kill off his Bond. The obvious question is why on Earth EON agreed to that when they had a satisfactory conclusion with Spectre's ending. If it takes all that to get your actor back into a role then you should really be looking for a replacement.
    I concur!
    Despite NTTD's excellence in so many areas, it really showed me how bad a great movie can be. And in the end, Dan just didn't get/love Bond at all.
    He slit BOND'S wrists, to paraphrase a famous quote.
    Get another actor like Pierce who actually WANTS the role.

    Brutal, but eyeopening. A hard, possible truth.
  • Posts: 5,918
    Dan just didn't get/love Bond at all.
    He slit BOND'S wrists

    I’m really trying to understand this: how did Craig not get/love Bond in your opinion? What has he ever done to disrespect this character and the craft of acting? I grew up in an era where Moore was Bond (and he was the guy known for holding out for bigger and better cheques), but I always loved Connery (who called Bond a poisoned chalice); I think Craig was the most genuine in his portrayal. He gave it everything he had— especially when corporate media stooges were gunning to make him a one and done.
    I just can’t understand this dislike and assumptions made, especially based on the evidence we have of the effort Craig put into this role. Once again: Hate his portrayal but to say he didn’t get or love the character? Actors of Craig’s caliber will always find something they can love/relate to in order to give their best performance. As a professionally trained actor, that is their job!
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 9,333
    Would have been perfectly fine for Craig to end it with CR.

    Gone out on a high (and simultaneous low, I guess), that ending said it all. Didn't need anything additional said or done. It was all really tied up with a bow.

    He would have been so well-regarded in that case, the fine mission that it was/is and nothing detracting from it in the slightest.

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