Yes OK, we’ve done it before but in analysing what was wrong in Skyfall last time, I don’t think it really got to the core of what was wrong.
In a nutshell, it was too paint-by-numbers. It was like – here’s the villain and now we have to put in the whacky new Q and now we’ll have to throw in Shanghai, good, that brush with romance is over, let’s check the tickboxes – hmmm, we need some explosions here and an atmospheric Scottish bit in the dark. Oh and M has to be grumpy and make errors all over the place.
I’ve looked at quite a few reviews and many people touch on the issue:
You could actually hear the director’s thoughts when he decided to yell “cut” and the scenes lacked smooth transition to the next plot line.
I went to the earliest showing(midnight) in anticipation of the revival of the storied franchise we have all been waiting for-and was completely disappointed.
Daniel Craig is a talented actor but even his chops could not save a disjointed, poorly written script, even worse direction, and an ending that could have been telegraphed by Edison himself.
It just wasn’t a good flick. It was slow, clunky, uninteresting and utterly lacking passion. It never broke new ground or took any risks. It never explored the characters in any meaningful way.
It just took the best parts of a lot of other movies, No Country for Old Men, the Batman trilogy, and yes, some good James Bond movies, and added a martini, shaken but not stirred.
Skyfall is just meaningless conversation punctuated with equally meaningless violence with the Double O logo slapped on.
But at least:
SKYFALL Screenwriters Confirm Their Bond Departure; Sam Mendes and John Logan Have Story Idea for BOND 24 by Adam Chitwood Posted: November 19th, 2012 at 11:52 am
Longtime James Bond screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade have confirmed today that they will be departing the franchise. The duo is responsible for penning the screenplays for all the Daniel Craig Bond films as well as The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. They penned the latest entry, Skyfall, alongside John Logan, and in announcing their departure they revealed that Logan and director Sam Mendes have already dreamed up a scenario for Bond 24:
We’re very happy to have done five Bond movies, I think we’ve gotten it to a good place. I know that John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with a plot for another one, which takes the pressure off because these films take up a lot of time.
Well, that’s a relief because TWINE and DAD were both acknowledged as poor stories, Quantum was poor and now this one. In short, these two can’t write Bonds. Casino was different because it was largely Fleming. But we still haven’t got to the bottom of it – who appointed these two? Who appointed Mendes? Who took the romance right out of the Bond movies?
Could it be Barbara Broccoli? Could it be that, as an American woman and therefore steeped in the feminist narrative for a start, she lacks either passion or compassion in a real life, person on person way, in keeping with her sisters?
“I think he [her father] taught me passion.” She had to be taught passion, yes?
At 1.24, in describing Ursula Andress’s emerging from the sea as iconic, look at Broccoli’s eyes go to the ceiling – that says all you need to know about the modern woman’s attitude.
Go back to the last close-to-great Bond film before Casino Royale and you’d probably land on Goldeneye, yes?
|Tom Pevsner||….||executive producer|
|Anthony Waye||….||associate producer|
|Michael G. Wilson||….||producer|
|Albert R. Broccoli||….||consulting producer (uncredited)|
Pre-production work began in May 1990 with a story draft written by Alfonso Ruggiero Jr. and Michael G. Wilson. With Albert Broccoli’s health deteriorating (he died seven months after the film’s release), his daughter Barbara Broccoli described him as taking “a bit of a back seat” in film’s production.
In his stead, Barbara and Michael G. Wilson took the lead roles in production while Albert Broccoli oversaw the production of GoldenEye as consulting producer but is credited as “presenter”.
|Jeffrey Caine||(screenplay) and|
Thinking through it, perhaps it wasn’t just Barbara Broccoli but the fact that it wasn’t her father and his dynamism and the bringing in of Purvis and Wade was just an extension of that. So what about Casino Royale?
|Neal Purvis||(screenplay) &|
|Robert Wade||(screenplay) and|
And there is much of the answer in the fourth credit.
Plus the director. Who directed Goldeneye? Who directed Casino Royale?
What really surprised me was the number who thought Skyfall was the best ever. Well, for a start, it wasn’t a patch on the atmospheric, moody, romantic Casino Royale and the casting was good in that one – Eva Green was inspired, as had been Sophie Marceau. And Famke Janssen was and Isabella Scorupco. Feisty, interesting women.
Now with the greatest respect, Berenice Marlohe [a honey]and Naomi Harris just lacked any sort of oomph. In fact, they were girls, not women. I put this down to Barbara Broccoli – see the youtube again. Neither has much passion for anything. Perhaps they’re both nice people but that’s not what we’re talking about here. They just lack life experience.
So what’s the solution? Well obviously to keep production out of the hands of Broccoli but how? For she will cast people in her image again. Albert cast people in his. On Wilson, the jury’s out.