Is Bond the worst spy in the world in Skyfall?

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  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    Getafix wrote:
    Don't get me started on Silva's 'plan'!

    It was better (if more imminently self-destructive) than Drax's. :))
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    I thought I saw some people debating the plausibility of Bond's escape from the ice in the film's climax, but that can't be though, as it is all explained to us perfectly how he gets out of the situation. I must just be a tad tired...
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    I thought I saw some people debating the plausibility of Bond's escape from the ice in the film's climax, but that can't be though, as it is all explained to us perfectly how he gets out of the situation. I must just be a tad tired...

    It's almost as if people want to find fault. But again, that couldn't be. Could it?
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited March 2014 Posts: 28,694
    RC7 wrote:
    I thought I saw some people debating the plausibility of Bond's escape from the ice in the film's climax, but that can't be though, as it is all explained to us perfectly how he gets out of the situation. I must just be a tad tired...

    It's almost as if people want to find fault. But again, that couldn't be. Could it?

    Oh, of course not. Most of this thread is just purposeful nit-picking with the agenda to find as many faults as possible (plausible or not) in this film. I just laugh it off some days when people find this film's plot and certain events contrived when we've had films where Bond supposedly gets rid of freaking RADIATION by being washed with some water and "special" soap or something and lives on in good health, Jaws falls from thousands of feet and somehow manages not to die on impact, the villain's lair is literally INSIDE a volcano, 007 goes undercover in Japan in the worst disguise imaginable and nobody notices, makes a woman change her sexuality in just one barn romp just in time to recruit her and stumbles on a nuclear plot just by being at a damn health clinic.

    Come on people, Skyfall is Spock compared to previous films and is a very smart film that has depth and meaning. All Bond films are head-scratchers at times, but why this film was and still is revered is because it tackles human issues and concerns that are both timeless and topical at present. It's one of the deepest, most artful Bond films ever brought to us, and some people treat it like a bargain bin knock-off.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Bond being subpar was one of the main themes of the film, so cannot really see the point in bringing up the topic in a separate thread at all. As for M, she was perhaps the worst spychief in the world here, she was the one to blame was she not?
  • Posts: 19,339
    M doesnt cover herself in glory in SF thats for sure.

    If Silva hadnt shot her i think i might have ....
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 11,425
    RC7 wrote:
    I thought I saw some people debating the plausibility of Bond's escape from the ice in the film's climax, but that can't be though, as it is all explained to us perfectly how he gets out of the situation. I must just be a tad tired...

    It's almost as if people want to find fault. But again, that couldn't be. Could it?

    Oh, of course not. Most of this thread is just purposeful nit-picking with the agenda to find as many faults as possible (plausible or not) in this film. I just laugh it off some days when people find this film's plot and certain events contrived when we've had films where Bond supposedly gets rid of freaking RADIATION by being washed with some water and "special" soap or something and lives on in good health, Jaws falls from thousands of feet and somehow manages not to die on impact, the villain's lair is literally INSIDE a volcano, 007 goes undercover in Japan in the worst disguise imaginable and nobody notices, makes a woman change her sexuality in just one barn romp just in time to recruit her and stumbles on a nuclear plot just by being at a damn health clinic.

    Come on people, Skyfall is Spock compared to previous films and is a very smart film that has depth and meaning. All Bond films are head-scratchers at times, but why this film was and still is revered is because it tackles human issues and concerns that are both timeless and topical at present. It's one of the deepest, most artful Bond films ever brought to us, and some people treat it like a bargain bin knock-off.

    I've said from the very start that I admired Mendes's ambition with SF. I can see what he was aiming for and appreciate some of the thematic strands running through the film. However, a bit of subtext doesn't automatically make it a superior Bond movie. I was disappointed with SF not because of its scope and ambition, but because I don't think that overall it's nearly as good as the hype suggests, and the interesting thematic elements are undermined by a weak plot. As a Bond movie I didn't find it satisfying, and I didn't especially enjoy it on some middle-brow artisitc level either. In my view it falls between two stools - not really doing anything it sets out to achieve particularly well.

    In terms of the nit-picking about the plot, you make it sound like this occurs with all Bond movies. And yet it doesn't. If you look at any forum where SF is discussed anywhere on the web you will find exactly the same issues being raised about the plot. Now, I don't really care ultimately whether others see the plot issues as a problem or not. It's possible to 'explain' them, but that's not really the point - the fact is that many people watching the film were left scratching their heads while watching the movie because they found large parts of the film didn't make a lot of sense.
  • Posts: 1,314
    Some what i would call odd observations on Skyfalls narrative. Why do we need to see him exit the lake? Theres only one way out - the way in.

    When we see him again after having killed Silva its obvious how he got out, so we dont need to see it.

    Roger Moore skiing off a cliff is totally different, as its completely unexpected, its certain death, until.... that parachute.

    With The frozen Loch, how else could Bond have got out? A man climbing out of a hole in some ice is not necessary.

    You know - how did bond get back to England after the avalanche in OHMSS - we never saw him get on a plane and fly back? What happened to Blofeld after his neck got caught. Why didnt Bond go back and kill him he was only 40 yards back up the Bob sleigh track. Actaully, that one is a bit stupid...!

    Skyfall rules. Its in my top 5, maybe top three. Bond is on the back foot / wrong foot the whole way though.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 11,425
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Benny wrote:
    barryt007 wrote:
    Absolutely !! In GF Bond does hardly anything but stand around and had zero chance of stopping Goldfingers plan,apart from 'turning' Pussy Galore.

    Not at all my favourite film,if any Bond film is over-rated its this one.

    Spot on @barryt007
    You could also include AVTAK into that line of reasoning. It's only after Mayday has decided to switch teams after Zorin leaves her for dead, that Bond gains the upper hand. Before that, the booby trapped bomb is going off.
    Only with the use of her brute strength is Bond able to foil Zorins plan.
    And let's not forget that everyone knows who Bond is in AVTAK. From the San Francisco police department, to a geologist in city hall.

    A wise assessment, gentlemen!

    I don't think Bond is at his worst in SF but I would have liked for the film to give him more of a chance to shine. The moment when he takes out Silva's island thugs and in a way Silva himself, is one moment too late IMO. I would have loved to see him shoot the glass from Severine's head. Silva could have killed her after that any way, if the plot so demanded. A missed opportunity I'd say. And perhaps a better way to deal with the guy on the ice than the truly questionable plunge in a frozen lake, questionable because he miraculously survives it, might have given more convincing proof that good old James is back.

    That said, he almost single-handedly took out Silva's army - I think we can agree that M and Kincaid's contributions were overall minor compared to Bond's - and he kept going throughout the entire film despite his formal medical position. Bond does play an active part in giving Silva a hard time and eventually, though not without a grave sacrifice, he beats Silva.

    I thought it was worth pointing out that the 'ice dilemna' actually started with @DarthDimi's comment above. I responded because I had thought exactly the same thing when watching the film - i.e. a little nagging 'how did he escape that'? @Matt007, as I explained at length, if this had been the only instance in the film, it probably wouldn't have bothered me. The reason this scene stood out for me personally is because it echoes the much more glaring miraculous and unexplained survival after the shooting and bridge fall into water at the start (which, despite what others seem to think, looked like it would kill a man, IMO). The two sequences are deliberate, thematic book-ends about death and re-birth in the film, so you are actually positively invited to connect them by the director. So, for myself at least, there were a series of plot holes/unexplained occurances that really took me out of the film, and it was as if Mendes was actually drawing attention to them on purpose.

    Point made. That's it. There's not really much more to say. I.e. - two members of this forum independently made the same observation about the film not explaining something, and saying it bugged us. RC7 and co can keep on throwing out their counterfactuals as long as they want, the historical FACT (in the sense that it occured and is recorded on there very pages) is that I and others perceived plot holes and poor exposition in SF that detracted from our enjoyment of the film. It's not really something that's open to debate. You can disagree about whether it's poor/lazy film making, but you can't tell me or any one else that we actually understood the film another way, because we didn't.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    I still don't understand the confusion about the bloody frozen lake, as I brought up to @RC7 earlier. Seriously, what isn't to get? Bond tussles with man, makes man shoot hole in ice, Bond and man fall, Bond and man tussle, Bond dispatches man, Bond uses man's flare and shoots it upwards to locate where the hole is so he can climb back out, and finally, say it with me everyone...Bond climbs out. How in Fleming's great ghost is that not easily apparent on-screen or "unexplained" at all?

    If these so-called unexplained or implausible occurrences of the very plausible nature take you out of films I have no idea how you watch the other films, especially the more campy entries with anything other than an eye-roll. When making a film, as I'm sure you understand, editing and therefore cutting must occur to scenes so that the film is at a reasonable length once it is deemed finished. Mendes and co. had a lot to feature in the film that took up a lot of time, especially in regards to portraying Bond's ascendance back to MI6, M's struggles, Silva's revenge motivations and more, so sorry that he didn't take the time to storyboard and film Bond coming back up out of the water just to show you how he did it, even though it is already perfectly clear as a crystal in the final film.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 11,425
    Look, I'm not trying to convince YOU that you saw something you didn't. What I'm telling you is how I understood the film when I saw it. For the umpteenth time, this scene bugged me because I saw it as part of a pattern in the movie. Surely we can leave it at that. I.e. you saw one thing and I saw something else. We both saw what we saw and that can't be changed by any amount of discussion. Our readings of the film on first viewing are an historical event/occurance that has passed. We can't re-write history.

    The only reason the ice scene differs from other escapes is because conventionally in films, when you fall through ice, it's the getting out of the ice that is the challenge. When I see someone go through the ice in a movie, I always think of the Omen 2. SF complicates this by throwing in a henchman for extra measure, but then fails to explain the escape from the ice. Apologies that my brain works in this way, but when I saw him go through the ice I was thinking - 'how's he going to escape the ice' and not 'how's he going to kill the henchman'. The henchman was the immediate but, to my mind, a secondary danger. Had this been the only instance of this happening in the film, I would barely have batted an eye lid. Like DarthDimi, I also think it was perhaps a missed opportunity to show that Bond was back on top form. In and off itself, no biggy, but seen in the context of the rest of the film, just sympomatic of what I see as one of its biggest flaws.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Getafix wrote:
    Look, I'm not trying to convince YOU that you saw something you didn't. What I'm telling you is how I watched the film. For the umpteenth time, this scene bugged me because I saw it as part of a pattern in the movie. Surely we can leave it at that. I.e. you saw one thing and I saw something else. We both saw what we saw and that can't be changed by any amount of discussion. Our readings of the film on first viewing are an historical event/occurance that has passed. We can't re-write history.

    The only reason the ice scene differs from other escapes is because conventionally in films, when you fall through ice, it's the getting out of the ice that is challenge. SF complicates this by throwing in a henchman for extra measure, but then fails to explain the escape from the ice. Apologies that my brain works in this way, but when I saw him go through the ice I was thinking - 'how's he going to escape the ice' and not 'how's he going to kill the henchman'. The henchman was the immediate but secondary danger.

    When logic is applied, how he escaped is obvious, though. Plus, not showing us saves film/time and also creates suspense as we shift from the ice back to Silva and M at the chapel, where you aren't sure if Bond is going to arrive in time to stop him. By showing Bond getting out of the ice and running to the chapel, you lose that element of suspense. I'm sorry, but I stand by Mendes and his team, and think that the scene is perfect the way it is for the suspense and uncertainty in creates as Silva confronts M for the final time.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 11,425
    When Bond arrives at the chapel and how much tension you experience in terms of whether he will get there in time is entirely down to the director. I actually found Bond's sudden appearance in the chapel anti-climatic and odd, precisely because we hadn't been following every step of his struggle to get there. One second he's 10 metres below an icy lake and the next he's in the chapel - we're not talking about different scenes in the movie - this is all part of the same sequence. So actually, it is precisely this that bugs me.

    For me, seeing Bond defeat the henchman and then struggling to escape the ice and get back to the shore provided an opportunity to heighten the tension and suspense, not reduce it. Meanwhile we would have been cutting to Silva approaching the chapel, going inside and confronting M.

    While I loved the idea of the whole final confrontation at Skyfall, and the echoes of John Buchan/Richard Hannah, I was disappointed by how it was done. For me it was just a bit flat. Too many machine guns and explosions perhaps and not enough hand to hand combat. There is a balletic and irresistable flow to many of the best Bond fights and battles, something that I just felt was lacking here. Mendes is new to action, so it is not totally surprising, but I just thought he'd have done a lot of things differently, with a greater focus on Bond's precision and intelligence, and less on the pyrotechnics. As it was, I felt it was just a bit generic. Lots of people have mentioned Home Alone and Straw Dogs. But it's always hard to give these things a fresh spin.

    I was actually thinking of the original Assault on Precinct 13 when I saw it, and thinking how the SF attack lacks the menace and remourseless sense of threat/danger that Carpenter created in Precinct 13.



  • Posts: 5,767
    Guys, can´t we just all leave peacefully together ;;) ? This discussion has mutated into a zombie some pages ago.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    Funny how QOS never caused these kinds of endless threads... it was like "The Bourne cutting sucked and the script felt unfinished" and that was that. :))

  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    chrisisall wrote:
    Funny how QOS never caused these kinds of endless threads... it was like "The Bourne cutting sucked and the script felt unfinished" and that was that. :))

    That's because QoS doesn't have the worldwide acclaim Skyfall has, meaning the contention between the proponents and dissenters are much more severe.
  • edited March 2014 Posts: 11,425
    chrisisall wrote:
    Funny how QOS never caused these kinds of endless threads... it was like "The Bourne cutting sucked and the script felt unfinished" and that was that. :))

    May be it's becuase they are clearly two very different ways of making films. QoS is unashamedly a jumpy movie with lots of jerky editing, that makes no pretence of showing everything - quite the contrary. And SF asserts itself as an old-fashioned 'classic' piece of film-making. With the latter style of film, you expect more to be made self evident.

    Having said that, I would argue the simple plot of QoS actually makes more sense than SF. There are scenes - like the fight in the safe house in Sienna - that make no visual sense (it's impossible to work out what's going on and what happens to M), but at no point am I left thinking someone just got killed only to find that they reappear right as rain a few scenes later. Even if that someone is Bond, it still needs some explanation.

    There are clearly issues with both movies and QoS is definitely not a fine example of plot or storytelling.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    Getafix wrote:
    QoS is definitely not a fine example of plot or storytelling.
    QOS has something in common with Batman & LTK (two of my favourite films); writer's strike. Sometimes movies that come out a writer's strike have this...electric energy to them... this organic visceral power... that can make up for a flawed narrative for me.
  • Posts: 11,425
    chrisisall wrote:
    Getafix wrote:
    QoS is definitely not a fine example of plot or storytelling.
    QOS has something in common with Batman & LTK (two of my favourite films); writer's strike. Sometimes movies that come out a writer's strike have this...electric energy to them... this organic visceral power... that can make up for a flawed narrative for me.

    Well, I agree with you, but did not want to get into a QoS vs SF discussion based on plotlines, as neither is on a very strong footing.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    chrisisall wrote:
    Getafix wrote:
    QoS is definitely not a fine example of plot or storytelling.
    QOS has something in common with Batman & LTK (two of my favourite films); writer's strike. Sometimes movies that come out a writer's strike have this...electric energy to them... this organic visceral power... that can make up for a flawed narrative for me.

    The way you describe QoS is how I desperately want it to be. Desperately. Every time I watch I get a buzz during the PTS that gradually fades across the course of the film. The end scene, ironically, is the best.
  • Posts: 202
    Every character fails in SKYFALL, from beginning to end. That's the best aspect of the film.
  • Posts: 32
    Well I think on many levels Skyfall is about failure. M's failure's, Bond's failures. It's not so much that there aren't good reason's for their failings, it's that the Bond movies don't usually focus on that. That's what makes this different, and not at all like a classic Bond. Despite it's trappings, it's much less a classic Bond than CR or QOS. I love the film, but I think it was really missing a real cathartic payoff at the end. Instead of dispensing of the villain with a knife in the back, I would really have loved to have seen a desperate hand-to-hand fight between the two, maybe with M getting killed while saving Bond at the last minute, thus redeeming herself for her previous missteps. But I guess that's what Mendes was trying to avoid.
  • Posts: 14,816
    I wonder, is SF the first true Bond tragedy? Both CR and OHMSS are of course, but even they are not to this extend. Tracy's death for instance is not the result of any failure or fault of her own.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Ludovico wrote:
    I wonder, is SF the first true Bond tragedy? Both CR and OHMSS are of course, but even they are not to this extend. Tracy's death for instance is not the result of any failure or fault of her own.

    If you follow the strict definition of a tragedy, fair point. But what about Vesper?
    (And what about the whole Brosnan era? That was tragic! ;) )
  • Posts: 19,339
    Ludovico wrote:
    I wonder, is SF the first true Bond tragedy? Both CR and OHMSS are of course, but even they are not to this extend. Tracy's death for instance is not the result of any failure or fault of her own.

    If you follow the strict definition of a tragedy, fair point. But what about Vesper?
    (And what about the whole Brosnan era? That was tragic! ;) )

    Ow !!

    [-(
  • Posts: 11,189
    As soon as I saw the sentence "Is SF the first real Bond tragedy" I knew where this would go :))

    DAD was definitely something of a tragedy by the end.
  • Posts: 14,816
    Ludovico wrote:
    I wonder, is SF the first true Bond tragedy? Both CR and OHMSS are of course, but even they are not to this extend. Tracy's death for instance is not the result of any failure or fault of her own.

    If you follow the strict definition of a tragedy, fair point. But what about Vesper?
    (And what about the whole Brosnan era? That was tragic! ;) )

    Vesper until SF was the one true tragic character, even more than Tracy. But this can also apply to M in SF.

    DAD was a farce, not a tragedy.
  • Posts: 14,816
    I might actually start a thread about it.
  • KerimKerim Istanbul Not Constantinople
    Posts: 2,629
    Ludovico wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I wonder, is SF the first true Bond tragedy? Both CR and OHMSS are of course, but even they are not to this extend. Tracy's death for instance is not the result of any failure or fault of her own.

    If you follow the strict definition of a tragedy, fair point. But what about Vesper?
    (And what about the whole Brosnan era? That was tragic! ;) )

    Vesper until SF was the one true tragic character, even more than Tracy. But this can also apply to M in SF.

    DAD was a farce, not a tragedy.

    It was a tragedy that this farce was released.
  • edited April 2014 Posts: 5,767
    I never realised what a failure he was in Skyfall.
    Considering the situation he was confronted with he was quite the opposite. An example in dedication and integrity.

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