Thursday, November 15, 2012

Plotfall

I really enjoyed Skyfall, but some things bugged the hell out of me - not least of which, how two movies on the gritty realism of Casino Royale has been replaced by the gritty realism of Moonraker.

In no particular order, a list of things:

1) The Daniel Craig comedy run, currently vying for a photo finish with Tom Cruise for the Gold Medal in STOP RUNNING LIKE THAT.

2) Somehow Mr Blond Wig manages to drop an entirely empty train (not counting the driver) through a hole in the Underground in the middle of rush hour. Haha, yeah good luck with that. If the shot was too tricky to pull off, just angle it so you can't see inside the carriages for crying out loud. I at least wanted to see some people going aaaaaaargh or whatever.

3) Bond has this horribly messed up arm / shoulder thing going on, so he decides the best course of pursuit is to hang from the bottom of an elevator that goes up what looks like a six mile long shaft. Also, he couldn't have had any way of knowing he'd even be able to get out at the other end.

Not the greatest of plans, really.

4) There is, unless I missed it, no indication of how much time has passed since Bond took his swan dive at the start of the movie. It can't have been that long, yet he's wandering around looking counfounded and uttering "Brave new World" at the IT Crowd wannabe like he just stepped off a return journey to Mars. Didn't we already have "While you were gone, the world changed" in Die Another Day?

5) If you're going to make a dramatic cornerstone of the film "Bond dies, we think" at least have the decency to not simply gloss over it and go yeah, whatevs while he bonks some random woman in a beach hut five minutes later. I didn't care about the inevitable "Here's a TV with a news report showing what shit went down" plot gimmick, I wanted to know what the Hell happened when he hit the water like a brick. Who saved him? How did he survive? Who cares, not addressed in the slightest. In practical terms, it may as well not have happened, or the giant comedy hand from the credits which made me laugh out loud should be treated as canon. Bond, Land of Giants. Make it happen.

As bad as it is, Die Another Day at least nailed the concept of Bond going MIA while on duty - subverting the usual "He gets away, cut to naked dancing women in the titles" antics with "He gets the shit kicked out of him and have a few scorpions" was the first of many novel touches, and he goes rogue to get the job done. I expected something similar - reducing it to "his aim is a bit wobbly" and a few other things that all go out the window when the plot demands it felt like a waste of potential.

6) YMMV on this one (and I see lots of people arguing about it), but the death of Severine seemed to be a horrible mis-step for the sake of "Oh look, it's 10AM - time to kill a Bond Girl".

To me, the Daniel Craig Bond has a bit of a thing for not wanting to see women die if he can at all help it - especially after the trauma suffered at the end of Casino. Yet in this film, we see a woman introduced as a scared brothel sex slave, who Bond then impresses with promises of "freedom" so he can have sex with the previously mentioned sex slave then stands around uselessly while the (now tortured and beaten, with implications of rape from Mr Blond Wig sometime in the past) woman is shot in the head - only to remember he's Jason Bourne's worst nightmare seconds after the bullet is fired into her brain.

To top it all off, he begins his "I am Liam Neeson and you are France" beatdown with a dreaful joke about scotch.

By turns, it's creepy, offensive and doesn't really sit well either with Bond's character or just plain common sense. If he was going to kill everyone and capture Mr Blond Wig, if he somehow magically had his ability to kick the living daylights - ahaha - out of people on hand anyway, why only choose to act once the woman has had her brains needlessly blown out?

I don't know about you, but this sequence annoyed me so much I kinda lost interest in the film for a while as it rumbled on. It got me back, but only just.

Nice title sequence though. I give this film three Brosnans out of five and two Roger Moores.

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