Skyfall is flawed

November 26, 2012 at 8:03 am 6 comments

I’m about to commit movie review suicide and say the new James Bond has a major story flaw, despite its major box office success.  The theme of overcoming a mother complex is brilliant but the point of success has to be that a man needs to evolve from a mama’s boy (coward) to a warrior king.  When James allows Severene to die without a significant reaction, I disengaged from the movie.

Here’s how I see the story from an archetypal level.  The villain is a coward with serious mother issues.  He is also a tyrant who knows his masculine power and uses it to inflict pain which he feels justified in doing because he has not dealt with his wounded child issues.  Orphans make great agents, but at a cost.

James is also an orphan but he has dealt with his child issues and developed a healthy mother relationship where he recognizes being a man is upholding your chosen values and not being controlled by your wounds.

The flaw in the storyline for me occurs when the woman the two “brothers” have slept with is tied up for target practice and James plays the game knowing he is a lousy shot.  He doesn’t even negotiate her safe release if he is successful.  He seems to be only thinking about proving himself in some kind of sibling rivalry.  I would have loved it if he took his shot to do the unexpected, ie. kill the guards and aim his gun at his brother, a close range shot he couldn’t miss.

If I get to be the writer, the brother would have anticipated James going in this direction, foreshadowing his skill at predicting and manipulating situations, and with a gun in each hand, killed the girl right away (because he has complete disregard for women as lovers, he is so obsessed with his mother complex) and held a gun on James looking for praise for his cleverness.

James would have gone to Severene, to hell with the risk, hoping beyond hope he had not failed her and she is still alive.  She uses her last breath to tell him this is better (implying that the life of living with a man who is working out his mother issues on you is a living hell) and she is glad to have known at least one good man.  He stays to be of some comfort before she dies while the brother goads him to come play or die.

The flaw in Skyfall is that James wasn’t affected by the death of Severene, who he just slept with.  I thought the point of this Bond is that he values women, would die for them, because it is the highest calling of a man.  This is why women fall into bed with him.  Not because they are cheap and easy, but because intuitively they know this about him and honor and celebrate it.

The question now is Moneypenny.  Is James going to show a casual disregard for her and completely destroy the archetypal power he held as a warrior king?

This would have been a much more powerful movie for me if it was about more than overcoming a mother complex.  I wanted to it be about being a grown man and valuing the feminine on your own terms.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lorne Agnew  |  November 26, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Kim: Trust you to find the fundamental glitch! While Bond fans are gloating over technical errors listed on the many dedicated websites, you’ve identified the much more egregious flaw of archetypal inadequacy. That scene stuck out for me too for missing a glorious opportunity to show James Bond inall his sharply dressed, evolved, mature masculine. He came up short, or in Hollis’ terms, failed to show up when it mattered. As you point out, men are summoned to a higher calling, to transcend ego, transcend his mother issues, and to put the needs of the feminine above all else.
    Let’s hope Bond watchers seee this the second time around!
    Lorne

    Reply
  • 2. Matches Malone  |  November 26, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Your logic is flawed, as James’ flaw is that he thought his “brother” would play fair. Your fix wouldn’t work either, as Severine was shot in the heart and died instantly.

    Any fix to resolve this perceived flaw had to occur before this story point.

    Reply
    • 3. thevirginspromise  |  December 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Why would he assume a psychopath would play fair? I was thinking he knew himself enough to know he had to try something other than taking the shot.

      You’re right about the shot in the head, which is actually more humane. Of course he could have chosen the heart so she sufered.

      Reply
  • 4. Andrew  |  November 26, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Hi there! I totally see your point and I too did not expect him to let her doe so easily without the slightest sign of regret. However why dont you have a look through my review http://andrewsnewblog.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/skyfall/ because I think it was interesting and necessary for her to die to really actually do the unexpected un-James Bond archetype thing and take this film away from all expectations of a Bond film. Also in my comments section someone mentions how being a killer now feels anticlimatic, and I think you might say the same about this scene with the girl. I’m sure that inside Bond was planning the Bond moment we all knew and expected where he protects her and takes out all the baddies in one awesome move, but I really liked that he wasn’t auick enough or smart enough to put some comeback together in time. Too bad on the poor girl of course, but excellent for subverting the expectations of the story. Thanks for your post. Andrew.

    Reply
    • 5. thevirginspromise  |  December 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Very interesting. I agree he wasn’t on his game enough to save her. She had to die to make that point. But the Bond I love would have cared and used this to drive hoim to his better self. His indifference left me feeling flat.
      Your blog makes great points. Thank you for directing me to it.

      Cheers
      Kim

      Reply
  • 6. somewhatclueless  |  November 27, 2012 at 10:26 am

    > When James allows Severene to die without
    > a significant reaction, …

    For real?

    Is his last name still Bond?

    007 typically does not show reactions even while negotiating life, but usually shortly after, there is a chance to see the truth of how he felt –in a follow up scene or even in respose. E.g., remember Ms Carver? (Teri Hatcher,) and the luckier ones, Dr. Christmas Jones, and Natalia, the computer whiz.

    If they forgot that scene in this one, some’un in the Broccoli office has a lot of splainin’ to do!

    Reply

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