Some Things That I Didn't Like About Skyfall
I am a big time James Bond fan. After waiting around for 4 years, finally they came up with the new Bond film Skyfall and I rushed to the theatre last weekend to catch it. Though I liked the movie, I was slightly disappointed as it wasn't as good as Casino Royale. The critics have already given rave reviews to the movie so I thought I would note down a few points that I didn't like about Skyfall. Warning : Spoilers Ahead!
1) M's Death.
This immediately put me off. I understand that it was the farewell movie for Judi Dench and wouldn't have minded them killing off the character for the plot. But in this particular story, there just was no point in killing off that character. The whole movie is about the villain trying to kill her and how Bond goes to the extremes in saving her life. If after all these efforts and planning, she is going to die anyway, what was the whole point of everything they built up till the climax? It just meant that Bond failed in his mission and him killing the villain just before M's death is not much redeeming as Silva had no problem dying. He was asking M to shoot through both their heads just before Bond threw the knife. Silva just wanted to take down M with him and he did exactly that when she later succumbed to her wound.
2) Sévérine's Early Death
I was so excited when I saw the French hottie Berenice Marlohe's photos in the press meet announcing the launch of Skyfall. I felt that she would make a memorable Bond girl. But in the end, it was a huge letdown. She is in the movie only for a few minutes and would probably be the most forgettable Bond girl ever. Her performance also wasn't very strong, probably as there wasn't much scope of acting in such a short role.
So, Severine is more like a secondary Bond girl, which is okay, if only there was a primary Bond girl. But there isn't. M and Eve do get more screen space but since no sex or romance with Bond is involved, I wouldn't buy them as Bond girls, sorry. (I wonder if it is being a sex slave that disqualified Severine from getting more focus)
I didn't really believe that Severine died when I saw that scene. I thought that it was all part of Silva's plan and he was faking her death for some reason. I was expecting it to be some twist but that wasn't happening. Plus, Bond does spring into action soon and overpowers the baddies, which left me wondering why he couldn't have done that 2 minutes earlier and saved the woman's life. (I also couldn't understand why Bond didn't move a muscle when the assassin Patrice took down his target. After all, Bond is a good guy, right? He just standing and watching his enemy comfortably killing off a guy when he is there to take down that bad guy, is just wrong!)
3) Moneypenny Turning Down Bond
I don't think that it was that necessary to bring back the character of Moneypenny that was left out from the Daniel Craig reboot of the franchise. I think they left out her character for a reason. Craig is more of a tough guy and he wouldn't exactly look comfortable on screen flirting with M's secretary. But the character has been reintroduced and it was a okay until the scene where Moneypenny turns down Bond's advance towards her. That is just not like Moneypenny! She is obviously impressed with Bond then why would she leave him hanging? Ya, I get it that in the earlier films the two characters are simply shown as having a playful, flirty, sexual tension filled camaraderie which is fun to watch, but I don't see why it was that important to stress the lack of sexual intimacy in this particular film where the character is being reintroduced in a brand new fashion. If they just had a casual one night stand, the lack of physical intimacy that we have gotten used to seeing would have made sense later. I wonder how the future directors would now handle this character against Craig's serious Bond. Despite his best intentions, Mendes might have done a little damage to the franchise.
4) Bond Never Tries To Reason With Silva
I would have loved some sharp reply from Bond to Silva explaining that M was only doing her duty when she gave up on Silva years ago. I know that the villain wouldn't suddenly change his mind or anything, but it would have been more sensible if they had at least a couple of exchanges about stuff like duty, ethics, morality and all, after the motivation behind Silva's revenge had been revealed. Instead, Bond just keeps silent on the whole issue almost making us wonder if he also secretly agrees with Silva and that he is siding with M simply out of loyalty. Some actual words could have utilised the obvious scope of drama involved.
5) Bringing Back The Old Characters
One of the biggest surprises about Casino Royale was seeing how they left out most of the old formulae of Bond films and still made a very enjoyable film. But in the final scene of Skyfall, we see everything going back to the old ways. Moneypenny, the leather cushioned door, M's office and all. Didn't they just get rid of all such typical stuff in the reboot? If they were going to bring it all back again, what was the point of that? In Skyfall, the problem is not very visible as the usual stuff is just being reintroduced, but it will probably become repetitive again in future films.
These are the few reasons why I felt that Skyfall was good, not great.