John Logan on Bond 24

News Glen Chapman 20 Jan 2014 - 06:25
Daniel Craig as James Bond

Screenwriter John Logan has been chatting about the follow-up to Skyfall

Skyfall is the most commercially successful Bond movie of all time, and isn't far behind critically either. So it's little surprise that key members of the team are returning for Bond 24. Daniel Craig will of course return in the lead role, and Sam Mendes will direct once again. Furthermore, screenwriter John Logan has been tasked with writing the screenplay to the eagerly-anticipated follow up.

In a recent interview, Logan has been chatting about the project, and how it will tie into Skyfall. "My goal is to write a great movie that's appropriate, to build on what we did on Skyfall, but make it its own unique animal", he said. "The themes, ideas and the characters from Skyfall can obviously continue on, because it is a franchise, and it is an ongoing story. So I think there's resonance from Skyfall in the new movie".

He continued by addressing his love of the franchise. "I grew up on the Bond movies, the first one I saw was Diamonds are Forever when I was a kid. I just loved them to pieces. I love all the elements, from the books – mostly from the novels. Going back to Ian Fleming is where I started with Skyfall – and there's certainly elements of the movies and the novels that we brought into the new movie".

There has been some speculation as to whether Blofeld and SPECTRE would perhaps feature (not least thanks to legal issues over the years), but Logan would only say that "I think our villain's appropriate to the story we're telling". Time will tell.

Bond 24 is set for release on October 23rd 2015.

IGN

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"My goal is to write a great movie that's appropriate, to build on what we did on Skyfall, but make it its own unique animal",

That's how they should always be. Bond movies are special in that they are a series, but they aren't. You can pick up any Bond movie and watch it and get a complete story. You shouldn't have to go back and watch 23 films to know what's going on in the 24th one. That was one (of many) problems with Quantum of Solace, it built far too much on Casino Royale.

i hope it's better than Skyfall. That was awful.

I now know precisely nothing more about Bond 24 than I did before I read this.

Quantum was the first Bond sequel.
It took them three films to rebot the series (Casino Royale/Quantum of Solace/Skyfall) so hopefully now they can make standalone films but maybe have a common thread.

..

Hope it's not going to be exactly like Skyfall, cause ones enough

2015! I m basically living in bubble wrap to get that far, if i die before all these 2015/16 films come out ill be pissed!

I'm torn between disapproval at such a venomous rebuke of somebody's opinion, and respect for the delivery method of said rebuke.

... the latter seems to be winning.

Okay, Phillip, how about these for Skyfall flaws:

Why make a list of undercover agents in the first place?

Why did the train carry on moving despite half of it being destroyed?

Why didn't Eve just take another shot at Patrice?

We learn later that Bond had an earpiece, and that he heard M's order to Eve to fire. So why didn't he get out of the way?

How did Bond survive the fall?

Though we're told Patrice is a 'ghost'; MI6 know what plane he's going to be on and what he looks like?

Bond can break into M's home (for the second time, despite not promising to again), yet Silva doesn't?

Why do Bond and Q meet in art gallery?

Patrice kills the target, despite everyone in that same room wanting to kill the target anyway.

Though Silva seems to be a technological wizard, he doesn't just wire the money to Patrice, they make him go to the casino, thus giving MI6 a trail to Silva.

Why did SIlva's henchmen try to kill Bond when they need him alive? We know they tried to kill him as one of them pointed a gun at him and squeezed the trigger.

So Bond wants to get caught by Silva, and then we learn that Silva wants to get caught by Bond. How does Silva know that Bond had a 'radio'? If I was a henchman, the first thing I would do is search Bond for weapons/gadgets.

Also, we know that Silva has a motive for doing all this, but what's in it for the henchmen?

Nobody checked out the island to see if it really was a risk zone?

At the hearing, MI6 knew that Silva was on his way, yet didn't watch the door.

Silva's escape: He was relying on Q plugging Silva's technology into his laptop, something which only a fool would do.

Why was there a manhole on the inside of that room?

How is Q a hacker? He's supposed to be a Quartermaster.Talk about stereotyping!

How did Silva know where Bond would catch up with him, as he's planted a bomb there?

Also, how did he know that a train would come through at that precise moment?

If Q is leading Silva on a false trail, why not send him into a trap full of armed MI6 agents?

And yes, you know I'd get there, the Aston Martin. The one, apparently, Goldfinger. But the Craig films are reboots, so wait, this must be the Aston Martin he won in Casino Royale. But the steering wheel is on the other side, and it has the gadgets from Goldfinger. So which universe are we in here? The original or the reboot? (Okay, so I got a buzz from seeing it too, and it's a neat 50th anniversary treat, but let's not forget its implausibility).

M and Kincaid shine a torch while trying to get away. Apparently, they care more about avoiding tramping in the mud then, you know, getting shot.

Silva seems to want to die with M, despite showing no inclination to do so before.

Bond fails two missions: he loses the drive at the beginning and fails to save M at the end.

Oh, and he lets the Bond girl die too - after having uninvited sex with her in the shower, even though he knows she used to be a sex-slave. Smooth, James.

Added to which, the 'list' MacGuffin is pilfered directly from the first Mission Impossible film ...

... while the agent-turned-bad-guy device is taken from Goldeneye.

And Moneypenny finds field work too taxing so becomes ... a secretary.

One thing I liked about the finale - though it's a rip-off of Home Alone and Crocodile Dundee II, is how it's a representation of British spy/adventure fiction as a whole: this character drawing upon all his skills in a authentic, back to basics fashion in a rural milieu harkens back to the unnamed protagonist in Geoffrey Household's famous 'Rogue Male' (1939) and back further still to John Buchan's even more famous Richard Hannay character, the very first spy hero of all, in The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915) and sequels. In this scene, Bond is not only Bond, but all his literary antecedents at once, a neat and I dare say deliberate way of commemorating not just sixty years of the character, but also all those which inspired Fleming to create him.

That's...rather exhaustive. But surely you could write such a list on any one of the Bond films?

But it's more po-faced and pretentious than any other Bond film. We can forgive such flaws in, say, A View to a Kill, but when people say Skyfall is the best. It's just fashion, I suppose. It's the approved thing to say, so people say it.

While I am happy that Bond has a certain continuity along each subsequent movie, I don't want them to become like a movie 'Soap series.' For instance, I don't want him to spend the first half of the next movie weeping into his Martini over the death of M. Can we please have Bond start and end a movie as the super suave, confident agent we all know and expect? Rather than the constant portrayal of him as a damaged psycho. Casino Royale showed him as a cocky upstart, but at least he was enjoyable to watch. QOS had him moping about like a teenager who had just been dumped for the first time, and Skyfall has him a mental & physical wreck! So, while I am not advocating a return to the gadget laden Connery model, if only because the current political and movie climates just wouldn't support this image, can we have the Bond that we all grew up loving? A bit of a bastard, but suave enough to get away with it and a cool, competent agent at the top of his game? Surely he deserves it by now?

He'll sleep tonight.

I totally agree with Gary. Skyfall looks great, but the plot is as dumb as Moonraker

thanks, bakhesh. My criticisms, such as they are, comes from a good place, in that I'm a Bond fan, saw the movie three times in the cinema, and really wanted to like it. Despite the press-worship, I tried to stay calm and keep level, sensible expectations. I should point out that I don't want to sound like a grumpy so-and-so, as it seems to me that a lot of people my age - twenties - are really grouchy with films and tv, always moaning about plot holes and such. I don't mind a couple of coincidences - I think that's when an audience expects - as it moves the narrative along. But the script, to me, looked like a first or second draft, which we know it wasn't as they had over two years to focus on it.

Technically no. While the first 7 films in the series, minus standalone adventure GOLDFINGER, share a common thread -SPECTRE, of whom Dr.No is an agent- movies #5 to #7 (that is YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER for the cheap seats) could be considered The Blofeld Trilogy in that Bond openly faces off his arch-enemy*.

Other than that, there's Bond's acknowledgement of his dead wife Tracy in some of the movies up until the Craig reboot, which now shakily positions the series in a pre-DR.NO status in that, on one hand, he's already driven the GOLDFINGER Aston Martin, and on the other, he is now under a male M, something that'd also make Brosnan's last 3 movies fit before SKYFALL and position GOLDENEYE right between Bond's first two kills and the Madagascar sequence of CASINO ROYALE as it introduces Judi Dench's M. Yeah, my head spins too.

In short, I wouldn't trust much in this series' continuity (back in the 60s-70s, they simply gave two shits about it... and rightfully so. Watch how YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER could also fit back-to-back as if Lazenby had never happened) and hopefully they won't feel to harmstrung by it in the following entries as that is the best way to paint themselves in a very tight corner once Craig leaves the role.

*We could also say Bond #11, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, closes that stoyline for good, but since EON has never recognized it is Blofeld who Bond throws in that smokestack, it would never make official canon.

Yeah. there were way too many coincidences or contrived situations for it to be considered a good plot. Also, I assume the writers had never seen a computer before, because some of the techno-babble they had come up with actually made me laugh out loud in the cinema

Probably the best looking bond film though

Funny, having seen the movie quite a few times myself as well, I could answer to those "plot holes" with either a "Relax, it's just a (Bond) movie", the fewer, or with a plausible explanation already covered in the script.

So to not make it a long post, I suggest we play this game: you pick one -or a few- and we go through it/ them. Again, some of the answers would be "Relax, it's just a movie", but I bet the same could be said for *any* movie as long as you wanna pick on it, right?

Y'know, I have nothing against your opinion of the film, everybody's entitled to one, that's for sure. But it seems like you work extra hard to hate on it. I won't accuse you of contrarianism as I don't know you enough, but maybe you should have listened to that old Bond saying of "Pay attention, 007" before mounting such an exhaustive takedown?

Funny, the producers never hid the fact that SKYFALL was inspired, among others, by Christopher Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT. So much so that it even shares some of its plot points, mainly The Joker allowing himself to get captured as a crucial part of his masterplan. Would you say that one doesn't have a good plot either?

(And let's not get into the "different takes on realism" argument since Nolan himself -a huge Bond fan incidentally- has said to approach that episode of his Bat-saga within the most realistic parameters as possible?)

Why make a list of undercover agents in the first place?

Because there has to be documentation on the real identities(see Infernal Affairs)

Why did the train carry on moving despite half of it being destroyed?

Driver was listening to his I-pod and concentrating in things in front of the train

Why didn't Eve just take another shot at Patrice?

Because the train moved out of sight/line of fire

We learn later that Bond had an earpiece, and that he heard M's order to Eve to fire. So why didn't he get out of the way?

He was busy wrestling a bad guy for his life

How did Bond survive the fall?

He is Bond water does not kill him (at that height it did injure him but he got better on the beach drinking Heineken)

Though we're told Patrice is a 'ghost'; MI6 know what plane he's going to be on and what he looks like?

Even a ghost leaves traces (especially when Silva wants Bond to find the ghost)

Bond can break into M's home (for the second time, despite not promising to again), yet Silva doesn't?

He wanted to publicly execute her not visit her

Why do Bond and Q meet in art gallery?

Why not? And because of the painting of the old warship=Bond

Patrice kills the target, despite everyone in that same room wanting to kill the target anyway.

But the target was aware of the people and likely took measures against them killing him(stripsearches,bodyguards etc)

Though Silva seems to be a technological wizard, he doesn't just wire the money to Patrice, they make him go to the casino, thus giving MI6 a trail to Silva.

MI6 finding him was essential to his plan

Why did SIlva's henchmen try to kill Bond when they need him alive? We know they tried to kill him as one of them pointed a gun at him and squeezed the trigger.

Henchmen are per definition stupid and triggerhappy

So Bond wants to get caught by Silva, and then we learn that Silva wants to get caught by Bond. How does Silva know that Bond had a 'radio'? If I was a henchman, the first thing I would do is search Bond for weapons/gadgets.

Silva knows Bond is smart enough to have a way(radio) to lead MI6 to him and Silva and that is what Silva wanted

Also, we know that Silva has a motive for doing all this, but what's in it for the henchmen?

Henchmen are per definition dumb and money hungry

Nobody checked out the island to see if it really was a risk zone?

There was no reason to do so and faked reasons to assume it was

At the hearing, MI6 knew that Silva was on his way, yet didn't watch the door.
That's weird

Silva's escape: He was relying on Q plugging Silva's technology into his laptop, something which only a fool would do.

Pretty foolish indeed. Downside of being a genius is often hubris

Why was there a manhole on the inside of that room?

It was an old underground system with manholes to the sewers of that system

How is Q a hacker? He's supposed to be a Quartermaster.Talk about stereotyping!

Quartermasters anno 2012 have to be IT wizards

How did Silva know where Bond would catch up with him, as he's planted a bomb there?
Silva was prepared for everything as he is an Ex MI6 agent / Evil mastermind

Also, how did he know that a train would come through at that precise moment?
Silva is an Ex MI6 agent / Evil mastermind

If Q is leading Silva on a false trail, why not send him into a trap full of armed MI6 agents?
Because Silva would not fall for that he is an Ex MI6 agent / Evil mastermind and Bond wanted to take care of Silva himself

And yes, you know I'd get there, the Aston Martin. The one, apparently, Goldfinger. But the Craig films are reboots, so wait, this must be the Aston Martin he won in Casino Royale. But the steering wheel is on the other side, and it has the gadgets from Goldfinger. So which universe are we in here? The original or the reboot? (Okay, so I got a buzz from seeing it too, and it's a neat 50th anniversary treat, but let's not forget its implausibility).

It is the one and only Aston Martin , which he had regularly modified to his wishes (This all happens in the Bond Universe, I might take you there if you start having a little more faith in Commander Bond)

M and Kincaid shine a torch while trying to get away. Apparently, they care more about avoiding tramping in the mud then, you know, getting shot.

It was too dark to see and he wrongly gambled the light would not be seen over that distance and the bad guys being occupied with the burning Castle and Bond.

Silva seems to want to die with M, despite showing no inclination to do so before.

His initial plan of public execution failed and when being up close with his Mommy he got overemotional and the idea of a double suicide/matricide became to good to resist.

Bond fails two missions: he loses the drive at the beginning and fails to save M at the end.

Yes, even Bond is flawed. But do you see that as a flaw movie wise? M was the architect of her own faith / demise and got killed by her own creation/Silva. Fortunately she managed to better with Bond who survived thanks/despite of all her actions and "betrayal" . In the end this was more M's movie , which is quite deserving after 50 years and especially for Judy Dench who basically saved the franchise from extinction but that is whole other discussion.

Oh, and he lets the Bond girl die too - after having uninvited sex with her in the shower, even though he knows she used to be a sex-slave. Smooth, James.

Those are old Bond tropes that need to go! The sex can stay, but uninvited/forced part is not cool to say the least. And the needless killing of the girls after they have been (a)bused simply has to stop.

This was for me the major and unforgivable flaw.

Added to which, the 'list' MacGuffin is pilfered directly from the first Mission Impossible film ...

Which took it from another spy movie , which took it from another spybook which....

... while the agent-turned-bad-guy device is taken from Goldeneye.
Which stole it from another spymovie, which stole it .....

And Moneypenny finds field work too taxing so becomes ... a secretary.
Moneypenny secretly fell in love with Bond and she decided that she was better of helping Bond from the office than shooting him in the field

Believe me, I would have LOVED to love this film. I would rather love a film than hate it, any day. in fact, I can't think of a film I actually hate...perhaps 'Knight and Day' was the most plot-hole-y I can recall, but I certainly wouldn't summon enough negative emotion over something which is supposed to bring enjoyment.
I saw Mission Impossible II again the other day, and liked it, though that was a tad too silly in places (too many masks, for one thing), but that is designed to be a fun, pop-corn movie. I don't think Skyfall was supposed to be that, it was considered by the makers - I think - to be a more serious, down-to-earth, espionage tale with attention to character. And, you know, fine, that's great. But they should have kept to that mandate.

Having Bond stare ruminatively into the distance more than once, does seem to suggest a more thoughtful tone, which is why I'm surprised that the 'it's just a silly movie' argument is warranted, seeing as they seem to go to great pains to stop us treating it as such. In having their own Leveson Inquiry and terrorist-inspired paranoia, they seem to want to make it as realistic as possible. So why drop the ball so many times?

Some things in it I don't mind as, obviously, the film needs to have something in it: for example, why didn't the train stop? Well, the meta-reason is if it did there would be no action scene. And meeting Q in the art gallery instead of the underground base is just another way of doing things (new Q, new setting). Mainly, Silva's plan was driven on luck and it was far more likely to have failed than succeed. i.e. if Patrice was a 'ghost', how did they know what he looked like and what plane he was going to be on? And Bond wants to get caught by Silva, and then we learn that Silva wants to get caught by Bond. That fizzed my head a little.

The other problem is more ideologically-based: I can't have been the only person to think it commendable to see a female character in the field, being action-y etc, and then disappointed to see her, at the end, decide she would prefer to be behind a desk - and as a secretary of all things, the very profession which women were stuck in for decades and decades! It's especially regressive when you consider that M was a woman until then.
But, as I said, the final act at the Skyfall lodge was good, particularly given its literary allusions. And the Aston blowing up is worth it just to see Bond 'now he's pissed, so watch out!' face. If the plot had been smoother, even just a little bit, I'd have thought it was very good. But I'm just one person - though others on IMD have complained too, for what it's worth - and others like it, and that's great. I'm glad they derive positivity from it. We're all Bond fans, after all.

The plot was definitely clumsy and hinging on the "Evil Mastermind that can predict the future actions and whereabouts of his opponents on a minute to minute basis device" .
But I found it a highly enjoyable Bond Celebration which managed to feature all the great Bond tropes (unfo also the use, abuse and kill of the Bond Girl although she used Bond as well and he could have been killed just as well) and numerous call backs to its 50 year history.
Not the best Bond movie but definitely the best cinematography and iconography. Coupled with the emotional heft of M's story and Hers and Bond's relationship and the look into Bond's background and psyche and the way they managed to link this movie as it could have taken place just before Dr. No (in the Bond Universe that is) I would say it is a darn good Bond Movie.

Some of those points are salient ones, but most are just facetious and you obviously struggled. Plus it's just a bond film, dude. it's not the godfather.

I hope this time they are going to spend some of the millions Scrapfail made on the new film. I hope they put in a better plot than Bond looking depressed, Bond getting shaved, Bond doing Home Alone.

I hope they put in some glamour and fun, instead of doom gloom and misery.

I hope they get a decent villain. I cant remember any of the villains from the D Craig Bonds. I cant remember what they look like, what they were called or what they were after. Thats how memorable I found them compared to Kurt Jurgens as Stromberg, Donald Pleasence as Bloefeld or Gert Frobe as Goldfinger. All I can remember is the last baddie was either gay or very camp....

I hope they get a decent artist to do the theme music, I also hope they put more Bond Motifs into the music and not a soundtrack that sounds like a gang rape on the kettle drums in the orchestra.....

I hope they make a decent Bond Film again that's fun in places with some spectacle and some decent action all through the movie and they don't blow the whole budget on the pre credit sequence just like Skyfall....

But since the same people are making it and acting in it I somehow doubt it.

I would love to see Christoph Waltz and Charles Dance play Bond villains in future Bond films. Charles Dance playing Blofeld would be cool.

Nice info!
I liked the 'James Bond is a codename' theory but that was destroyed by Skyfall.

That's a very kind way of putting it. "Inspired by" and "shares the same plot points" is usually just called copying.

In Dark Knight it makes a lot more sense. Joker was captured on purposed so he could get access to GCPD, and get his hands on Lau in police custody. He had a decent plan to escape too, by sending all the cops to rescue Harvey/Rachel, and having a bomb inside one of his lackeys.

In Skyfall, he got captured (and put in a plastic cage, so that he couldn't use his magnetic powers or something) so that, if, on the odd chance that Q was a complete moron and plugged his laptop into the network instead of keeping it isolated, he could escape again and have access to the London underground (which is open to the public anyway) and this would let him kill M? He could have killed M at the start of the film when he managed to blow up her office, using magic.

TBH I don't mind Bond films being dumb. Some of the best Bond films are dumb, but after the reboot, Bond is supposed to be all gritty and real, and Skyfall just isn't

Yes, we are Bond fans after all and I appreciate the time you took to reply in such civil manner. However, I honestly believe the filmmakers' approach to SKYFALL went slightly over your head or maybe you got too carried away with the hype of a 50 year-old franchise's anniversary.

As it's been stated numerous times over the press by Craig & Co., SKYFALL would always try to combine the serious turn into more elaborate plotting and characterization the franchise had adopted since CASINO ROYALE with the fun Bond adventures of yesteryear, especially since QUANTUM OF SOLACE had been accused of an over-serious tone that might've turned off many audiences. In short, Mendes was the one tasked with bringing back the fun without sacrificing what had made Bond a new hero for the XXIst Century (humanity, political correctness, down-to-Earth plots, etc.). That required a certain balance and, for the most part, I'd say SKYFALL deftly juggles that... save for the obligatory moments of the series winking back at its audience (the GOLDFINGER DB5, which mainly serves as a puzzling in-joke if you're too obssessed with franchise continuity).

Now, there is no definitive approach to James Bond if you have to listen to all camps. Some people prefer Sean Connery's realistic approach to Roger Moore's camp, but many forget Connery went overboard with YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. Others invoke the purity of Ian Fleming, but no one mentions Fleming's incredibly racist, classist, mysoginistic overtones and batshit crazy plot elements such as the Garden of Death or Bond fighting the "20.000 Leagues Under the Sea" giant octopus. You want Fleming's Bond? Then get ready for a self-destructive Don Draper-style guy full of remorse for every one of his kills. Hardly fun, adventurous, PG-rated matinee idol material, isn't he? In fact, Timothy Dalton already tried that and look how well it turned out boxoffice-wise (for the record, I love his 2 Bond movies to death).

You complain about Bond staring into the distance one too many times, but that is Craig & the producers' way of getting as close as possible to the source material without burning themselves and alienating their audience. If the franchise has endured for so long it's because EON has always tried to keep up with the times... and the fact that CASINO ROYALE at times feels a bit like Bourne or SKYFALL borrows some stuff from Nolan's Batman is no coincidence. The movie also used the 50th anniversary to smooth out some of the series' roughest edges and bring it all full circle. With that, I mean some of the plot points you mention that you might've misinterpreted.

Crackd below explains it perfectly, but in regards to Moneypenny it is never stated that she will become a secretary, but a (more progressive for the times) aide-de-camp for M. In short, you will not see her bringing coffe or sitting behind a typewriter, but function as his liaison, oftentimes in the field (Moneypenny also did that, BTW. See DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER). She doesn't feel fit for dangerous field op stuff, so she prefers to stay in the sidelines, but that doesn't mean a sexist approach at all. If anything, if there's something the Craig iteration of Bond has brought over ever since 2006 is a bigger audience, mainly comprised of women. And if women are now enjoying just as men their Bond movies (movies that, according to Craig, will keep on being lighter yet never condescending, which is just what auds crave these days) that's simply an incredible triumph for this series, right?

I don't think he struggled at all. Most of those answers are *in plain sight* in the film or, if anything, pretty easy to figure out if you've seen a couple of movies of its ilk.

Bond doesn't have to be THE GODFATHER. In fact, I don't think it's aiming at that *at all*, but it's like people complain it tries to reach for a higher level of quality. Sometimes it feels like people do enjoy swimming in crap and bitching about it.
"There's nothing wrong with turning your brains off" and such arguments? Well, yeah, there is. Now I probably enjoy MOONRAKER or DIE ANOTHER DAY on a basic level just as you do, but you just tell me what are the benefits of behaving and being treated like a damn vegetable.

I'm not sure how many movies you might've seen before those too, both both SKYFALL and TDK work on Movie Logic. That is, characters that behave according to the logic of the story and not like real life. Example: in real-life both The Joker and Silva would've spent months in confinement and get interrogated by, at the very least, Homeland Security before M or Batman would've been let in. Same with the laptop: the odds of it being searched by one guy instead of a cadre of IT experts within the same parameters of time are one in a trillion, yet it happens because it needs the story to move along. To get from point A to point B. Of course, it could've been done differently and you can bitch about all you want since "this is an action movie after all", but would the eventual solution be better than the one(s) we got? Go ahead and guess. What we get in both cases is perfectly acceptable while also subject to nitpicking. Sure it is! Especially if you apply Real-Life Logic parameters, which are the ones that dictate that MI6 agents usually die when falling from over 100ft or that millionaires dressed as bats can get pretty much killed on their second night of rough vigilanting.

Also, you might not have noticed but SKYFALL is a film that takes pride in a deeper characterization than other Bond movies. With that, the term "Shakespearean overtones" is one that sticks perfectly to it. Silva is not a common murderer, but one who -again- for movie logic reasons has profound Oedipal Complex issues and behaves like a megalomaniacal sociopath and not like the real Ed Gein. The movie (and its characters) states that he not only wants to kill M, but do so in grand fashion and not before publically humiliating her. When he fails to do so and James Bond pretty much reduces his plan B to shooting her point blank in a derelict, secluded church, he feels he has no more reasons to live himself and opts for a suicide kill even if he could easily walk away afterwards to enjoy margaritas on the beach. Of course, people very rarely behave like that IRL and the dramatic irony of it all is that such operatic villain is reduced to a mere schoolyard shooter loon rather than one who could initially give Osama Bin Laden a run for his money.

Really? "Curt Jurgens was memorable as Stromberg"? Quick, name three character traits of him that make him different from, say, Dr.No or Hugo Drax!

Hell, even his webbed hands are hidden in the movie to the point that very few people has ever noticed them (by the way, did you?). A VIEW TO A KILL, a considerably inferior movie in almost every possible way, has a better defined villain that Carl goddamn Stromberg. Man, correct me if I'm wrong, but you do love your (Bond) movies dumb and simple, don't you?

Also, Bond doesn't do HOME ALONE in SKYFALL but rather STRAW DOGS. I suggest you watch that movie ASAP, because, other than because it's amazing and a must-see classic, I highly suspect you haven't and you'll probably thank me afterwards. Or not.

Charles Dance has already been a Bond villain! A Bond villain henchman, admittedly (he's in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY as the guy that engages him on that Olympic ski-jump ramp), but it's not like he's a stranger to fighting 007.

Stromberg... He had a deep love of the sea and a respect for its beauty and nature, he was clever, cold, calculating and ruthless as well as being rich and creative in his undersea kingdom. He was sophisticated...and yes the webbed hands are just visible.

Anyway the thing is, I was a kid in the 70s and grew up with Roger Moore as Bond. To me those films always had glamour and fun as well as the spy stuff. I know they got ridiculous towards the end of Moores time though.

But Timothy Dalton was not very good as a replacement, and License to Kill is just a dull bad film. Then we get to Brosnan. Golden Eye is my favourite, its everything the Daniel Craig films are not. Full of action, and a good looking sophisticated man as Bond who can be ruthless and looks the part as well. I loved Tomorrow Never Dies and the Wold is not Enough too...But Die another Day was going down the Roger Moore route again...

However re inventing it with Daniel Craig. all poe faced and ruthless has lost all its magic and fun. I just dont like him much as an actor and I find I am never rooting for him in his films.

They have all been pretty dull and boring. Casino Royal where he spends most of the latter half of the film playing cards...for gods sake I might as well watch a late night Tv gambling channel.

By the time Skyfall got here I had given up. It just no longer feels like Bond, because of the lack of proper Bond music, atmosphere , glamour and so on.... If I want to see unrelenting boring misery I may as well just start watching Eastenders.

Skyfall was the most over hyped, pile of pants, boring Bond that I have ever seen. It lust looks like everyone involved have been watching the Jason Bourne films and thought "people like those so lets make bond like that" and what we got was Jason Bourne Bond.

It has lost all its glamour and fun. I dont want to watch a comedy Bond thats true. I don't want to watch a poe faced misery fest either. To me the balance was about right in Golden Eye. That's the sort of Bond film I like, at least its interesting and there is a lot going on. Sean Bean helps a lot too.

Until we get back to that sort of Bond I have given up on it. And with the same people in charge and the amount of money Skyfall made, we will just keep getting more of the same, until its re invented again. I can wait and I can still enjoy my favourite ones on Bluray and everyone has their own opinion on the best film Bond and thats what makes it the most fun. With me its Brosnan, then Connery then Moore, then I don't really count the rest....

Guess the facetious answers were on questions like Why does the train keep riding and what motivates the henchmen, which are facetious questions to ask when watching a Bond movie. (now I am going to google facetious to find out what that means)
and what Davis says below.

OK, so check this out: "Dr.No... He had a deep love of Jamaica and a respect for its beauty
and nature, he was clever, cold, calculating and ruthless as well as
being rich and creative in his Crab Key base. He was
sophisticated...and yes the mechanical hands are just visible." Or "Hugo Drax... He had a deep love of Mankind and a respect for its purity, he was clever, cold, calculating and ruthless as well as
being rich and creative in his various bases, especially his Brazil HQ and the space one. He was
sophisticated...and yes he sports a neatly-trimmed beard".

Other than that, I too grew up with Roger Moore, but came to accept his take as one in a variety of them, especially when I came to watch the rest of the movies and further explore Ian Fleming's character while reading the novels (heartily recommended). In short, I appreciate what he -and the filmmakers- did and even enjoy it to some degree, but recognize his stuff as overly simplistic, unchallenging and two-dimensional. Basically the series stalled during his run, with some high and lows before the increasingly diminishing returns that even managed to sink Dalton's infinitely more interesting turn.

And now we get to Brosnan. Having rewatched GOLDENEYE just a couple of weeks ago for the Nth time, I simply do not understand what is it that makes it such a celebrated movie, other than nostalgia goggles and the fact that it rescued Bond from near death and total irrelevancy. It is a bad, bad, bad, incoherent movie overall, only redeemed by certain bits like the fun action scenes and characterization. And that is supposed to be the best of Brosnan's movies (not for me, though), a guy that definitely tried to make his own Bond but failed because of the producers' insistence of making him a schizophrenic mix of Connery and Moore's traits. No wonder Brosnan left behind the series with a combination of huge relief, anger and sadness over his run. I bet not even Connery was as pissed as he was when all was said and done, doesn't that make you think if only a little about his efforts?

What Craig brought was the true essence of Bond as designed by Ian Fleming adapted to the sign of the times. Funny how back in 2002 DIE ANOTHER DAY, while an undisputed hit, was largely derided while THE BOURNE IDENTITY, a down-to-Earth Bond if you could say so, was hailed as a game-changer in the genre. No wonder the Broccolis decided to follow in the latter's footsteps to bring some vitality to their franchise, by then even rejected by undiscerning 15 year-olds. It's not that DAD was going the Moore route -TOMORROW NEVER DIES, one of the 3 worst Bonds ever, already did that in '97- it's that the franchise had become stale at best, disposable at worst. Today the 007 series is as fresh as exciting as ever because it has adapted and evolved with the times, and keeps looking forward to doing so. You are certainly entitled to stick to your guns and bask in the Bond of old, the Bond movies that relished on 'splosions and cool cars & locations without a single thought behind. But if audiences (and even the very same filmmakers!) more than once turned their backs on them, shouldn't you be wary of getting left behind too?

"The henchmen! I want to know what the henchmen were thinking at all times! What are their motives? What is their backstory? Do they have people waiting at home for them? Is the pay good and do they get Medicare? Why did they pick that job instead of becoming plumbers or Hollywood action movie consultants with their (presumed) weapons-handling and combat skills? I want to know, goddammit! Don't leave me hanging, action movies of the last +100 years!"

Oh, and some of the best Bond films are actually (objectively) *not* dumb! FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, CASINO ROYALE... They have very little dumb in them, which is why they are more celebrated and have endured longer than, say, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN or TOMORROW NEVER DIES.

Hang on, you are saying that *some* of the best bond films are not dumb. Can I infer from that that you agree with me the *some* of the best ones are?

"The Spy Who Loved Me", "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "Live and Let Die" are dumb as a bag of hammers, but that isn't a criticism. I love all three of them. Skyfall's problem is that post-reboot, Bond is trying to go for a more realistic feel, but in Skyfall, it is only skin deep. If you stuck Roger Moore in a safari suit in it instead of Daniel Craig, it would probably work better

OK, my bad. Those I mentioned are among the best, if not the best. I really like THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, but actually consider LIVE & LET DIE and TOMORROW NEVER DIES at the very bottom of the barrel, right next to THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. I know it is the unpopular opinion with LALD, but you can hardly argue it's an overpadded mess with tonal issues up the wazoo, racist and sexist to the point of caricature, cheap and ugly-looking to the extreme, and with hardly any stakes for Bond (it could be considered "James Bond's Weekend Adventure", for all I care).

Now SKYFALL feels like a grand adventure that gets considerably smaller as it progresses, leaving behind the big stakes for deeper characterization, as it could only be. Many people (not me, though, I always enjoy eye candy, especially if it comes with something else behind) complain about the 3rd act of CASINO ROYALE in that it doesn't actually *need* to climax in an overblown action sequence like the sinking house showdown in Venice, yet when they get something as small as personal as the Skyfall siege, they bitch again. Well, Mendes' film doesn't need no grandstanding finale either and it covers the globetrotting spy yarn we all love to see in a Bond movie in its 1st half, so it's not like it's missing anything.

Still, NO ONE ever said Bond is supposed to go full-on realistic during the Craig era -and what the hell is that, James Bond rescuing Captain Phillips?- and neither CASINO ROYALE nor QUANTUM OF SOLACE feels like TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY to me, so I think maybe you got it wrong when you thought Bond would ditch completely the (series' staple) large-scale vehicular chases or the impossibly brutal fistfights. I'm thinking you mistook said realism for deeper characterization, so in that case, I suggest you adjust accordingly to Bond not behaving like a smirking, guilt-free, killbot with a sex drive and get ready for stories that include a certain complexity in the character department, with their human flaws and all. Otherwise, yes, you still have LIVE & LET DIE for a good ol' chuckle at Sheriff Pepper and that ditzy black girl with the huge perm.

I especially want to know about that one henchman in Iron Man Three who did not really like working for his Evil Mastermindboss

Spin-off! (to be written & directed by Shane Black as well, of course. The first in a series of movies about his own movies' henchmen -also including Endo from LETHAL WEAPON, the Scrabble duo from THE LAST BOY SCOUT, the Alley Thug from THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT and the pink-haired girl from KISS KISS BANG BANG- that will eventually converge in a THE AVENGERS of henchmen)

You got an excellent memory, I forgot about most of these. Could also work well as a TV series

Okay, I think you've changed my opinion. If I've got this write, Skyfall decided to juxtapose strong characterization with a traditionally elaborate, Bond-like narrative (I choose that word carefully, because the actual 'plot' of Skyfall is essentially down-to-earth, with not a hollowed-out volcano or mega-satellite in sight). I think I get this now and will certainly keep this mind the next time I see it. Thank you for your thoughts.

I meant 'right' not 'write'! :)

Yep, that's pretty much it. I know it's easier to fall into the "Bond is just awesome action scenes & volcano lairs" camp, but sadly that is something the Broccolis came to when they found themselves with THUNDERBALL as the AVATAR of their time (no, seriously) and felt the need to top that in their following movie. In the end, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE wasn't as successful as planned, but they had changed the face of pop culture forever and Bond fandom for at least four decades. This is why when they're in big need of a hit, they always revert to that formula or, at least a similar plot with varying results.

In fact, I'd recommend checking out at least a few of the books for you to find out how distilled the essence of Ian Fleming has come to be over the years. LIVE & LET DIE, MOONRAKER or even YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, to name a few that are *very* different to their movie counterparts. In those you'll find a more realistic James Bond thrown into a bunch of wacky yet at times believable adventures as he battles alcoholism, heartbreak or, hell, even age. Just what Daniel Craig & Co. have brought forward with their take (CASINO ROYALE, the book, is mainly the movie after the Miami episode. So yes, a loooong card game, but it never gets boring since it's a mere 150 pages).

Also recommended, a rewatch of Timothy Dalton's LICENCE TO KILL, which could very well pose as a Fleming novel and pretty much has the Bond character down pat just like FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE do. And hey, not that I despise your favorite takes -Man, I *love* that the character has stayed onscreen for over half a century through time and tide- but it's a shame a movie like SKYFALL who has so much wrongs lovingly and carefully righted after 40 years gets thrown under the bus because "that's not the real Bond".

Ok. Fair enough. All Bonds are different in the films from the books and character and different takes on him and so on.

Everyone has their favourites and favourite era and that's a good thing, just like with Doctor Who.

However Skyfall was hyped to the gills and yet a very boring Bond film to watch as far as I was concerned.

Each Daniel Craig Bond film, for me, my own personal view, has been worse and more dull and boring than the last one. Its been down hill all the way from Casino Royale, despite everyone saying how good they are, and how much money they have made. But the same thing happened with Brosnans turn more or less , but in a different way.

But for me Bond should not be boring to watch. I don't want it to be over the top and silly and stupid and too far fetched and full of comedy either. But I would like to see some glamour and a bit less po faced misery.

And I cant see that happening with D Craig and the current team. Like I said if I wanted to watch Jason Bourne I would watch those films. I dont want to see James Bourne.

I want to see James Bond.

And by that, I mean something like the films I am used to. I have read the books. I did that when I was a kid and wanted something to read. I wanted to read the books and was disappointed to find they were no where near as exciting as the films. That they were very dull to me as young book fan, and that some of them had nothing at all in common with the films other than the book titles. This was because I had no idea that the films were made for a cinema audience and they pushed and changed things for entertainment and spectacle, and that was what I was used to.

But that's fine as a lot of people do seem to like it, and I can wait until its re cast again and the films evolve and change once more.

I have gone from automatically going to the cinema to see a new Bond film, to waiting until it comes on TV at Christmas with Daniel Craig, and then I would only watch if there was nothing else on and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. That is how I will watch the next Daniel Craig Bond. And if it really is good and an improvement and I enjoy it I can then go out and buy the Blu Ray or Green Ray or whatever we are using by then.

I can still go back and watch old Roger Moore parachuting off cliffs and zooming about in Lotus Car Submarines. Or Hang Gliding out of Boats over waterfalls or watch Brosnan kicking the "living daylights" out of Sean Bean any time I wish.

I can carry on with my home cinema living room conversion and watch stuff like the Hobbit trilogy and Batman and so on for the entertainment and fun and spectacle too.

I really do wish Bond all the success in the world and long may it continue to evolve.

Joe Don Baker played the main Bond villain Brad Whitaker in 'The Living Daylights' then came back to play Jack Wade in 'GoldenEye'. I want Charles Dance to play the heavy in a Bond film and not be some random henchman. Since the Daniel Craig 'Bond' films are in a new continuity, I see no problem with him getting cast in a future installment.

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