What an absolute letdown! The first James Bond movie we’ve had in nearly 4 years, and the studio went and mucked it up. There are several reasons why Skyfall was an utter disappointment, although the blame rests largely with MGM for releasing this poor excuse of a Bond film.
For starters, the film structure and plot line stole from other successful movies, such as The Dark Knight, Live Free Or Die Hard, The Bourne Trilogy, and others. In essence, Skyfall felt sort of like a “Frankenfilm”, if you will. Skyfall’s director, Sam Mendes, who admitted to being largely influenced by Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’, was also a relatively amateur filmmaker, with no real action film experience. Perhaps the studio thought this would factor in well with the Bond franchise.
If you haven’t seen the film yet, be warned, because I’m about to discuss some crucial reasons why Skyfall fell short in its delivery.
1. The film was rampant with errors and loose ends. The beginning of the movie starts out with some story about a stolen list of MI6 agents that the bad guy was going to release to the public. Halfway through the movie, a few agent’s names are released, but the plot totally forgets about the list, and we don’t hear anything else about it again.
2. The bad guy gets himself caught in order to speak with M. They have a conversation, but she ignores him. It was a pointless scene that tried to mimic The Joker’s capture in TDK, but missed its mark entirely.
3. Bond is out of character throughout the film. He lets innocent civilians die, even when he could have saved them. Part of the movie’s focus was on Bond’s ability to do his job post-death, and asks if he is relevant in the age of the internet. The film’s direction towards that area of philosophical questioning was unnecessary. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace proved that we do indeed need James Bond.
4. A large emphasis was placed on hacking. The bad guy apparently is an expert in computer espionage, although that’s never explained. This plot has been used over and over in much more effective ways, i.e. Live Free Or Die Hard.
5. The bad guy’s relationship with M is also never detailed, even though the entire film is based on his perceived betrayal.
6. Bond is shot during a fight. Yet, he later explains that he heard the entire conversation between M and Moneypenny on whether or not she should fire. Why didn’t he then simply put himself in a position away from the bad guy so Moneypenny could take the shot?
7. The climax of the film involves Bond running around inside an old home setting traps, while shooting bad guys with an ancient rifle along with two elderly people by his side(M and the old house master). Why didn’t he call for backup, or plan to have backup arrive at a certain time? For goodness sakes, he’s got the Director of MI6 with him! One doesn’t simply bet their entire survival on booby traps and double-barreled shotguns!
8. Q was extremely ineffective. He introduces us with two new gadgets that already seem outdated. A major oversight on Q’s part towards the end of the film, along with a few cheesy lines later and the audience begins questioning why Q was in this film in the first place.
All in all, Skyfall is confusing, misdirected, filled with errors, and almost entirely contradictory to Bond’s character. I understand that perhaps the studio wanted to show us a grittier, harder Bond, but they should have taken their cue’s from Casino Royale. To me, that film was a tremendous display of a raw James Bond. Skyfall felt like a veteran Bond who doesn’t have any answers, and is always a second too late to save the day. Instead of leaving the theater feeling good that Bond had once again rescued the world from danger, I left wondering what the whole point was.