skyfall-judi-dench

Why I Thought ‘Skyfall’ Sucked

The latest James Bond film ‘Skyfall’ has opened, and is already crushing franchise box office records and exceeding fans’ expectations. Between commenters here on The Bonus View and personal friends, I’ve only come in contact with three people who, like me, disagree with the majority, and find ‘Skyfall’ to be not only a lackluster Bond flick, but a weak spy movie in general. I understand that my opinion goes against the grain, mostly due to the way that I feel about the 007 series as a whole, but I’m not Armond White. I don’t make stupid claims just to gain attention. If you’re a die-hard Bond fan, then it’s more than likely that you’ll disagree with every word I say. Be warned: The following text contains major ‘Skyfall’ spoilers.

As I said in Friday’s review, I love both ‘Casino Royale‘ and ‘Quantum of Solace‘, and really wanted ‘Skyfall’ to follow through with the new rebooted series, which modernized and humanized James Bond, and did away with corny unrealistic fluff such as dumbass gadgets and riding down ski slopes on musical instruments. Unfortunately, I feel that ‘Skyfall’ takes Bond back into the nearly brainless mode that most of the previous 20 films functioned on.

The first sign that something wasn’t right with ‘Skyfall’ happened during the overly-long introductory sequence. After finding a dead agent and his now hard drive-less laptop, Bond chases a random henchman for what feels like 20 minutes. Cranes, trains and automobiles – this action sequence is cool, but way too long, and lacks continuity in every way possible. Bond gets shot twice, but we later only see him with one gunshot wound. He drives a dirt bike off a city bridge onto a train that is suddenly in the middle of wide open plains – no city in sight. Two minutes later, he’s in the mountains.

Due to an on-the-spot call that M makes, Bond is shot and possibly left for dead, but we sure as shit know that isn’t the case. The dumb aspect of this scene is that M is willing to risk killing Bond in order to get the hard drive back, but had she not made the call, both Bond and Henchman #1 would have smashed into the train tunnel. While they both would have died, the hard drive would have been retrieved and I never would have been made to suffer through ‘Skyfall’.

This is the first of many times where ‘Skyfall’ steals an element from another very popular movie. Guess what was on the hard drive that the henchman got away with? A list containing every MI6 agent, his/her whereabouts, pseudonyms and infiltrated organizations. Wait, isn’t that the exact same plot from Brain De Palma’s ‘Mission: Impossible‘? You bet your ass it is, and the plot stealing doesn’t stop there. Ethan Hunt’s NOC list is only the beginning.

After a few minutes of being led to believe that Bond is dead, we of course learn that he isn’t. Bond is content to stay off the radar in his tropical hiding place, tossing back shots of tequila with stupid scorpions on his hands and boning random local chicks (and possibly dudes too) – that is, until he sees something on the news that stirs him up. With the NOC list out there, agents are being killed and someone has infiltrated MI6 headquarters, blowing up M’s office in the process. Who did it? Of course, it’s Javier Bardem’s character, Silva. How did Silva do it? Who knows? Like many other major plot points in ‘Skyfall’, we’re never given an answer. Lazy little ‘Skyfall’ works in a brain-dead manner. Don’t ask the “how” questions because there aren’t any answers to be found.

Shortly thereafter, Bond comes back from the dead and visits M. She takes him to the new MI6 headquarters, and the ‘Casino’ and ‘Quantum’ apologies begin rolling in. Taking us full circle with the original Bond flicks, we get all the goofy stuff that old fans want. The MI6 HQ is now underground and resembles the hideout of old. We meet Q and some gadgets are teased. Jokes are made about not using them as much as MI6 did in the past, but then we proceed to rely on them. Had it not been for the transmitter, Bond would have died on Silva’s island. Had it not been for the Aston Martin machine guns, many more henchmen would have entered Bond Manor during the climax. As much as I didn’t want ‘Skyfall’ to dig into this has-been, gadget-filled territory, I initially didn’t mind because it seemed to be a minimal joke, a throwback. Sadly, it’s really just one of the “apologies.”

Through unmotivated and coincidental actions, at the one-hour mark Bond finally discovers the identity of the villain behind the attack on MI6. For the first time in the film, we meet Silva – a flamboyant former Double-0 agent with mommy issues and a desire to bring down MI6.Wait a second, isn’t this the exact same antagonist type as seen in ‘GoldenEye‘?! Ding-ding-ding! Instead of stealing a villain from ‘Mission: Impossible’, ‘Skyfall’ steals one from its own franchise. Bardem isn’t bad, but his collective 15 minutes of screen time don’t come close to portraying the fleshed-out three dimensional villain he could be. His flamboyance is just a notch down from Jim Carrey’s portrayal of the Riddler. That removing any potential he had of being a menace and kills the serious tone.

Another pointless aspect of Silva comes across as an apology. I’m fine with minimal nods back to the original films (like the subterranean headquarters), which is why I didn’t mind Le Chiffre’s bleeding eye in ‘Casino Royale’ being a throwback to the randomly disfigured villains of old – but Silva’s ridiculous disfiguration is damned absurd. The reveal of Silva’s glass jaw caused me to groan out loud. Making matters worse is the fact that the filmmakers try to tie this disfiguration into a coherent part of the plot. You see, Silva is disfigured because of a job gone bad. Things went sour and M made a call that resulted in his deformity. Because of the opening sequence where Bond is shot and left for dead due to M’s decision, Silva explains that they have a lot in common. Mind you, Bond’s involvement in this whole ordeal stems from coincidences and random acts. Silva never planned to get Bond in this position. It was all chance, but that’s not what we’re led to believe. Bond randomly finds Silva and we’re supposed to think that Silva set it all up.

Bond stumbles into Silva’s lame lair and gets caught, but it turns out that Bond wanted to get caught. Because of the gadgets that Bond now has, M and MI6 are able to intervene, rescue Bond and capture Silva. It was a twist! (Please note my sarcasm.) But then Silva is taken back to the brand new secret underground HQ and it’s revealed that, like Loki in ‘The Avengers‘, Silva wanted to be caught and brought back to their new hideout all along. Double twist! What follows is a scene that I deem the most braindead of the whole movie. Bond chases Silva through subway tunnels, catches up to Old Glass Jaw in a large subterranean room and fires a few shots. Bond can shoot two rungs on the ladder Silva climbs, but not Silva himself. And just when he gets the bad guy in his sights, he freezes and doesn’t take the shot just so that Silva can drop an empty train on him. (P.S. I’ve been in London’s tubes during the day, and no train is ever empty.) Considering that Silva had no idea where the new MI6 HQ was located, how lame is it he somehow knew the exact place that Bond was going to catch him, and would have a bomb rigged so that he could drop a train on Bond? Absolutely absurd.

At this point in the film, halfway through, the plot is completely discarded. Do you remember that NOC list that Bond and MI6 have been tracking down? Well, the characters sure don’t. The story that we’ve been wrapped up in for over an hour is tossed aside. You might assume that the hard drive was retrieved when Silva was captured, but you’d think that this was a plot point worth resolving. After all, at least five agents had their identities revealed and were executed. This is a major part of story, something greater than leaving up to presumptions – but it’s not resolved. Ever. After Silva breaks into MI6, only to escape (without achieving a thing), the MI6 mission shifts from the unresolved NOC list to protecting M from Silva. Bond and M don’t look for the hard drive any longer. Eff every other agent in the field – Mum is in danger! All energy and efforts go towards keeping M safe. Bond and M run from Silva, becoming the prey and not the usual predators.

The NOC list is ditched just so that the franchise can be given yet another new origin. We’re suddenly force fed a splinter of Bond’s back story. A plot point is revealed that other reviewers claim digs deep into Bond’s roots, origins and motivations. I disagree with those statements. ‘Casino Royale’ created a three dimensional character. Through the death of Vesper in the climax, Bond was given a dark motivation that we could all connect with. In ‘Skyfall’, that motivation (what I’m calling “The Vesper Motivation”) is completely dismissed for a newer, shallower one – his parents died. Why is Bond the cruel, heartless and brutal beast that he is? It’s not because of Vesper. It’s because he’s an orphan. Once again, we’re supposed to make the connection that Bond is like Silva – he has parent issues too. Boo-hoo and bullshit. The final act character development is worthless, but not as worthless as the ripped-off anticlimax that follows.

Do you know how every Bond movie has a wild adventurous finale? ‘Skyfall’ doesn’t. The movie wraps up with Bond and M playing ‘Home Alone‘ against the strangest set of henchmen ever. They lock themselves in Bond Manor with Albert Finney (who pops up just for the film’s climax) and re-enact ‘Straw Dogs’. Bad guys climb inside the boarded up house, but fall for boobytrap after boobytrap, failing to ever take out either of the geriatric geezers shuffling around inside. When Bond, M and Finney complete the first wave, then enters Silva in a helicopter shooting sequence that would have been any other villains’ first attack choice. This scene just keeps going on and on and on. They move the fight outdoors, and then they move back indoors, and so forth.

The nearly two-and-a-half hour runtime of ‘Skyfall’ is unwarranted. Most scenes are too long, especially the “Peter and the Chicken” action sequences. It would all be over much earlier had Bond taken the shot one of the many times in the movie that the opportunity was readily in front of him, but he unexplainably and consciously decides not to. For example, why didn’t Bond just shoot Silva in the face during the scene where Silva tried to drop a train on him?

My final gripe with flick is M’s fate. Did anyone not see M’s death coming from the moment we met Ralph Fiennes’ character? If you didn’t catch it then, you must have caught it when her real name was revealed. The movie’s ending was spoiled two hours before we got to it.

I’m not going to buy the new Bond Blu-ray set, but I will buy the individual titles that I like. I already own ‘Casino Royale’ and ‘Quantum of Solace’, but I will never own ‘Skyfall’.

What Did You Think of 'Skyfall'?

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91 comments

  1. Ed

    Saw this last night. I agree it’s awful, long and disjointed. It felt like the movie had a bunch of 007 tropes to get through and it did it by checking them off a list. Bond girl check have bond girl die ..check…i never felt there was any more weight to the movie than that.

    It’s a grabbag of bond moments and cliches that just clunk from point to point rather than flow.

    there were some scenes in this movie that i found compelling but as a movie it fails. I will say the cinematography was nice. That was about it.

  2. Barsoom Bob

    Agree with all this, but I think the really true Bond fans are the ones going to be the ones disappointed. I just heard from another of my friends who is a total Bond fan and ditto he felt the same. The ones praising this to the sky are the dilettantes. I had to laugh, my daughter in law made exactly that comment about the end sequence being ” Home Alone ” redux !

    The only thing you missed was that they did explain the MI6 explosion. Silva using his cyber skills caused gas valves to just open and create a gas build up which led to the explosion. In the real world the US and Israel have been cyber attacking Iran’s nuclear efforts causing malfunctions and delaying their progress. It was just recently declassified by the head of the CIA that we were retaliated against, oil refineries in Bahrain, and along the coast were, we’re attacked with the loss of thousands of computers left with burning American flags on the screen. Something clever along those lines should have been Skyfall, not some old abandoned house on the moors. But I will admit that the helicopter into the house was pretty cool.

  3. Chad

    I can’t say I disagree with you, I just don’t have the same extreme negative reaction that you had. Mostly I feel very indifferent about it.

    I’m more perplexed that you liked “Quantum of Solace” as much as you did. Especially when it suffers from many of the same problems that “Skyfall” did, i.e. a week villain, impenetrable plot and a ludicrous climax (a hotel built in the middle of a desert that was literally rigged with a “self destruct” feature, really?)

    I find both “Skyfall” and “Quantum” as unworthy follow-ups to “Casino Royale”. Maybe that’s why I’m not so upset about it, since I already lived though one failure.

  4. M. Wright

    I must say I can see where you’re coming from Luke. I was a bit weary ever since the first trailer came out and it was clear they were reintroducing the idea of a “Q” character. What was wrong with just having a quartermaster? Why the need for a specific person who is a cheezy NCIS/CSI/et.al. style “computer hacker”. This was already a signal that things were changing (going back I guess). Having seen it, I agree with may of your points. I did generally enjoy it though. I totally agree that the rebooted character arc we saw Bond go through in CR and QoS seems to have rebooted itself with an odd mix of old and new. What matters now is where the keepers of the franchise go from here.
    I did enjoy how British the film was, something old Connery Bond films had, with less emphasis on pleasing American audiences.
    And I did think the subplot on the issues of transparency in government seemed to be a topical one. Too bad they had to make Judi Dench’s M look like an old incompetent horse’s arse to do it…

  5. One issue for this Bond movie that I think helped to water down the plot, was how apolitical it was. Even the failboat that is ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ contained the threat of hostile action between China and the UK (incited by the bad guy and the power of headlines). In Quantum of Solace, the CIA is backing the bad guy as a necessary evil oblivious to the organization that he is in or his plan to control the region’s water supply. In ‘Skyfall,’ M mentions early that the real issue with the NOC list is that it contains the identities of allied agents, a fact that the UK would have to explain if the list were released. (This was forgotten when thwy entered the non company car from Goldfinger and headed to Scotland.) Lamely, the only possible misdeed by any political entity or organization in the film is the possible torture of Silva by (I guess) the Chinese after the Hong Kong handover, but this is entirely vague. China is referred to with pronouns only, and Silva says something along the lines of after five months and a failed cyanide pill… something something… he wanted to see M’s face again.

    The theft of the NOC list is itself a contrarian plot point. If Silva is always a key stroke or two away from unleashing the future and spies are defunct, then why does he have to send spy/bad guy to retrieve a hard drive?

    A really, Loki and the Avengers? Have you seen ‘the Dark Knight?’

    • Beginning with that very first guy that Bond tries to stabilize (rag on chest, no Casino Royale glove box extra life for him) the film at least seemed partially concerned with presenting MI6 agents, Police, and even that lone London Underground train as a senseless price for the continued exploits of Bond & Co on a level that singularly reminds me of The Dark Knight. Granted, I don’t recall Silva, even when posing as a cop, administering to anyone the third degree as to why they were being overly serious…

  6. Nothing I say is going to change Luke’s mind, so just a few random thoughts:

    - I’m not sure that Bond WASN’T shot twice (we’re never sure if Eve actually hits him or if the shot is just close enough to knock him off balance), but it’s obvious in the plot that the gunshot from the henchman in the right shoulder is the more serious wound, particularly because of the material the bullet is made out of (which MI6 explains later…if it had hit him in a more serious location, Bond would be dead)

    - Silvia is NOT a double-0 agent…he was just an operative. He may be a double-0, but if he was you’d think they’d mention it…they never do. Also, Silva caused his own deformity, not M…he bit down on a cyanide capsule, but it didn’t kill him.

    - Given Silva’s computer skills, there’s no reason he wouldn’t know where MI6 relocated to…in fact, he probably knew WHERE they would relocate to BEFORE the MI6 explosion, as those plans were probably in a file somewhere at MI6.

    - MI6 doesn’t give up on the hard drive as much as Silva reveals (or changes, depending on your interpretation) his plans to focus on M. Since only a handful of MI6 people are “in” on what Bond and M are up to, I’m assuming the rest of MI6 is still searching hard…it’s just no longer relative to OUR story. It appears to me that the hard drive was just a way for Silva to make M suffer, rather than his true motive for his actions.

    I think Luke’s biggest gripe may be that SKYFALL links back to the pre-CASINO ROYALE Bond flicks and establishes that this is the same James Bond, rather than a completely new one (which seemed to be the case with CASINO ROYALE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE). Most Bond die-hards are thrilled with that, but a few who liked the clean break the series seemed to make with CASINO ROYALE are not. There’s no right answer here, and many Luke’s complaints may be valid ones, but I don’t think the film is nearly as brainless as he believes…in fact, it’s pretty smartly written.

    -

    • Ted S.

      Agree Shannon, I thought it was well written and one of the best Bond films ever. I loved Casino Royale and really enjoyed Quantum of Solace, so I was surprised that Luke hated this one. I don’t see how it’s so different from the previous to movies, it’s a just another chapter in the Bond franchise.

    • Alex

      Continuity in the Bond films has always been rather fast and loose. Shoot, Bond himself exists in a sliding timescale while those around him age at a normal rate. The DB5 showing up doesn’t necessarily mean they’re trying to restablish continuity. To me, it just felt like a wink to the audience and an homage more than anything grander. In fact, it felt like the same wink as when that car showed up in Casino Royale.

      I loved Skyfall. I loved the references to the old movies. I loved the inspiration (but not, I don’t think, cribbed) from the Nolan Batman films. I loved Judi Dench’s dignified departure.

      Bond films always match the zeitgeist. The 60s-era Bond films match the action movies of the time. Same with the 90s and 2000s. The same is true of Skyfall, but Skyfall had a tremendous history to build on, honor, and live up to. I think it did so beautifully.

  7. Ryan

    The way your post is written (you clearly have some kind of bias against scorpions) suggests no one is gonna change your mind about the movie regardless of how many plot details you got wrong, but whatever.

    “The dumb aspect of this scene is that M is willing to risk killing Bond in order to get the hard drive back, but had she not made the call, both Bond and Henchman #1 would have smashed into the train tunnel.”

    Weird claim. The only way that happens is if it’s written that way, not if M doesn’t make the call to take the shot.

    As for the gadget overload you complain about, I really don’t think a GPS device should count. So counting the Walther and the Aston Martin, that’s two gadgets. Casino Royale had that convenient defibrillator in Bond’s car.

    The ‘plot’ of the movie isn’t retrieving the hard drive. That’s a plot device, part of Silva’s revenge plan. Just because it takes a plot device from Mission: Impossible doesn’t mean it has to follow that movie’s mess of a story as well.

    What motivation are you talking about exactly with regards to this Vesper Motivation? What’s he being motivated to do? Do you mean seek revenge or whatever he did in Quantum of Solace (which I think is a bad movie, Bond or otherwise)? Or something else?

    • I’m not expecting to have my opinion changed, but I’m not expecting to change opinions either. I just trying to justify my opinions through spoilery examples and my own personal backstory with the franchise.

      Having said that, through other people’s analysis of Skyfall, I HAVE come to understand things better – like how Silva blew up M’s office. That explanation whizzed right past me during the screening. I accept, understand and have dropped that issue because it makes sense.

      I REALLY didn’t like the old car coming back. My first thought was, ‘Is future Bond going to get hit by lightning that throws off the flux capacitor and send Bond and Astin into 1885, only to later leave Astin there for future young Bond?’ When the guns popped out, I really rolled my eyes.

      Skyfall is all about the NOC list for an hour. Take this example: Ghost Protocol. Mr. Dragon Tattoo steals the nuke detonator from the Kremlin. What we got to the Dubai sequence and never heard about the detonator again and the rest of the movie was about his mommy issues?

      Vesper was a great motivation. Solid for Bond. That fact that she was over-written for the sad orphan story is pathetic, it’s effortless.

      I’ve REALLY enjoyed the new take on Bond, but this one digresses and walks away from it. Those in the same boat as me (who don’t care much for the classics) aren’t liking where this is headed.

      Honestly, I’m glad that the fans love Skyfall. I really am. The reason I am is because I truly want to love it as much as they do. Hell, that’s what I expected.

      • William Henley

        LOL, I am glad to know I was not the only person who thought this Bond was about to turn into a Time Travel movie. I was just waiting for Bond to drive into a whirling wheel, end up in 1960s London, say “Groovie Baby, yeah!”, get randy with some chick, and find out that Dr. Evil was his father. I honestly felt that scene was more of a homage to Austin Powers than to earlier James Bond movies.

  8. Mike Dean

    Fianally a reviewer who actually shares the same opinion about the film as I do. Skyfall was probably the blandest james bond film ever. Silvas escape was cartoonish and the whole melodrama of M in the courtroom scenes was idiotic. Why did they even go to scotland just to lock themseleves in in the home alone parody of the third act. Could not they just have brought some extra mi6 agents for back up and trap silva? Silvas death was stupid as well with the knife.

  9. A few more points:

    MI6 was not underground in the old movies. I’m not sure where Luke is getting that idea from.

    The continuity of the train scene – Yes, Bond jumps on the train in the city, then the train leaves the city, and then it’s no longer in the city. I don’t see what’s so confusing about this. And I find it hard to believe that someone would nit-pick alleged continuity issues in Skyfall while at the same time praising Quantum of Solace, a movie whose action scenes are totally incoherent. I defy anyone to explain to me exactly what happened in the scene in Quantum where the boat magically flipped.

    “Both Bond and Henchman #1 would have smashed into the train tunnel.” – Given that, just a few seconds earlier, they had both gone through another train tunnel and ducked down to avoid being smashed, I don’t know why you’re so certain that it would be impossible for them to do the same thing again. The point of M ordering Eve to take the shot is that she didn’t have enough faith that Bond could finish the job on his own. She was willing to sacrifice Bond if it meant the certainty of taking out Patrice.

    Bond being shot twice – Bond tells Eve later that she broke three or four of his ribs and injured his internals. Plot hole explained.

    Gadgets – Bond has a gun that’s coded to his palm print (a real thing) and a radio. Really, this is too outrageous for you, but you’re fine with the glove compartment defibrillator in Casino Royale? I don’t understand this attitude at all.

    As Shannon already mentioned, the movie explicity explains how Silva triggered a gas leak and explosion at MI6. Also, Bond doesn’t “randomly” find Silva. He follows a trail of evidence there, which is shown in detail during a long stretch of the movie. Yes, Silva fully expected M to send one of her best agents to find him, and was laying in wait for that to happen. Silva knows MI6 procedures and knows how M thinks.

    Silva’s deformity – This is explained in detail in the movie. I have no idea what your problem with this is.

    The NOC list – Silva’s end goal was always to punish M, and to do so personally, face-to-face. The NOC list was just a means to get her attention and to facilitate his being brought in directly to her. He had no interest in continuing to release agent names once he got to M.

    The Vesper Motivation – Bond got closure for Vesper in Quantum of Solace. This movie takes place several years later, as is clear from all the repeated talk about how long he’s been a field agent. How many movies do you expect Bond to continue pining for Vesper?

    • I hope you don’t mind, but I’m not going to address certain issues you mention because I swear to you that my goal is not to argue my opinion, but explain it and describe what bugged me to death about Skyfall and many of the other older Bond flicks.

      I don’t believe that Quantum was perfect. There are things that I don’t particularly care for in it, but it still furthers everything that I loved about Casino – the action, the violence, the character, the drive and so on. All the while, it didn’t utilize the things that I don’t like about old Bond. Can you now see why I would deem it better than most?

      As for the compact defibrillator in Casino – dude, those exist. They’re actually attached to pillars all throughout the building I work in. They’re legit. I’ve had training on them. You stick the paddles on your chest – or hopefully someone else’s chest – and it starts doing tests and reading you vitals. If you need to get juiced full of electricity, it gives you a warning and blasts away. Yes, one could fit into a glove box. They’re maybe not as small as the one in Casino, but they’re small. Just like the gun in Skyfall, this tech is legit.

      My problem with the glass jaw was that it was plain and simple silly. the horse teeth were goofy from the first time Bardem appeared on screen. When he popped out his jaw, I chuckled at how corny the idea behind it was. Sorry, but I just didn’t see that as realistic or necessary. Why must all of these villains have a physical manifestation of how effed up they are?

      As for Vesper, I’m not asking for a franchise based on how angry he is at her assailants. I’m just not wanting a franchise that erases it for something so over-used and cliche as “I’m an orphan.” That’s honestly the best that they could come up with immediately following Vesper’s death? I’m horrible at creative writing, but I could come up with something better than that.

      Again, I’ve liked the tone of the comments in this post, so know that I’m not trying to argue and say that you’re wrong – I’m simply explaining where I’m coming from and what didn’t work for me. I still love you even though your opinion is wrong. :)

      • You know what else really exist? Radios!

        You’re OK with Le Chiffre’s bleeding eyeball, but Silva wearing dentures is too corny? Heaven forbid you meet my grandmother. :)

    • Ethan Hunter

      “………The NOC list – Silva’s end goal was always to punish M, and to do so personally, face-to-face. The NOC list was just a means to get her attention and to facilitate his being brought in directly to her. He had no interest in continuing to release agent names once he got to M………”

      Silva could have walked into M’s house just like he walked into the courtroom and killed her anytime! He didn’t need the NOC and Bond to meet her face to face. The NOC plot was completely abandoned….It does not matter if M lives or dies….she was bound to retire anyway…..The lives of undercover MI6 agents were more important….And Bond didnt have to protect M himself….The british army could have given M protection…..They were not operating in some foreign country…..they were in london!

  10. scottie

    I could not agree more with the author. I was expecting a casino royale 2.0, instead I was forced to watch a cliched generic kiddy action movie. I’m very disappointed with Daniel Craig for accepting Skyfalls direction and poorly written plot.

    as for the author please Facebook me at

    Facebook.com/virtualpirateboy

  11. Out of curiosity, I’ve seen an overwhelming amount of Bond fans say that Skyfall is either their favorite Bond flick or that it’s in their Top 5 Bond Flicks list. For those who make the latter claim, what are your Top 5 Bond flicks? I want to see your lists. (Maybe this should be a Roundtable question.)

    • Ted S.

      Okay I’ll go first, here are my top 5 Bond flicks:

      1. Thunderball
      2. From Russia with Love
      3. Skyfall
      4. Casino Royale
      5. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

      What are yours Luke? Since you said you don’t like most of the old Bond films, yours will probably be Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and maybe GoldenEye? Of course I’m just assuming.

    • Excluding Skyfall, my favorites are Thunderball, Goldfinger, Casino Royale, Licence to Kill and From Russia with Love. The exact order that I would arrange them varies by mood. I’d also like to squeeze On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and The Spy Who Loved Me in there somewhere.

    • William Henley

      Its probably in my top 10

      1) Golden Eye
      2) Live and Let Die
      3) Tomorrow Never Dies
      4) Dr No
      5) From Russia With Love
      6) Thunderball
      7) Licence to Kill
      8) Diamnonds Are Forever
      9) Moonraker
      10) Skyfall

      • William Henley

        Oh, I forgot about Goldfinger, I will put that between 5 and 6 on my list, so that pushes Skyfall to number 11

  12. Deaditelord

    Excluding Skyfall, my favorites would be (in no particular order):

    From Russia With Love
    On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    License to Kill
    Casino Royale

  13. GL

    My beef about this movie..
    No Bond Girl
    Not enough love making scenes
    Not enough hot girls
    all the above replaced by a homosexual scene
    Bond lets his girl get killed
    Too many close up on M’s wrinkly face (Sorry M!)
    Boring story line
    Too much focus on M (practically the whole movie is about her)

    The only thing I liked about this movie was the villain! I found myself sort of hoping he would win, and found out after the movie that I wasn’t alone feeling this way. :) You could even say he won at the end, because he kind of got what he wanted (having M dead.) He was a great character

    1 out of 5 star, and the 1 star goes to the villain!

  14. GL

    Classic Bond was all about perfectly balancing pleasure and business in his missions.. He was a lady’s man..;) I have nothing against homosexuality, as i’m bisexual myself, yet I thought it was a disgrace to original bond series to add a scene where Bond suggests that he’s had sex with other men. I’m a girl and I was really disappointed at this movie.. I seriously wonder if the makers of this movie are gay and have no interest in women. Seriously, no bond girl? Bond even lets that girl get killed? This would’ve never happened in original 007 movies.. Bond movies are getting darker and boring-er each time! Too much violence(hate), not enough love making (love). Not enough love, too much hate. Exactly what I don’t like about Media in general.

    • The movie has two Bond Girls: Severine and Eve. And plenty of Bond’s former dalliances have been killed. Off the top of my head: Jill Masterson (the girl painted gold) in Goldfinger, Bond’s wife Tracy in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Rosie Carver in Live and Let Die, Paris Carver (Teri Hatcher) in Tomorrow Never Dies, and Vesper in Casino Royale. Hell, Bond shoots Elektra King himself in The World Is Not Enough. So, yeah, this happened all the time in the original 007 movies.

  15. Ethan Hunter

    SkyFAIL! I never really was a bond/MI6 fan. I think Ethan hunt/IMF are way cooler.

    My Gripes:

    [1] Why abandon the NOC storyline? Silva would have had a million copies of the list. total BS.

    [2] Why does Bond need to protect M hmself? it is not some espionage operation in a foreign country. it’s london!! Just throw the hag in some high security prison/hand her over to the cops or the british army for protection and go after the damn NOC!!

    [3] If bond and Q left clues for silva to follow them back to scotland, why didnt he leave M out of the scene. She could have been some place safe!

    [4] If bond could lead silva to his mansion by leaving clues, why couldnt he lead him to a frickin trap/ambush? why does he have to fire every bullet on his own….again he isn’t in the middle of an espionage operation in a foreign country….this is goddamn UK!!!

    [5] why would bond wait for silva with just a sawed off shotgun and 2 dynamite sticks? If he had constant communication with Q, why not wait with a TANK and take out the fuc**n chopper mid-air!!

    All the darn british/asian critics were paid off by MGM….if the movie had been released in the US first, the box office collections would not have crossed $1 mn…

  16. Duane Hicks

    Yeah, this movie was one of the worst things ever. It pissed me off at every single point. It wasn’t even a bond film, per se.

    I totally agree with the review. I’d add in that the new emo-Q pissed me off as well.

    Nothing in the entire film made me care. Well…I may have smiled a little when M died, but that’s hardly the reaction they were going for. But seriously, how do you not smile/chuckle when you hear people in the crowd sobbing over the most pretentious bitch ever featured in a Bond movie?

    Anyway, I digress. This movie gets an F-.

  17. Bondoo

    Hi there,
    like you I am also a huge fan of the modern more gritty Bond presented in the last 2 movies. I found this movie a joke, After 4 years of patiently waiting they give us this nonsense!

    The Action scenes were extremely weak compared to its predecessors, and the story was outright silly , Daniel suddenly aged crazy and is no more that handsome violent spy we came to love from the previous two

    The worst dissapointment ever !!

  18. Jed

    Simple problem: the movie is like an elaborate Bond trap. It’s elaborately complex to accomplish something simiple.
    It’s disappointing because for all the effort spent in filming, little seems to have been spent in writing. The scenes are complex for no reason.
    1) The opening chase to recover the list culminates in Bond being shot. If you’re going to shoot and you hit the wrong guy why not keep firing? Instead give the villain a long look goodbye.
    2) The Shanghai assassination. 4 million Euros to shoot a guy in a room with four people who want him dead anyway? What?
    3) The island. No one ever came back or asked their government to take a look at their stuff over a chemical leak? Not a meltdown, a chemical leak?
    4) Silva (who was great) is so underused. And he organizes a raid on the same day the inquiry will happen and times a subway drop as his only planted explosion?
    5) “Stay here, make sure Bond is dead.” How? By donning an asbestos suit and taking a walk through the flames?
    6) Hey, Albert Finney. While you’re walking around the old joint, how about sweeping it?

    If Silva had come back with a grudge against England and turned into a domestic terrorist this movie might have rocked.

  19. Mike

    I have been searching like a mad man for a review that can finally bring some peace and solace to my mind. I thank you for providing me that. The witty metaphors and your general displeasure and no nonsense outlook mirror my sentiments and had me chuckling & cracking smirks. How almost the entire professional review board out there disagrees with our perspective just sends me to tears. It’s not just about ‘what makes a good Bond movie’ that was missing (the essence of Bond). Most of the fault lies in the predictability of the writing and execution. I felt like my intelligence was being insulted. Laziness all around.

    • I call shenanigans on these poll results. I saw the movie twice in two different theaters, and both times the audiences applauded at the end. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve experienced that at a movie theater (other than film festivals, where everyone applauds to be polite to the filmmakers in attendance).

      • Luke Hickman
        Author

        Those numbers are rather strange, but I’m surprised by how many people have come out over the last week as agreeing that ‘Skyfall’ isn’t anything special.

        If these numbers are correct, it’s only because those who didn’t like it clicked on the post titled “Why I thought Skyfall Sucked” to feel vindicated. Those who LOVE it probably didn’t open this post because they already don’t agree.

        Don’t be worried, Josh – I think this poll is biased.

      • Alex

        Contrarianism makes people feel special (miserable, usually, but special).

        Not saying that Luke doesn’t genuinely believe what he said in his review/rant. Just saying that some of pollsters may be taking the opposing view of the rest of the Bond-viewing populace just to bolster their own sense of individuality.

        Of course, I like Michael Bay movies, so what do I know?

        • Simon Coles

          While I agree that some people adopt a contrarian stance in order to appear intelligent, informed and discerning, some people just genuinely do not like the movie and are astonished by the praise it is getting.

        • Simon Coles

          I noticed plenty of walk-outs at the screening I was at. I would have been one of them had I not being seeing the film with some friends.

          • You’d have us believe that people are so repulsed by the film that they’re walking out in droves? Sorry, I don’t buy that story for a second.

  20. Peter

    Yeah, I came across this site because I googled ‘Skyfall sucks’ and here I am. VERY nice to hear that others share my opinion! If I had not been at the theatre with my brother and girlfriend, I would have walked after the ridiculous chase scene in the tube. Silva leaves a door open behind him??? Bond stands there like an idiot while Silva LITERALLY ANNOUNCES he’s about to pull some shit??? Any why did we not see how Silva got out of this plexiglass cage and escape when there were two armed guards in the room – because there’s no way in hell he could have, that’s why.
    Also, where was security at this casino that contains millions or euros? I didn’t get the impression that the 3 bodyguards worked there, so where was security? If they were associated with the casino, are we supposed to believe that there are only 3 guys working there? Also, why the F would M and the old Albert escape with a flashlight shining, guiding the way for the bad guys to come get them? How effective would the car’s machine guns have been when they don’t move? All that little car trick would have accomplished would be to get Bond pinned down and shot – but of course highly trained mercenaries never thought to cover the driver’s side door….
    Don’t get me wrong – I am willing to suspend disbelief in a Bond film, and am a big fan of the entire series – but this was a clumsy, thoughtless and botched film and let’s not forget (as pointed out above) in the end, the bad guy won! (dead M, unrecovered NOC)
    Really can not wrap my mind around why anyone would call this the best Bond film ever – for me it was one of the worst.

  21. BobM

    The problem with the latest Bond film “Skyfall” is that in the end it’s all about Bond saving himself, and not trying to save the World.

  22. CK

    I’ll agree Skyfall isn’t flawless, but I don’t really think that most of the criticisms hold water.

    I didn’t find any of the action scenes to be too long. The train crash had its weaknesses and the climax could have been better, but I don’t think it was as bad as you describe it. While I did think of Home Alone when I saw them setting up the boobytraps, I’m pretty sure that John Hughes didn’t invent the idea of boobytrapping a building, so no points lost there. The bad guys do “fall for boobytrap after boobytrap”, literally; there were only about two. But you’re wrong about them not being able to “take out either of the geriatric geezers shuffling around”; unless M’s side always had a hole in it, and no one had the nerve to tell her that she’s always bleeding profusely. The helicopter attack coming second was a bit questionable, but Silva seemed to be toying with M and Bond throughout the movie, so I don’t know if we can judge his plan against a straight-forward attack. I don’t know if M’s death was so obvious, because I already knew that Dench was leaving the franchise, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me. I also don’t think they necessarily revealed her real name; unless I missed it somewhere before they met Albert Finney.

    You wrote: “It would all be over much earlier had Bond taken the shot one of the many times in the movie that the opportunity was readily in front of him, but he unexplainably and consciously decides not to. For example, why didn’t Bond just shoot Silva in the face during the scene where Silva tried to drop a train on him?”

    It wasn’t unexplained why he didn’t shoot Silva. Throughout the movie they made it quite clear that he lacked his usual marksmanship. The fact that he may show confidence that he can shoot Silva in that scene doesn’t mean that he (or Silva) actually believes it. I would have liked to see him save Severine, though.

    • Just to clarify the M’s name thing…they DIDN’T reveal her name, as far as I know. Bond introduces her to Kincade as “M”, and Kincade misunderstands and calls her “Emma”. It’s a joke, not her actual name.