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Revisiting "Skyfall"


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#31 Call Billy Bob

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 03:43 PM

And please chime in with your own reviews!

It may take awhile! Wedding and job interviews are filling up my June - but I'll get to it eventually!

#32 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 03:44 PM

Oh - wedding!  Congratulations!



#33 Call Billy Bob

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 03:46 PM

Thank you!

#34 New Digs

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 05:50 PM

Interesting thoughts, David M., and, naturally, I do respect your point of view on SKYFALL as not working at all.

May I suggest one more idea?

If SKYFALL had ended with Bond killing Silva and M surviving... wouldn´t that have felt weird and undeserved? The whole film is built like a tragedy, having an inevitable outcome, having M face the consequences of her actions.

I would argue that M has to die at the end, simply because she is responsible for giving up Silva (a correct political decision, true, but morally wrong), just as she was urging Eve to make "the bloody shot" despite knowing that Eve did not have a clear line of sight, thereby enabling Patrice to escape with the list that also was M´s responsibility not to lose in the first place. Then, agents get brutally slaughtered because of that. Also, she considers the hearing as a public flagging, as if she did not need to justify her actions. And when Bond brings in Silva she does not feel or express the slightest sympathy for his suffering and hides behind her duty, showing a cold, stern and authoritative side. At the hearing she resists taking the blame, thinking that in the end her agent - Bond - has cleaned up everything. (The same agent, by the way, she also was willing to give up, because getting the list back, erasing her mistake, was more important to her than her trust in him overpowering Patrice by himself.)

It is only after the hearing turns into a shootout that again endangers many innocent people that M finally comes around and orders Bond to get her to a place where they can face Silva without innocents being in harm´s way.

Interestingly, at "Skyfall" Bond is not alone with M (the mother figure) but encounters in Kincaid a father figure as well, thus re-uniting with a parental unit at a place where he had to face the news of losing his real parents.

In the finale inside the old chapel, Silva´s line "Of course, this is how it has to end" is spot-on, IMO. Bond again has to face the death of the person that represented a kind of parental influence (in QOS, he even jokes about M who seemingly likes to think she is is mother). This time, however, he knows that M is not a benevolent mother figure but mostly a human being who turned into a bureaucrat who did bring all this evil on to herself. The fact that he cannot save her is, IMO, extremely important for Bond because a) he himself has to face the fact that his actions always have consequences - "somebody usually dies", another line foreshadowing perfectly Bond´s plight, and because B) it is his motivation and at the same time his own tragedy: people who are dear to him the most will lose their lives anyway: Vesper was the first one (in the Craig era) and in another timeline it was Tracy. Now, it is also M, the person who chose him for the 00-section and put him on this path of his life.

SKYFALL, storywise, has all the ingredients of a classic Bond film - but also of a classic tragedy. That´s what sets it apart from the other films, proving that the formula can be expanded even to this kind of narrative.


That is excellent analysis and a great post! I will look at the film again with this in mind. I just wish that exposition was worked around a few more traditional Bond film elements: more locations, intrigue and stunts etc. As I think has been said, I would have preferred more of a consequence to follow from Silvas death. A suggestion in the film that Bond also stopped another plan of Silvas that involved a criminal enterprise and/or global destabilisation would have made the film feel more like a 'Bond film with a capital B' that we were promised ahead of the release. I think expanding the formula to the kind of narrative we got in the film is fine but I think it will be a bit of a shame if each successive Craig film post CR entirely consists of a cinematic icon in doom and gloom. If there are lighter aspects to Spectre I think I will like SF much more, but I fear the next film will be much the same in tone.

#35 David_M

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 07:22 PM

Beautifully worded post above, SFN, and you may even be right. :-)

 

 

 

If SKYFALL had ended with Bond killing Silva and M surviving...  wouldn´t that have felt weird and undeserved?  The whole film is built like a tragedy, having an inevitable outcome, having M face the consequences of her actions.  

 

Again, I don't want to create the impression that I'm upset with the film for killing off M.  I never found her a sympathetic or likable character, and I won't miss her.  Much happier with Ffeinnes, and he's only been in the chair for a few minutes.

 

Having said that, I think there would have been better ways to engineer her death.  And for the life of me I don't get why Bond cries about it. Unless, to borrow your psychologist's hat, he sees her as even more "kin" than his birth Mother, because she's not only an authority figure in his life, but one as emotionally crippled and cold-blooded as he is. 

 

 

 

It is only after the hearing turns into a shootout that again endangers many innocent people that M finally comes around and orders Bond to get her to a place where they can face Silva without innocents being in harm´s way.

 

Okay, two things here:

 

First, if it's true that the firefight at the hearings brings about a change of heart in M (or more accurately, the acquisition of one), then it's a welcome development, considering in the previous scene, she's just contributed to the slaughter of numerous civilians by refusing to alert them that a team of assassins is on the way to their location (preferring instead to recite poetry!!!)

 

Second, damn you, now I've got to watch the film again because if she really does "order Bond to get her to a place" where they can confront Silva without harming others, then that changes, well, pretty much everything.  I've been laboring under the assumption that taking M to Skyfall and inviting Silva to find her there was Bond's idea.  If it's not, and he's just following orders, he's mainly off the hook.  And it would certainly be in character for M to be responsible for such a stupid plan, since that's pretty much her forte, especially in this film where everything she touches turns to crap.

 

My problem is I don't remember the exact dialog in that scene because I was so distracted by the Aston Martin, and trying to figure out how the hell it could be there.  If it's supposed to be the one he won in CR, then how did he get a personal vehicle outfitted with deadly gadgets?  And how does M know what they are?  If MI-6 outfitted it, why do they let him keep it in a personal garage (especially when they've claimed or sold off all his other personal items, few of which are likely to be as deadly, or paid for with government money).  If it's from some "prior adventure," then why would you send an agent "undercover" in a half-million dollar antique?  Plus, the Craig era works for me if I consider it, as you say, an "alternate timeline" from Classic Bond.  This callback to adventures Craig did not have was maddening for me.  So while my brain was churning over that paradox, I may well have missed the nuances of the conversation.  And every time I've seen it since, I've turned my brain mostly off at that point to avoid getting worked up again.

 

Anyway, if it really is M's idea, then Bond is forgiven.

Also, I liked your suggestion that "Emma" and Kincaid are stand-ins for the elder Bonds.  I gather there was talk of casting Connery as Kincaid (albeit maybe only internet chatter) but I'm eternally grateful they didn't.  Not only would that have made the "dad" angle too overt, it also would've pulled the rug right out from under the movie, and Craig.

 

Finally, I have to say I do appreciate the irony of having a climactic battle scene at Bond's own house, given all the villain lairs we've seen demolished in prior entries.  He even invokes his own version of a "self-destruct" button. :-)


Edited by David_M, 04 June 2015 - 07:24 PM.


#36 New Digs

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 07:45 PM

[quote name="David_M" post="1310234" timestamp="1433445740"]

It is only after the hearing turns into a shootout that again endangers many innocent people that M finally comes around and orders Bond to get her to a place where they can face Silva without innocents being in harm´s way.[/quote]

Okay, two things here:

First, if it's true that the firefight at the hearings brings about a change of heart in M (or more accurately, the acquisition of one), then it's a welcome development, considering in the previous scene, she's just contributed to the slaughter of numerous civilians by refusing to alert them that a team of assassins is on the way to their location (preferring instead to recite poetry!!!)

Second, damn you, now I've got to watch the film again because if she really does "order Bond to get her to a place" where they can confront Silva without harming others, then that changes, well, pretty much everything. I've been laboring under the assumption that taking M to Skyfall and inviting Silva to find her there was Bond's idea. If it's not, and he's just following orders, he's mainly off the hook. And it would certainly be in character for M to be responsible for such a stupid plan, since that's pretty much her forte, especially in this film where everything she touches turns to crap.

My problem is I don't remember the exact dialog in that scene because I was so distracted by the Aston Martin, and trying to figure out how the hell it could be there. If it's supposed to be the one he won in CR, then how did he get a personal vehicle outfitted with deadly gadgets? And how does M know what they are? If MI-6 outfitted it, why do they let him keep it in a personal garage (especially when they've claimed or sold off all his other personal items, few of which are likely to be as deadly, or paid for with government money). If it's from some "prior adventure," then why would you send an agent "undercover" in a half-million dollar antique? Plus, the Craig era works for me if I consider it, as you say, an "alternate timeline" from Classic Bond. This callback to adventures Craig did not have was maddening for me. So while my brain was churning over that paradox, I may well have missed the nuances of the conversation. And every time I've seen it since, I've turned my brain mostly off at that point to avoid getting worked up again.

Anyway, if it really is M's idea, then Bond is forgiven.
[/quote]

Completely agreed. The Aston Martin in SF is a massive irritant to me and throws me off the film in a way I imagine it would feel to be ejected from the car in GF.

#37 Call Billy Bob

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 08:04 PM

As for the DB5, I had always assumed he had his DB5 from Casino Royale outfitted like an old Q Branch issue DB5 from the mid 60s - Bond being a car aficionado and all... sometimes, you have to come up with your own personal reasons to explain something. It was a Bond50 callback, but I have no problem with it seeing as my scenario could be feasible.

#38 David_M

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 08:52 PM

Yes, but outfitted by whom?  You don't just go down to your local mechanic and ask for machine guns and an ejector seat.  On the other hand, if you ask Q-Branch, they won't do it either unless (a) you're willing to devote the car to strictly work use or ( b ) M is cool with having you use MI-6 time, staff and inventory to "pimp your ride" for the hell of it.  

 

Maybe that was going to be the next item on the agenda at the hearings calling her to task for her multiple offenses ("Now, about these reports that you're upgrading your employees' personal vehicles into murder machines...")  

 

I suppose another possibility is that someone turned a blind eye to the rules and let Bond purchase an old, tricked-out Aston Martin from the Services' garages.  That would explain how M knew what that button in the gear shift does.  On the other hand, it also makes me wish I was watching a movie about whoever drove it in the 60s, instead.


Edited by David_M, 04 June 2015 - 08:54 PM.


#39 Major Tallon

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 08:55 PM

To the best of my notes and my recollection, here's the dialog.  It furnishes some support for both sides of the argument.

 

M:  007, where the hell are you taking me?  Are you kidnapping me?

B:  That would be one way of looking at it.

M:  Too many people are dying because of me.

B:  If it's you he wants, he's going to have to come and get you.  We've been one step behind Silva from the start.  It's time to get out in front and change the game.

M:  And I'm to be the bait?  All right, just us.  I don't want any more lives put at risk on my account.

B:  If that's the way you want it.

M:  It is.

B:  Very well.  Q, can you hear me?

Q:  I'm tracking the car.  Where are you going?

B:  I've got M.  We're about to disappear.

 

Bond wanted to "change the game" and asked M to confirm that she was to be the "bait."  She acquiesced and told him that she didn't want any lives put at risk apart from hers and Bond's.  She then confirmed that this was what she wanted.  Of course, neither of them could have known that Silva would be leading a small army, nor that, in Britain, Silva would have a military grade helicopter armed with a chain gun.  Are either of them possibly to be faulted for that failure?



#40 David_M

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 09:10 PM

Wow, that is fascinating. One scene and SFN and I both hear it the way we choose to. Interesting psychological study in that, maybe.

Anyway, it confirms its not at all cut and dried. And Bond remains on the hook, for me. Oh well.


Edited by David_M, 04 June 2015 - 10:17 PM.


#41 Call Billy Bob

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 09:21 PM

Yes, but outfitted by whom?  You don't just go down to your local mechanic and ask for machine guns and an ejector seat.  On the other hand, if you ask Q-Branch, they won't do it either unless (a) you're willing to devote the car to strictly work use or ( b ) M is cool with having you use MI-6 time, staff and inventory to "pimp your ride" for the hell of it.  
 
Maybe that was going to be the next item on the agenda at the hearings calling her to task for her multiple offenses ("Now, about these reports that you're upgrading your employees' personal vehicles into murder machines...")  
 
I suppose another possibility is that someone turned a blind eye to the rules and let Bond purchase an old, tricked-out Aston Martin from the Services' garages.  That would explain how M knew what that button in the gear shift does.  On the other hand, it also makes me wish I was watching a movie about whoever drove it in the 60s, instead.

I guess it never really bothered me how it was done. It happened off-screen, therefore it isn't important. Makes sense in my mind.

#42 David_M

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 10:16 PM

 

 

I guess it never really bothered me how it was done. It happened off-screen, therefore it isn't important. Makes sense in my mind. 

 

Again, a Moonraker-friendly attitude.  That's exactly how I justify the previously-undisclosed formation of the US Space Marines.



#43 tdalton

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 02:15 AM

Wow, that is fascinating. One scene and SFN and I both hear it the way we choose to. Interesting psychological study in that, maybe.

Anyway, it confirms its not at all cut and dried. And Bond remains on the hook, for me. Oh well.

 

He's absolutely on the hook.  He got M killed.  Well, actually that's incorrect as well.  Her stupidity with the flashlight was ultimately what got her killed, but Bond's "bright" idea to take refuge at Skyfall didn't do her any favors.

 

I've been calling for a Bond film in which Bond fails for years.  I thought it would be a nice twist if done right, so that aspect of Skyfall doesn't bother me.  The problem with it is that they continually dropped the ball in the two hours leading up to that moment that it ultimately didn't end up mattering all that much.  And then that tacky final scene where we get introduced to the new/old MI6 and M's office killed whatever impact M's death might have otherwise had.



#44 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 05:55 AM

Wow, that is fascinating. One scene and SFN and I both hear it the way we choose to. Interesting psychological study in that, maybe.

Anyway, it confirms its not at all cut and dried. And Bond remains on the hook, for me. Oh well.

 

Why does he remain on the hook?  He is just determined to change the game.  M explicitly says "All right, just us. I don´t want any more lives put at risk on my account." So she orders him to find something (in the spur of the moment, by the way, so how much preparation and thinking could go in Bond´s decision?) where she can bait Silva to come to her.

 

That´s exactly what I meant in my argument.


 

Wow, that is fascinating. One scene and SFN and I both hear it the way we choose to. Interesting psychological study in that, maybe.

Anyway, it confirms its not at all cut and dried. And Bond remains on the hook, for me. Oh well.

 

Her stupidity with the flashlight was ultimately what got her killed.

 

And then that tacky final scene where we get introduced to the new/old MI6 and M's office killed whatever impact M's death might have otherwise had.

 

 

I wonder why the flashlight gets criticized.  It´s a dark night on difficult terrain.  Two seniors, one even injured, have to get across that field (with a barely frozen lake, by the way) to reach the chapel.  Not using any flashlight would have been rather unwise, having them lose their way or break some bones.  They certainly have other things on their mind than thinking about Silva seeing them, when the mansion is attacked in full force and explodes violently.

 

I disagree also about the impact of M´s scene being diminished by the coda.  If SKYFALL had ended with M´s scene it would have left things unfinished.  We need to see Bond coming to terms with his experience at Skyfall (the roof scene) and to assure the new M (and the audience) that personal losses will only drive him to be more tenacious, working FOR the service (in contrast to Siliva whose personal loss resulted in working AGAINST it).


As for the DB5, I had always assumed he had his DB5 from Casino Royale outfitted like an old Q Branch issue DB5 from the mid 60s - Bond being a car aficionado and all... sometimes, you have to come up with your own personal reasons to explain something. It was a Bond50 callback, but I have no problem with it seeing as my scenario could be feasible.

 

I agree.  

 

Sure, it is a nod towards GOLDFINGER - I won´t explain that away.  But I don´t think it´s inconceivable that Q branch has outfitted that car during the missions taking place between QOS and SF, with the car being put in storage so Bond can access it whenever he needs to.

 

It did not spoil the film for me at all, I must say, and audiences loved it and cheered!



#45 David_M

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 04:20 PM

 

 

Why does he remain on the hook?  He is just determined to change the game.  M explicitly says "All right, just us. I don´t want any more lives put at risk on my account." So she orders him to find something (in the spur of the moment, by the way, so how much preparation and thinking could go in Bond´s decision?) where she can bait Silva to come to her.

 

 

You say "she orders," I say "she assents."  And therein lies all the difference.  If the quotes provided are accurate (and they sound right to me), it's Bond's idea to take her somewhere secluded, and we can assume he's already got a good notion of where that would be.  Also, she asks, "And I'm to be the bait?"  She doesn't say, "hey, let's lure him there with me as bait."  She's catching on to Bond's plan; she's not pushing hers on him.

 

Plus, even if the plan is made "in the moment," it takes a long time to drive to Skyfall (that's kind of the point of the place), so there's plenty of time to come up with a better plan, or put some meat on this one.

 

 

 

Her stupidity with the flashlight was ultimately what got her killed.

 

Afraid even I have to defend this one.  While the blazing flashlight is a dumb move (the audience I saw it with groaned and muttered about it), it happens after she's already been shot.  At this point, she's a dead woman walking.  

 

Plus, I'm pretty sure it's Kinkaid with the flashlight, not M.  And it's acceptable in the tradition of "movie logic," where the sidekicks always prove more hindrance than help in the moment of greatest crisis.  Kind of like how when the hero and his girlfriend are running away from the killer (or monster) in the woods, the girlfriend always manages to trip and fall.

 

 

 

I disagree also about the impact of M´s scene being diminished by the coda.  If SKYFALL had ended with M´s scene it would have left things unfinished.  We need to see Bond coming to terms with his experience at Skyfall (the roof scene) and to assure the new M (and the audience) that personal losses will only drive him to be more tenacious, working FOR the service (in contrast to Siliva whose personal loss resulted in working AGAINST it).

 

I think the objection is that it comes off as too upbeat.  It's like the end of LTK, where Felix gets on the phone and has a jokey chat with Bond even though his leg's gone and his wife's probably not even buried, yet.  Here, M is dead, London's still smoking, as far as we know the Service is still under investigation (especially if it's gotten out what Silva's background was, and that M essentially let him shoot up the hearings by refusing to raise the alarm), so it's anyone's guess why everyone seems so self-satisfied and chipper about their status and future.

 

 

 

Sure, it is a nod towards GOLDFINGER - I won´t explain that away.  But I don´t think it´s inconceivable that Q branch has outfitted that car during the missions taking place between QOS and SF, with the car being put in storage so Bond can access it whenever he needs to.

 

It did not spoil the film for me at all, I must say, and audiences loved it and cheered!

 

They cheered at my screening, too.  In fact, it's the only moment in the film that got cheers.  And to me, they sounded exactly like the cheers you hear at a concert given by an aging rock star, where after a half hour of patiently listening to tracks from the latest album, the audience is suddenly treated to one of the vintage songs that made them a fan in the first place.

 

Mind you, I'm not saying I want to turn back the clock -- that ship has sailed -- but I very much got the impression the audience cheered because they thought, for just a moment, "This is it, the moment when this film turns into something more like what we remember." (After all, it was hinted in the press that it was a return to the old-style Bonds, for some reason)  Instead, it turned into Home Alone IV.

 

Also, I almost think there's a Pavlovian element to these signifiers from Classic Bond. In the old days, we knew we were supposed to cheer when certain things showed up, or moments unfolded, and so we still respond that way out of some vestigial instinct.  But we don't do it so much for the new films, because all the signals we're sent say, "This is serious...this is important...this is art."  As part of social conditioning, we understand that whooping and hollering is encouraged at the circus, but frowned upon at the art museum.



#46 Call Billy Bob

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 05:35 PM

Home Alone IV.

Sadly, there's already a Home Alone IV... and V... and VI is in the works... kill me now.

#47 tdalton

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Posted 06 June 2015 - 07:47 PM

Without quoting all of what's come before, there really is no defense of the flashlight moment.  Granted, based on the chronology of the film, it might not have been directly what caused M's death, but it was the final nail, so to speak, in the coffin.  If she could have gotten to the church undetected and let Bond take care of what remained of Silva and his men, she could have avoided bleeding out.  She could have been tended to by Kincaid and not been in a rather harrowing situation where her heart rate surely was extremely high, which would have aided in bleeding out.  This could have allowed Bond time to deal with the threat and then provide M with assistance that could have ultimately saved her.

 

Even if you don't want to go along with the idea that it could have saved her life, the flashlight was still an incredibly dumb moment that is just so profoundly dumb on the part of M and Kincaid that it takes the viewer out of things for a moment and, therefore, should have been taken out of the script.



#48 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 08:10 AM

I don´t think the film makes it clear that M dies because of bleeding out.  When I rewatched the film recently I thought that M is fatally hurt by the gun shot and she is only dragging herself forwards.  Nobody could have saved her anyway.  Bond, however, saves M from dying in Silva´s embrace.  Instead she dies in Bond´s arms.  That, I think, is the point of the whole film: M has made a huge mistake dealing with Silva, turning her "favorite" agent back then into an unpredictable threat, a monster.  But she is redeemed by Bond, her "new" favorite, and can die in his comfort.

 

When the film shows M in front of all the caskets in the first half of the film, it is already suggesting that M cannot live up to her failure.  After that scene, her career is terminated by Mallory - so M has already died professionally.  Throughout the film she clings to her last chance at redemption, through Bond capturing Silva and ending that terror.  This is the last thing she can achieve, if only through Bond.  But it helps her dying with at least a bit of redemption.

 

Regarding the flashlight - well, I still disagree and point towards two scared seniors escaping through darkness in unwieldy terrain.  Not using a flashlight, Kincaid would have risked to stumble and fall with M.

 

Would that version have been preferable?  Kincaid and M falling down, with Silva catching up with them much earlier, out in the open?

 

Or let´s say, Kincaid and M make it to the chaple without using the flashlight.  Wouldn´t one have thought: c´mon, these two make it through the dark without any flashlight?  That´s ridiculous!

 

 

As you see, I´m a full blown apologist...



#49 tdalton

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 11:40 AM

I don´t think the film makes it clear that M dies because of bleeding out.  When I rewatched the film recently I thought that M is fatally hurt by the gun shot and she is only dragging herself forwards.  Nobody could have saved her anyway.  Bond, however, saves M from dying in Silva´s embrace.  Instead she dies in Bond´s arms.  That, I think, is the point of the whole film: M has made a huge mistake dealing with Silva, turning her "favorite" agent back then into an unpredictable threat, a monster.  But she is redeemed by Bond, her "new" favorite, and can die in his comfort.

 

When the film shows M in front of all the caskets in the first half of the film, it is already suggesting that M cannot live up to her failure.  After that scene, her career is terminated by Mallory - so M has already died professionally.  Throughout the film she clings to her last chance at redemption, through Bond capturing Silva and ending that terror.  This is the last thing she can achieve, if only through Bond.  But it helps her dying with at least a bit of redemption.

 

Regarding the flashlight - well, I still disagree and point towards two scared seniors escaping through darkness in unwieldy terrain.  Not using a flashlight, Kincaid would have risked to stumble and fall with M.

 

Would that version have been preferable?  Kincaid and M falling down, with Silva catching up with them much earlier, out in the open?

 

Or let´s say, Kincaid and M make it to the chaple without using the flashlight.  Wouldn´t one have thought: c´mon, these two make it through the dark without any flashlight?  That´s ridiculous!

 

 

As you see, I´m a full blown apologist...

 

Risking falling over while getting away from the guy with the military helicopter would be, IMO, a better way to go than outright selling out my location to them.  

 

It's an open field.  If you take things slow enough, it can't be that difficult to cross in low light.  Plus they had that big, blazing fire behind them providing some light for them as well.



#50 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 02:54 PM

Well, it was... um... Kincaid who had the flashlight.  Silly old bugger, didn´t think too much anyway, calling M "Emma" and so on...

 

I guess one just has to take into account that people do not behave with perfect logic while trying to escape an army of thugs and a helicopter full of murderers who are shooting at them and setting their house on fire.   ;)



#51 tdalton

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 02:42 AM

I'd be willing to chalk it up to senility on both of their parts.  M had pretty much proven to be an idiot by that point in the film (and in films prior), anyway.



#52 sharpshooter

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 10:42 AM

Well, it was... um... Kincaid who had the flashlight. Silly old bugger, didn´t think too much anyway, calling M "Emma" and so on...

I guess one just has to take into account that people do not behave with perfect logic while trying to escape an army of thugs and a helicopter full of murderers who are shooting at them and setting their house on fire. ;)

I'd like to think the pair thought everyone inside or surrounding the house perished in the explosion, thus didn't care much about using the flashlight which gives away their location.

Edited by sharpshooter, 08 June 2015 - 10:43 AM.


#53 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 11:43 AM

 

Well, it was... um... Kincaid who had the flashlight. Silly old bugger, didn´t think too much anyway, calling M "Emma" and so on...

I guess one just has to take into account that people do not behave with perfect logic while trying to escape an army of thugs and a helicopter full of murderers who are shooting at them and setting their house on fire. ;)

I'd like to think the pair thought everyone inside or surrounding the house perished in the explosion, thus didn't care much about using the flashlight which gives away their location.

 

 

Thanks!  Good explanation!



#54 Professor Pi

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 06:53 PM

This thread has made me look at Skyfall in an entirely new light (or flashlight, or firelight :D )

 

Throughout CR and QoS M is constantly castigating Bond for the body count he's racking up.  She says this first about the embassy shooting (caught on film, no less), Solange's death, it's only his prevention of the Miami airport attack that earns him a pass and a poker invite.  While he doesn't kill Mr. White but brings him in instead, M still thinks Bond has gone rogue throughout the first half of QoS (the lead in Haiti, Guy Haines, Mathis) along with the death of Agent Fields, and suspends him.  But he convinces her something else is going on and she has a rather quick change of heart--"He's my agent, and I trust him."  After that, Bond counsels Camille on personal vengeance, dooms Greene but doesn't kill him, and doesn't kill Vesper's ex who betrayed her--"The dead don't care about vengeance."

 

So I think the character arc that's completed for Bond in Skyfall is being extremely selective about killing rather than a "blunt instrument", using judgment "taking one's ego out of the equation."  While Bond has learned his lesson by this point, it is M's personal past choices that cloud her judgment in Skyfall.  In that regard, going to Skyfall to avoid collateral damage to innocent bystanders makes perfect sense, as well as inverting the villain's lair with Bond's homestead.  M has "no regrets" but is taking ownership for her choices because "too many people have died because of me."  She knows that Bond understands this, and so trusts him to "kidnap her."  As was pointed out earlier, Bond is her redemption, her lasting legacy rather than Silva.  She can die in peace now.

 

The Aston Martin is still a sticking point though.  Were Skyfall not a 50th anniversary film, the writers could have made it the stolen DB5 from CR (not tricked out, steering wheel on other side), but the temptation to wow audiences proved just too great to resist.  It's the film's one overly obvious wink to the audience.

 

For me, Skyfall works on a symbolic and character development level while its details don't hold up upon further analysis (the hard drive, car, Silva's escape.) 

 

Thanks, SAF for giving me a new appreciation of the film!


Edited by Professor Pi, 10 June 2015 - 06:53 PM.


#55 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 11 June 2015 - 06:41 AM

You´re absolutely welcome, Professor!



#56 dtuba

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Posted 14 June 2015 - 02:15 AM

Great points here by all involved!

I was never bothered by the Aston Martin in SF. To me it's merely a metaphor anyway, like all the mentions in the script about being "old" and "played out". Oh, I get it- they're talking about the series itself; it is the 50th anniversary after all.

I was far more bothered by the DB5 in CR, as much as I was bothered by the death of Fields by oil in QOS. Neither one of these films needed the homages to the "old" 007, not when we are trying to establish an entirely new timeline in the films.



#57 Professor Pi

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 11:19 AM


I was far more bothered by the DB5 in CR, as much as I was bothered by the death of Fields by oil in QOS. Neither one of these films needed the homages to the "old" 007, not when we are trying to establish an entirely new timeline in the films.

 

Good point about the function of the metaphor.  Skyfall works much better on that level.

 

Actually, there's a huge inside joke on the producers' part.  One of the actual DB5's from Goldfinger was stolen in Florida.  Nobody's seen the whereabouts of it since.  So that it's stolen by a Bond villain works on two levels--one, it sets CR's universe outside of 60s cinema Bond and in the "real" world, and two--to the thief, the producers made him a villain and killed him off!

 

So I think it's more than just a nod to Goldfinger.


Edited by Professor Pi, 16 June 2015 - 11:19 AM.





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