skyfall Columbia Pictures, 2012

Skyfall – my thoughts.

Like millions, I basically grew up on James Bond.  They were the action movies of my generation and I’ve always enjoyed the blend of light entertainment, deep drama, and unashamed action, and have also enjoyed watching the genre change over the years and adapt to changing demands in film consumers whilst still trying to be BondSo… Skyfall.

It was good.  Very good.  The plot was clever, incredibly well paced, and drew on some very ‘true to the books’ aspects of Bond’s character and background.  The climax in Scotland was very un-Bondlike and a lovely low-tech turn.  The London scenes were so tense and well thought-out.

I really, really enjoyed it.  That’s the most important bit, and the remaining rant has got to be seen in context with that.

I have a small number of questions / issues.  I tend to do this quite a lot.  Maybe I’m a bit unwilling to suspend disbelief – and a little less so when a film’s budget is estimated to be at $150 million.  It’s mainly continuity of the screenplay that niggles me.

In order of what niggles most:

  1. M’s rapid decline in the chapel was hard to believe.  For the injury she sustained to have been that fatal, she would have been pretty near unable to move through the tunnel and up the heathland.  Someone should have sat back, looked at the continuity and said “We have to re-shoot or re-edit that”.
  2. Why did Mr Silver turn up in his pop music helicopter after what was very, very, very likely to have already killed Bond and M at Skyfall.  Those ground troops weren’t messing about and had so many near misses on Bond and M with their aggressive shooting that they were clearly shooting to kill and were it not for great fortune on Bond’s and M’s parts, Mr Silver would have turned up to find them already shot to bits. That would have been a bit disappointing for someone so hell bent on personal revenge.
  3. Land Rovers following trains through and then out of urban areas will lose.  No matter how aggressively driven.  Trains move without tight bends, changes in surface, other traffic etc. It was annoying to watch.  You know as an observer that the roads were way to rough / indirect for a Land Rover to make any fast progress against a train… let alone get so far ahead.
  4. Under water way too long.  And unconscious. And hitting the water after a massive fall.  Big internal injuries from impact, on top of a shot to the torso and blood loss. No way.  He’s dead.

If you’re going to put so much effort into making some incredible aspects of a film seem credible, it seems a shame that a few ‘cheap to fix’ plot-related ones would have made it that much better. But, still, 9.8 out of 10 from me.