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The freefall scene, with instant recovery


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#1 Jet Set Willy

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:13 PM

Bond, and a very thin girl plummets from a few thousand feet in QoS and a few moments later they are walking around and climbing heaps of rock. This is the single biggest problem in QoS. Forget the loud moans from critics regarding the Bradley/Bourne shaky cam, the supposed lack of plot, Craig being too cold and ruthless, Mathis being dumped in a garbage truck, Dominic being too non-existent, too much action, etc.

This one scene is where it all falls apart for me. The aftermath of the freefall scene. The plane sequence was well-done, we had elements of realism, the bad guys came from nowhere and took the audience by suprise, the engine burning out wasn't that badly done, the CGI was passable, hell - even the freefall scene had me still glued to the screen, my hands gripped to the chair. It was done in a realistic fashion, seeing the faces contort with the wind. And then the parachute opens a couple of metres from the ground, and....

They collapse on the floor. At that moment, silence fell in the cinema. Are they both ok? Did they make it? Are they still alive? Or are they both fine, right as rain and we are suddenly back in DAD territory again?

Unfortunately, it was the latter.

After all that hard work done beforehand too in CR - Bond hesitating before crane jumping, Bond dazed and bloodied after the stairwell fight, Bond examining his wounds in the bathroom while necking a glass of bourbon, Bond passing out on the grass after the car crash, Bond half-dead on the back seat of Le Chiffre's car, Bond nervous before the torture scene, Bond screaming out in pain, Bond recovering in hospital. Even in QoS this continues. Bond looking perturbed in the car chase, looking dusty, bloody and knackered, Bond tying cloth around his arm wound in Slate's apartment, Bond gasping for breath during the plane scene.

The omission of them both recovering after the freefall is criminal in my book, and strips away all the hard work achieved with the reboot process by EON up until this moment in the film. Without that crucial scene, the film crashed right back down to the bottom of the barrel with a bang, far louder and harder than Bond and Camille's freefall.

What was Forster thinking? Seeing that moment again for the third time suddenly made me very angry, as I doubt Campbell would have allowed that to happen in CR, and given that we are within the same realistic confines in QoS, it seemed shoddy that Forster thought he could get away with it. :(

#2 Loomis

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:15 PM

Dude, I totally agree. The dogfight/freefall jumps the shark, nukes the fridge and very seriously mars what is otherwise a very fine movie. I do have other gripes about QoS (although I'll spare y'all), but this one is by far my biggest.

#3 dee-bee-five

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:21 PM

Bond, and a very thin girl plummets from a few thousand feet in QoS and a few moments later they are walking around and climbing heaps of rock. This is the single biggest problem in QoS. Forget the loud moans from critics regarding the Bradley/Bourne shaky cam, the supposed lack of plot, Craig being too cold and ruthless, Mathis being dumped in a garbage truck, Dominic being too non-existent, too much action, etc.

This one scene is where it all falls apart for me. The aftermath of the freefall scene. The plane sequence was well-done, we had elements of realism, the bad guys came from nowhere and took the audience by suprise, the engine burning out wasn't that badly done, the CGI was passable, hell - even the freefall scene had me still glued to the screen, my hands gripped to the chair. It was done in a realistic fashion, seeing the faces contort with the wind. And then the parachute opens a couple of metres from the ground, and....

They collapse on the floor. At that moment, silence fell in the cinema. Are they both ok? Did they make it? Are they still alive? Or are they both fine, right as rain and we are suddenly back in DAD territory again?

Unfortunately, it was the latter.

After all that hard work done beforehand too in CR - Bond hesitating before crane jumping, Bond dazed and bloodied after the stairwell fight, Bond examining his wounds in the bathroom while necking a glass of bourbon, Bond passing out on the grass after the car crash, Bond half-dead on the back seat of Le Chiffre's car, Bond nervous before the torture scene, Bond screaming out in pain, Bond recovering in hospital. Even in QoS this continues. Bond looking perturbed in the car chase, looking dusty, bloody and knackered, Bond tying cloth around his arm wound in Slate's apartment, Bond gasping for breath during the plane scene.

The omission of them both recovering after the freefall is criminal in my book, and strips away all the hard work achieved with the reboot process by EON up until this moment in the film. Without that crucial scene, the film crashed right back down to the bottom of the barrel with a bang, far louder and harder than Bond and Camille's freefall.

What was Forster thinking? Seeing that moment again for the third time suddenly made me very angry, as I doubt Campbell would have allowed that to happen in CR, and given that we are within the same realistic confines in QoS, it seemed shoddy that Forster thought he could get away with it. :(


I hear what you're saying, although the sequence works for me precisely because of it being the one moment of old Bond absurdity á la Moonraker or DAD. And let's not get too carried away by how realistic Bond was in Casino Royale. He ran through a wall at one point... :)

#4 Dr.Mirakle32

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:24 PM

It's still just a Bond movie. I'm sure even Craig would tell you that.

#5 Tarl_Cabot

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:24 PM

It's my only gripe but the film is strong on all fronts I forgive Forster for this brief speed bump. And I'd welcome him back.

#6 Judo chop

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:20 PM

No problems with the dogfight.

Nothing but praise for the freefall.

Not too happy with the landing. Can't win 'em all.

But let's not call it a return to the Brosnan era. There's nothing that reminds me of Brosnan. In fact, Broz wouldn't have landed uninjured. He'd have grunted and gasped at the pain in his collar bones, then quickly forgetting the crippling damage, run to a panicked Camille, and while holding her by the ears, shouted "CAMILLE! LISTEN TO ME!!! LOOK IN MY EYES!!!! IT'S OKAAAAAY!!!!"

#7 Harmsway

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:23 PM

But let's not call it a return to the Brosnan era. There's nothing that reminds me of Brosnan.

There's nothing about the sequence that strikes me as very Craig-like, though. That sequence, exactly, could have appeared in any of the Brosnan films without any distinction from the surrounding film's tone. It just felt fake, everything from the effects work to the landing.

I daresay that previous films have actually done similar scenes better and in a way that feels more real than what ends up happening here. See, for example, Bond's HALO jump in TOMORROW NEVER DIES, which at least feels quite real (and is a great scene, all things considered). And the MOONRAKER sequence, while having an exceedingly cartoonish tone, actually felt like folks were flying through the air, something we never get here.

#8 dinovelvet

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:32 PM

Yeah. It should have been more realistic, Bond and Camille should have died on impact. That would have been totally gritty!

#9 deth

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:32 PM

But let's not call it a return to the Brosnan era. There's nothing that reminds me of Brosnan.

And the MOONRAKER sequence, while having an exceedingly cartoonish tone, actually felt like folks were flying through the air, something we never get here.



they actually WERE flying through the air Moonraker right? In QOS were they actually doing it? It seemed like greenscreen and cgi to me....

#10 rogermoore007

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:39 PM

Well, we're talking about a movie right? Sometimes movies require you to suspend your disbelief. This is a work of fiction. If everything in movies was real, they'd be just as boring as real life. That's why we go to see them in the first place.

Quantum of Solace was an excellent movie, not an excellent depiction of real life

#11 shadytreewejustdoredyouract

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:41 PM

But let's not call it a return to the Brosnan era. There's nothing that reminds me of Brosnan.

There's nothing about the sequence that strikes me as very Craig-like, though. That sequence, exactly, could have appeared in any of the Brosnan films without any distinction from the surrounding film's tone. It just felt fake, everything from the effects work to the landing.

I daresay that previous films have actually done similar scenes better and in a way that feels more real than what ends up happening here. See, for example, Bond's HALO jump in TOMORROW NEVER DIES, which at least feels quite real (and is a great scene, all things considered). And the MOONRAKER sequence, while having an exceedingly cartoonish tone, actually felt like folks were flying through the air, something we never get here.


Nothing is as underwhelming as the Halo jump. There is no sense of depth or scale to it. It might as well be Superman flying through the clouds.

#12 Harmsway

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:43 PM

Yeah. It should have been more realistic, Bond and Camille should have died on impact. That would have been totally gritty!

Nah. Either the sequence should have been dropped (being that it's not really necessarily, and QUANTUM OF SOLACE has an abundance of action as is), or the effects work should have been improved and the chute should have opened a bit sooner.

As is, it's not very convincing, and it's pretty impossible for them to survive.

#13 tdalton

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:44 PM

Yeah. It should have been more realistic, Bond and Camille should have died on impact. That would have been totally gritty!

Nah. Either the sequence should have been dropped (being that it's not really necessarily, and QUANTUM OF SOLACE has an abundance of action as is), or the effects work should have been improved and the chute should have opened a bit sooner.

As is, it's not very convincing, and it's pretty impossible for them to survive.


Agreed. The entire sequence (including the preceding dogfight) should have been dropped from the film.

#14 Mister E

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:45 PM

But let's not call it a return to the Brosnan era. There's nothing that reminds me of Brosnan.

And the MOONRAKER sequence, while having an exceedingly cartoonish tone, actually felt like folks were flying through the air, something we never get here.



they actually WERE flying through the air Moonraker right? In QOS were they actually doing it? It seemed like greenscreen and cgi to me....



Exactly. In QOS, that was green screen stuff.

#15 Judo chop

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:49 PM

But let's not call it a return to the Brosnan era. There's nothing that reminds me of Brosnan.

And the MOONRAKER sequence, while having an exceedingly cartoonish tone, actually felt like folks were flying through the air, something we never get here.

they actually WERE flying through the air Moonraker right? In QOS were they actually doing it? It seemed like greenscreen and cgi to me....

Exactly. In QOS, that was green screen stuff.

Like LeChiffre, you're selling them short. They were acutally 'floating' in that wind tunnel thing. It's what allows the actual actors to do the actual acting. Of course the background is then green screen.

#16 Mister E

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 09:54 PM

But let's not call it a return to the Brosnan era. There's nothing that reminds me of Brosnan.

And the MOONRAKER sequence, while having an exceedingly cartoonish tone, actually felt like folks were flying through the air, something we never get here.

they actually WERE flying through the air Moonraker right? In QOS were they actually doing it? It seemed like greenscreen and cgi to me....

Exactly. In QOS, that was green screen stuff.

Like LeChiffre, you're selling them short. They were acutally 'floating' in that wind tunnel thing. It's what allows the actual actors to do the actual acting. Of course the background is then green screen.


Why was there a need for actors at that point ? One person was trying to grab on to another with a parachute, you don't need to have the actors at that point. The stunt is the attraction so they should have had stunt people performing the scene.

#17 Judo chop

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:00 PM

Why was there a need for actors at that point ? One person was trying to grab on to another with a parachute, you don't need to have the actors at that point. The stunt is the attraction so they should have had stunt people performing the scene.

I won’t say it’s a need, but for me it’s always desirable to see the lead actors do stunts themselves. Secondly, because there is acting involved in this particular scene. Bond shouts at Camille in trying to gain control of the situation. Of course the whole event is just a few seconds long, and so there isn’t much conversation going on, but it’s there. And it’s what sold the fall for me.

#18 stromberg

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:06 PM

I was so looking forward to that entire scene, I just loved the idea of 007 piloting a DC-3, but my alarm bells should have gone of at the first mentions of the freefall scene.

But I'm sorry that I have to say that it was a major letdown for me. One of the very few (that one and the boat chase) in the movie, and it didn't improve on repeat viewings but even got worse (IMHO).

#19 Mister E

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:08 PM

I won’t say it’s a need, but for me it’s always desirable to see the lead actors do stunts themselves.


If it means an painfully fake greenscreen setting, I certaintly don't.

Secondly, because there is acting involved in this particular scene. Bond shouts at Camille in trying to gain control of the situation. Of course the whole event is just a few seconds long, and so there isn’t much conversation going on, but it’s there. And it’s what sold the fall for me.


It's not nessecary for the dialogue to even be there. Common sense dictates that the one without the parachute will go after the one that has it one.

#20 Mike00spy

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:16 PM

Shame... all they had to do was just have the parchute open a few seconds earlier than it did. Not nearly as distracting.

#21 Judo chop

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:22 PM

I won’t say it’s a need, but for me it’s always desirable to see the lead actors do stunts themselves.

If it means an painfully fake greenscreen setting, I certaintly don't.

Secondly, because there is acting involved in this particular scene. Bond shouts at Camille in trying to gain control of the situation. Of course the whole event is just a few seconds long, and so there isn’t much conversation going on, but it’s there. And it’s what sold the fall for me.

It's not nessecary for the dialogue to even be there. Common sense dictates that the one without the parachute will go after the one that has it one.

The dialogue isn’t there to explain why Bond needs the parachute. Of course that is dictated by common sense. But common sense also dictates that a person falling towards his splatting demise will instinctively be yelling for the person who has a parachute. So, for reasons of REALITY, it’s necessary. But that isn’t the point. Dialogue can enhance a scene and you know it.

Craig acts, and makes the scene more realistic. Which is what one of the complaints around here is; that’s it’s not realistic. I’m saying the fact that Bond’s barking orders at Camille give the scene a deeper sense of realism. A person who convincingly acts panicked sells the panic of the scene.

Conversely... at the end of DAD, when Bond and Jinx are 'going down', common sense dictates that Bond is going to try to right the helicopter, so there's no need for dialogue. But of course there's going to be dialogue nonetheless. And it's lame dialogue and insufficiently acted. And voila.


Shame... all they had to do was just have the parchute open a few seconds earlier than it did. Not nearly as distracting.

Quite right. That's the problem for me, at least. I think it's just a question of editing. I love the insanely frantic pace on the way down, but give us another half second or so to witness the transition from open chute to ground.

#22 Mister E

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:23 PM

The dialogue isn’t there to explain why Bond needs the parachute. Of course that is dictated by common sense. But common sense also dictates that a person falling towards his splatting demise will instinctively be yelling for the person who has a parachute. So, for reasons of REALITY, it’s necessary. But that isn’t the point. Dialogue can enhance a scene and you know it.

Craig acts, and makes the scene more realistic. Which is what one of the complaints around here is; that’s it’s not realistic. I’m saying the fact that Bond’s barking orders at Camille give the scene a deeper sense of realism. A person who convincingly acts panicked sells the panic of the scene.



But in this scene in question, the dialogue isn't needed and isn't that compelling. You have to make the visuals speak for itself and the best way is to have the actual free falling occur.

#23 dogmanstar

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:24 PM

Shame... all they had to do was just have the parchute open a few seconds earlier than it did. Not nearly as distracting.


True, but it did open . . . .

#24 Judo chop

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:28 PM

But in this scene in question, the dialogue isn't needed and isn't that compelling. You have to make the visuals speak for itself and the best way is to have the actual free falling occur.

Well, for now I disagree. (I do have to see the film again.) The dialogue is quite rational to have where it is, and the dialogue, though minimal, is compelling (which has always been my main argument) and the visuals are important, which is why they went the route of finding a way to have the real actors suspended in real air for the shot.

It’s not the only way they could have done it of course. They could have gone with stuntmen, which has already been done in Bond. I like that they tried something new, and I don’t remember the greenscreen effects looking poor.

#25 jaguar007

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:38 PM

as I doubt Campbell would have allowed that to happen in CR, and given that we are within the same realistic confines in QoS, it seemed shoddy that Forster thought he could get away with it. :(


Well to be honest Campbell DID have Bond jump off a cliff and freefall into an airplane in CR which is just as bad :)

I agree, it is the one scene that should have been either cut, or had the chute open earlier.

#26 BoogieBond

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 10:50 PM

The Moonraker freefall sequence is miles better and is still tops IMO.

I could have kept the Dogfight which I thought was OK. People are talking about plausibility, but really, this is Bond, and in Dalton's TLD he flies a plane and has a car exit from the rear of a cargo plane mid-flight, its part of the entertainment.

Its how far the plausibility is taken, Bond flying a fighter jet or freefalling into a plane is a bit much, but I felt the Dogfight in QOS was OK. Freefall not so hot.

#27 Mister E

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:19 PM

Well, for now I disagree. (I do have to see the film again.) The dialogue is quite rational to have where it is, and the dialogue, though minimal, is compelling (which has always been my main argument) and the visuals are important, which is why they went the route of finding a way to have the real actors suspended in real air for the shot.



It's rational yes but I just don't think we needed it to sacrifice real stuntmen doing actual stunts. The minutes I saw the greenscreen I was like "meh".

It’s not the only way they could have done it of course. They could have gone with stuntmen, which has already been done in Bond. I like that they tried something new, and I don’t remember the greenscreen effects looking poor.


I personally never tire of actual stunts, you just can't subsitute it.

#28 tim partridge

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 11:54 PM

I still say the CGI glass roof tumble was the point at which the "back to gritty basics" stuff flew out the window, undoing all the hard work of CR before it.

#29 Publius

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:27 AM

Shame... all they had to do was just have the parchute open a few seconds earlier than it did. Not nearly as distracting.

Which is exactly why I didn't care what height they opened the parachute at. If it's so minor that a slight edit can correct it, it's not enough to swing my opinion of the film either way.

The hyperbole regarding this scene is staggering, but a humorous reminder of just how geeky fans can be. :(

#30 sharpshooter

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:36 AM

Going over the film in my head, the freefall sequence is one of the few things that I would remove. I think the scene slightly spoils the atmosphere. I mean, after this amazing feat - they just behave as if this is commonplace. Surely they would be shaking with fear or something.




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