Posts for Tag: movie

Why I Really Don't Like Skyfall

  • Reading time: five minutes
  • Word count: 809
  • Published: 5 jun 2013
  • Author: Matador the First
  • Copyright: Matador the First, 2013


  • Pacing is even.
    • Way too even.
      • The movie has no rhythm.
      • Akin to the “ready-made phrases” in bad Modern English that George Orwell wrote about—but instead of words and phrases, we have scenes, and instead of being euphonious, they are monotonous, because everything is given equal time.
    • Big problem: Skyfall starts with its most intense scene, Bond’s chasing after a suspect who’s just shot an MI6 agent, which chase ends on a train.
      • When a movie starts with a chase that follows two people fighting on a moving train and also follows the person who’s following them, and when the two people fighting start manipulating the train and changing parts of it in ridiculous but exciting and almost believable ways, and when the chase winds its way to a valley, and when the hero gets shot—this is all within the first fifteen minutes—where can that movie go from there?
        • Nowhere.
        • It starts at the peak. It can only go down.
  • It creates expectations, and then guarantees them.
    • Bond’s getting re-tested for health, physical ability, &c:
      • Bond knows he’s not fit.
        • He’s sure of it.
        • M (his supervisor) knows he’s not fit.
        • The audience—seeing his condition and knowing both Bond and M know Bond isn’t fit—also knows Bond isn’t fit. We’re sure of it.
      • Bond fails the physicals, but M approves him for field duty anyway.
        • This could be a tense moment: “She’s sending him out in that condition? She’s nuts!”
          • Instead the moment’s a laugh. We don’t think he’s going to pass, because he can’t pass, and then he does pass, and it’s like a joke that isn’t funny but catches you off-guard: You have to chuckle.
          • Everything relating to Bond’s health is a given: It’s terrible, and everyone knows it, but you know somehow he’s going to go out into the field again anyway.
            • He gets official approval instead of finding a way to act on his own.
              • Could’ve had some agency.
  • Bond is not a person, he is a robot.
    • Goes with the job—sort of.
      • He does not show emotion. We don’t see him think. He’s a lapdog, a yes-man. He himself does not do anything on his own, and he has no desires apart from M or MI6, except maybe a fling with an attractive woman.
        • I couldn’t stop thinking of The Bourne Ultimatum—an action film I love—if only because of how different it is from Skyfall. Ultimatum thinks and feels; Skyfall does neither. It simply is.
          • It’s kind of like watching a brick fall from a hot-air balloon in suburbia in 2013.
            • Sure there’s some spectacle to it, but you know what will happen in the end.
            • The brick will land on the ground. It might hit things on the way down. It might kill someone. But it will land on the ground.
            • You wait for it to fall on something else—a building, a tree, a car—you hope it will, but it thumps straight into the ground.
    • I care more about Eve than Bond.
      • She thinks.
      • She hesitates when M says take the shot even though it’ll probably hit Bond.
        • Bond wouldn’t hesitate if he were in Eve’s position, because Bond all but never hesitates in the movie.
    • I care more about the fact that Raoul and his cronies ruin Bond’s classic Aston Martin than I care about Bond.
    • I care more about Raoul Silva—the villain—than Bond.
      • Silva was betrayed by someone he respected and trusted and is seeking revenge against that person.
        • This never registers with Bond, even though he respects and trusts the very same person who betrayed Silva.
          • Is it not supposed to register with the audience either?
            • The movie has no sympathy for Silva—and actually feels Silva owes it to die, to have no one care about him.
    • I’m not saying I should care about Bond more than the other characters, but I should care about the protagonist as much as the antagonist.
  • Skyfall more than overstays its welcome.
    • Not because 143 minutes is terribly long. It’s not.
      • But because its pacing, its rhythm, does not exist.
    • I didn’t stop watching the movie only because my brother rented it and wanted me to see it.
    • I was relieved when the movie ended.
      • Not because it was intense. Not because it was involved.
        • But because I no longer had to slog through it.
  • Adele’s song winds up being the best thing about the movie.
  • Is this representative in any way of the other Bond movies?
    • If so:
      • I can’t see how the series has gone on so long.
      • I refuse to watch another Bond movie.


  • Movie: Skyfall
  • Directed by: Sam Mendes
  • Released: 26 oct 2012
  • Duration: 143 minutes
  • Screenplay by:
    • Neal Purvis
    • Robert Wade
    • John Logan
  • Distributed by:
    • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
    • Columbia Pictures
  • Starring:
    • Daniel Craig
    • Javier Bardem
    • Ralph Fiennes
    • Naomie Harris
    • Bérénice Marlohe
    • Albert Finney
    • Judi Dench