Is Bond the worst spy in the world in Skyfall?

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  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,317
    Who the hell cares? It's a Bond movie. It's like asking how Bruce Wayne fixes his broken back and his supposedly messed up leg with a magic leg brace. It's a movie, we don't need everything spoon fed to us.
  • Posts: 11,425
    Murdock wrote:
    Who the hell cares? It's a Bond movie. It's like asking how Bruce Wayne fixes his broken back and his supposedly messed up leg with a magic leg brace. It's a movie, we don't need everything spoon fed to us.

    Look, ultimately I agree - this is an absurd discussion, as are many on here.

    But to explain it away as making sense because 'It's a Bond Movie' is hardly the strongest argument.

    You can rationalise his survival however you want, but the fact is the film gives no explanation, and for many people that was a moment where you're taken out of the movie. I don't want to be questioning the director's thought processes, WHILE I'm actually sat in the cinema. And all I can say is that I noticed it when I saw the film in the cinema and so have many others - even people who loved the film. I don't really understand what more evidence is required to make my point, or what the argument is really about.

  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,317
    He washed up on shore and that lady saved him. He swam to the top of the lake and used the last of his strength to get to the chapel.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Murdock wrote:
    He washed up on shore and that lady saved him. He swam to the top of the lake and used the last of his strength to get to the chapel.

    Some much needed sanity.

  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,666
    Getafix wrote:
    I don't really understand what more evidence is required to make my point, or what the argument is really about.

    Like most arguments, it's about preference. I personally like exposition. I feel it's lazy of a film-maker to just cut corners 'cause they feel we'll 'get' it. When exposition is lacking, it breaks off our journey with the character and necessarily becomes a kind of documentary about the character.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 11,425
    Precisely.

  • RC7RC7
    edited March 2014 Posts: 10,512
    chrisisall wrote:
    Getafix wrote:
    I don't really understand what more evidence is required to make my point, or what the argument is really about.

    Like most arguments, it's about preference. I personally like exposition. I feel it's lazy of a film-maker to just cut corners 'cause they feel we'll 'get' it. When exposition is lacking, it breaks off our journey with the character and necessarily becomes a kind of documentary about the character.


    It's not film makers cutting corners, it's film makers understanding that their audience are relatively intelligent and can join the dots without someone holding their hand. It's also about context. Mendes didn't have to worry about people 'getting it', it's a James Bond movie. They aren't going to kill the titular character. 'We' the audience know that, but 'M' and MI6 don't. We see their reaction, that's the important thing. There's no point prolonging a scene just to show us the viewer how Bond survives, we know he's going to survive and as I've said above, the manner of his survival has no bearing on the narrative of the film. If he'd fallen into a Vipers nest, or a nudest camp, or a Taliban stronghold - and we only found this out later in the movie, maybe I'd have a problem. As it is, we find him shagging in a beach hut. One assumes she fished him out of the river. It doesn't need to be shown.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 12,828
    Murdock wrote:
    It's like asking how Bruce Wayne fixes his broken back and his supposedly messed up leg with a magic leg brace. It's a movie, we don't need everything spoon fed to us.

    The bigger question in that film to me was how a now bankrupt Bruce Wayne, stranded in some desert nation on the other side of the world, managed to get back to Gotham (even though the film made a point of showing that it was isolated and nobody could get in or out) in time to stop the bomb going off, even taking the time once he arrived there to spray paint his logo onto the bridge.

    When it comes to Bond escaping the loch or surviving the fall in SF, we can fill in the gaps for ourselves. I find it hard to come up with an explanation for how Batman managed to get back to Gotham though. But then I also find it hard to think of a reason why Bane wouldn't just detonate the bomb in the first place, or at least when he found out Batman was back (it's not like Batman was stealthy about returning either, he spray painted a massive flaming version of his logo onto the bridge).

    I thought The Dark Knight Rises was one of those films that was brilliant when you first saw it but once you rewatch it and you actually start to think about things it falls apart a bit. Great film, poor story.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,317
    Murdock wrote:
    It's like asking how Bruce Wayne fixes his broken back and his supposedly messed up leg with a magic leg brace. It's a movie, we don't need everything spoon fed to us.

    The bigger question in that film to me was how a now bankrupt Bruce Wayne, stranded in some desert nation on the other side of the world, managed to get back to Gotham (even though the film made a point of showing that it was isolated and nobody could get in or out) in time to stop the bomb going off, even taking the time once he arrived there to spray paint his logo onto the bridge.

    When it comes to Bond escaping the loch or surviving the fall in SF, we can fill in the gaps for ourselves. I find it hard to come up with an explanation for how Batman managed to get back to Gotham though. But then I also find it hard to think of a reason why Bane wouldn't just detonate the bomb in the first place, or at least when he found out Batman was back (it's not like Batman was stealthy about returning either, he spray painted a massive flaming version of his logo onto the bridge).

    I thought The Dark Knight Rises was one of those films that was brilliant when you first saw it but once you rewatch it and you actually start to think about things it falls apart a bit. Great film, poor story.

    Exactly.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,666
    RC7 wrote:
    There's no point prolonging a scene just to show us the viewer how Bond survives, we know he's going to survive and as I've said above, the manner of his survival has no bearing on the narrative of the film.
    Either you are missing the point, or are dismissing the point. Ever notice how Bond novels are all first person stories? Now in film, doing that limits the story telling possibilities. So obviously some scenes not following the main character are necessary. But when you don't mainly follow the character & what he or she does, you break that feeling of taking the journey alongside the hero.
    Kind of like seeing Oddjob walking towards Bond, cutting to other action, then returning to see Oddjob face down on the floor. Sure, we could figure that Bond had killed him somehow. On a lesser level, why bother showing Bond using the gold bars to break free? We could have assumed he'd freed himself in some clever way or other.
    So, for people that don't mind this, how many times can you skip showing something before you don't even have a movie at all?
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    chrisisall wrote:
    RC7 wrote:
    There's no point prolonging a scene just to show us the viewer how Bond survives, we know he's going to survive and as I've said above, the manner of his survival has no bearing on the narrative of the film.
    Either you are missing the point, or are dismissing the point. Ever notice how Bond novels are all first person stories? Now in film, doing that limits the story telling possibilities. So obviously some scenes not following the main character are necessary. But when you don't mainly follow the character & what he or she does, you break that feeling of taking the journey alongside the hero.
    Kind of like seeing Oddjob walking towards Bond, cutting to other action, then returning to see Oddjob face down on the floor. Sure, we could figure that Bond had killed him somehow. On a lesser level, why bother showing Bond using the gold bars to break free? We could have assumed he'd freed himself in some clever way or other.
    So, for people that don't mind this, how many times can you skip showing something before you don't even have a movie at all?

    No I think you're missing the point. There is no 'action' to be missed in SF. Your analogy is the equivalent of the film cutting as Bond falls. Only to cut back to him lazing on a beach. As it is, that 'action' is resolved. We see him hit the water. The reaching hand, that acts as a transition to titles, suggesting he is plucked from the river.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,666
    RC7 wrote:
    There is no 'action' to be missed in SF.

    Our definitions of 'action' differ, clearly. Okay, I agree to disagree. :)>-
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    chrisisall wrote:
    RC7 wrote:
    There is no 'action' to be missed in SF.

    Our definitions of 'action' differ, clearly. Okay, I agree to disagree. :)>-

    What's your definition of an 'action'? Odd job being electrocuted is an 'action' in the script. Bond hitting the water is an 'action' in the script.
  • Posts: 14,759
    Getafix wrote:
    I also found the survival after the Scottish lake plunge a little unbelieveable. It sort of mirrors his 'death fall' into the river at the start for implausibility. One minute he's metres below the surface of a frozen loch, then the next he's suddenly in the chapel. All a bit unexplained and unconvincing. And yes, a missed opportunity in terms of showing us a little bit of Bond ingenuity in terms of how he gets out.

    I think it is one of those moments when symbolism took over realism. Bond is in the chapel because he needs to be there for the climax, and the climax has to be in the chapel. He falls in the water to represent his full rebirth, etc. I didn't mind that he did not suffer from hypothermia: some people do and the symptoms may take longer to show up anyway. But it is a bit far fetched and time is tweaked a bit.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,666
    RC7 wrote:
    What's your definition of an 'action'?

    Walking from the kitchen to the living room is an action.
  • Posts: 11,425
    RC7 wrote:
    chrisisall wrote:
    RC7 wrote:
    There's no point prolonging a scene just to show us the viewer how Bond survives, we know he's going to survive and as I've said above, the manner of his survival has no bearing on the narrative of the film.
    Either you are missing the point, or are dismissing the point. Ever notice how Bond novels are all first person stories? Now in film, doing that limits the story telling possibilities. So obviously some scenes not following the main character are necessary. But when you don't mainly follow the character & what he or she does, you break that feeling of taking the journey alongside the hero.
    Kind of like seeing Oddjob walking towards Bond, cutting to other action, then returning to see Oddjob face down on the floor. Sure, we could figure that Bond had killed him somehow. On a lesser level, why bother showing Bond using the gold bars to break free? We could have assumed he'd freed himself in some clever way or other.
    So, for people that don't mind this, how many times can you skip showing something before you don't even have a movie at all?

    No I think you're missing the point. There is no 'action' to be missed in SF. Your analogy is the equivalent of the film cutting as Bond falls. Only to cut back to him lazing on a beach. As it is, that 'action' is resolved. We see him hit the water. The reaching hand, that acts as a transition to titles, suggesting he is plucked from the river.

    Did someone say something about a broken record earlier?
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    chrisisall wrote:
    RC7 wrote:
    What's your definition of an 'action'?

    Walking from the kitchen to the living room is an action.

    Exactly. So, I walk into the kitchen and I switch on the oven. Cut to my girlfriend, stuck in traffic. Cut to my living room - where I sit down to eat the meal I've just cooked, alone.

    Do you need to see me cook the food? Or carry it through?
  • QsAssistantQsAssistant All those moments lost in time... like tears in rain
    Posts: 1,812
    Sandy wrote:
    No. Most things in SF happen not because of Bond but in spite of him.
    Matt007 wrote:
    He arrives late at the start to see Ronson dying and thd drive lost.
    We don't know if he arrived late because we don't know when he was supposed to arrive. We know he arrived after Ronson was shot.
    Matt007 wrote:
    He fails to get it back and gets shot
    Hardly his fault, he can't take the blame for Eve's lousy shot. He would have gotten the drive back if it weren't for that.
    Matt007 wrote:
    He fails his evaluations
    True, but he's always been our favourite self-destructive spy :-bd
    Matt007 wrote:
    He fails to find info off Patrice before dropping him in Shanghai
    When you fight someone in the dark it's hard to a) not get killed, b) not kill
    Matt007 wrote:
    He manages to get Severine killed
    Not at all, he couldn't guess Silva was killing her, I still think her death was completely unexpected.
    Matt007 wrote:
    He fails to realise He is being manipulated by Silva
    Everyone was manipulated by Silva, but Bond still managed to manipulate Silva. I think it's a win.
    Matt007 wrote:
    He is part of the reason a Silva escapes
    Nope, (incopetent) Q is.
    Matt007 wrote:
    He fails to capture him on the tube before the shoot out at the commission where lots of innocent people die
    Bond was pretty much working alone and Silva had his helping thugs.
    Matt007 wrote:
    He kidnaps his boss and fails to protect her by getting her killed too
    No kidnapping there. We can argue if it was the best option to go to Scotland but she didn't die because of Bond but, again, in spite of him.


    I don't need to answer the question because it's already been answered by Sandy.

  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    edited March 2014 Posts: 12,459
    RC7 wrote:
    chrisisall wrote:
    RC7 wrote:
    There's no point prolonging a scene just to show us the viewer how Bond survives, we know he's going to survive and as I've said above, the manner of his survival has no bearing on the narrative of the film.
    Either you are missing the point, or are dismissing the point. Ever notice how Bond novels are all first person stories? Now in film, doing that limits the story telling possibilities. So obviously some scenes not following the main character are necessary. But when you don't mainly follow the character & what he or she does, you break that feeling of taking the journey alongside the hero.
    Kind of like seeing Oddjob walking towards Bond, cutting to other action, then returning to see Oddjob face down on the floor. Sure, we could figure that Bond had killed him somehow. On a lesser level, why bother showing Bond using the gold bars to break free? We could have assumed he'd freed himself in some clever way or other.
    So, for people that don't mind this, how many times can you skip showing something before you don't even have a movie at all?

    No I think you're missing the point. There is no 'action' to be missed in SF. Your analogy is the equivalent of the film cutting as Bond falls. Only to cut back to him lazing on a beach. As it is, that 'action' is resolved. We see him hit the water. The reaching hand, that acts as a transition to titles, suggesting he is plucked from the river.

    Just to say that reading over the last 2 pages, it seems some people just prefer a different kind of storytelling. I happen to agree with what @RC7 has written, as well as what @Sandy succinctly said. Most things keep happening in spite of Bond (protagonist in this story), that is what keeps the excitement building and the story moving along (as with all great stories, the protagonist keeps overcoming obstacles). The audience does not need to see every little action where Bond gets from A to B or out of a more minor situation. Good film storytelling is also about knowing when to cut, what not to show, how to move the story forward. I think Mendes did an excellent job with Skyfall. Others want a different style of filmmaking and more exposition of the story; well, that is their prerogative. We will just disagree.

    But don't start calling people "illogical" (Getafix) because that goes down a path we don't need on any thread. Not necessary. We just see things differently and enjoy or dislike different things in a film. (I like Hitchcock as a director, but maybe you don't; I don't care for many aspects of Guy Ritchie's films, maybe you love his editing and story exposition. Etc. )

    AND: @Murdock, I love your new avatar!
    Murdock wrote:
    Who the hell cares? It's a Bond movie. It's like asking how Bruce Wayne fixes his broken back and his supposedly messed up leg with a magic leg brace. It's a movie, we don't need everything spoon fed to us.

    Exactly. Thank you.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Agreed @Sandy.

    For the record, I'll admit, I dragged this on rather deliberately. I thought it was worth a couple of posters realising that hearing the same thing over and over again can get quite tedious.
  • Posts: 11,425
    RC7 wrote:
    Agreed @Sandy.

    For the record, I'll admit, I dragged this on rather deliberately. I thought it was worth a couple of posters realising that hearing the same thing over and over again can get quite tedious.

    Well, I hope you learnt your lesson.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    edited March 2014 Posts: 17,666
    Lesson still in progress:
    RC7 wrote:
    Exactly. So, I walk into the kitchen and I switch on the oven. Cut to my girlfriend, stuck in traffic. Cut to my living room - where I sit down to eat the meal I've just cooked, alone.
    Cut to girlfriend stuck in traffic.
    Cut to bathroom where you're cleaning blood off your thumb and little finger.
    Cut to girlfriend stuck in traffic.
    Cut to you, floating in space...

    The first one's a given. The second one's a "huh?" The third one's a "WTF??????"

    It's all about degrees & frequency. Make the viewer go "huh?" too often or "WTF????" once or twice, and the movie's flow is destroyed.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    edited March 2014 Posts: 12,459
    And I just never had that "WTF" reaction, chrisisall. The movie was not lessened or the flow destroyed for me in SF. We just see the film differently, have different reactions.

    I actually find SF to move along very well, extremely well paced and edited, very well done.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,666
    And I just never had that "WTF" reaction, chrisisall. The movie was not lessened or the flow destroyed for me in SF. We just see the film differently, have different reactions.
    I never got that in SF myself, just covering the possible spectrum for RC7 is all.
    ;)
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,317
    Thanks @4EverBonded. :))
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    chrisisall wrote:
    Lesson still in progress:
    RC7 wrote:
    Exactly. So, I walk into the kitchen and I switch on the oven. Cut to my girlfriend, stuck in traffic. Cut to my living room - where I sit down to eat the meal I've just cooked, alone.
    Cut to girlfriend stuck in traffic.
    Cut to bathroom where you're cleaning blood off your thumb and little finger.
    Cut to girlfriend stuck in traffic.
    Cut to you, floating in space...

    The first one's a given. The second one's a "huh?" The third one's a "WTF??????"

    It's all about degrees & frequency. Make the viewer go "huh?" too often or "WTF????" once or twice, and the movie's flow is destroyed.

    I'm strictly talking about the intro, and you can toss in @Getafix's ice dilemma if you wish. Both perfectly plausible scenarios that need no further explanation. As @Sandy said, some people don't need to be guided through a movie by the hand. Others want it all explained to them. There's no denying SF has its 'wtf' moments, I'll be the first to slam Silva's inane plan. But as for the intro, there's nothing missing. You simply have to engage the mind for a split second.


  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    And I just never had that "WTF" reaction, chrisisall. The movie was not lessened or the flow destroyed for me in SF. We just see the film differently, have different reactions.

    I actually find SF to move along very well, extremely well paced and edited, very well done.

    Ditto. Despite some glaring flights of fancy with the mechanics of it, the actual story at the heart of it keeps on rolling right until the very end.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    For me to have a real "WTF" moment it would ruin part of the film for me or take me out of the ambiance of the action at the moment - that I did not have with Skyfall.
    I can think about the plot and story afterwards more in depth, but during the film nothing was ruined for me.

    I want some news soon. My heart cracked when Deakins said he was not returning ...
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    edited March 2014 Posts: 17,666
    RC7 wrote:
    There's no denying SF has its 'wtf' moments, I'll be the first to slam Silva's inane plan.
    I wouldn't call Silva's plan a "WTF???" moment, more like a "Huh?." Honestly, I had no real problems with SF's narrative choices, they're just ones I wouldn't have chosen myself. The only "WTF???" moment in ANY Bond film for me is "Here's to us." :O
  • Posts: 11,425
    Don't get me started on Silva's 'plan'!
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