Whiplash: The Telegraph on Skyfall

Skyfall's poster image

Skyfall’s poster image

On May 8, The Telegraph newspaper in the U.K. had a story about THE TOP 10 MOST OVERRATED MOVIES OF ALL TIME.

The No. 1 entry? Skyfall, the most recent James Bond film, which was released in 2012.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the story by Tim Robey.

Awkward in shape and thrilling only periodically, the film’s a fraught salvage job for which (director) Sam Mendes got far too much of the credit.

Look closer and the scars of indecision are painfully obvious, especially in that third act. Ben Whishaw’s Q allows the MI6 server to be hacked by… plugging a pair of ethernet cables into Silva’s laptop? The tube crash is a shambles. The disposal of Severine, after Bond has had his wicked way with this maltreated sex slave, is brutally callous. Daniel Craig seems hardened, waxy, and humourless, with no gift for floating a weak punchline, and the uninspired script (“Got into some deep water”, anyone?) gives him a morass of them.

Interesting critique. Meanwhile, the folks at the MI6 James Bond website sent us a link to The Telegraph’s review of Skyfall, written by Robbie Collin.

The link on The Telegraph’s website gives a Dec. 24, 2014 date, or less than a year ago; comments for the review are dated “three years ago,” suggesting the review was originally published in 2012, when the movie came out. Wikipedia, citing the Collin review, says it was published Oct. 26, 2012.

Regardless, it’s an interesting comparison to the more recent story.

Daniel Craig remains Bond incarnate, although six years on from Casino Royale he has become something more than a brawny cipher. There’s a warmth to his banter with pretty field agent Eve (Naomie Harris), the one-liners make a tentative return, and we even learn about the loss of Bond’s parents: the must-have back story for this season’s conflicted superhero.

Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan’s script constantly reminds us Bond’s physical prowess is on the wane, but his verbal sparring, both with M and new foe Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a former agent turned vengeful computer hacker, is nimbler than ever.

(snip)

“We don’t go in for exploding pens any more,” quips a fashionably tousled Q (Ben Whishaw). Nor do audiences, and it’s no wonder Skyfall was a stratospheric hit.

That sounds like a rave review and it gets four out of five stars. If Skyfall is overrated, it would seem The Telegraph did its fair share of making it so.

To be fair, the two pieces were written by two writers with two different viewpoints. Still, one would think an editor at The Telegraph would at least want to reference the paper’s own review.

Without that acknowledgment, a reader gets a bit of whiplash.

Advertisements

5 Responses

  1. Ben Whishaw’s Q allows the MI6 server to be hacked by… plugging a pair of ethernet cables into Silva’s laptop? This is what bothered me most in the movie as a former professor of Computer Science, I looked at that scene in total disbelief and lost all respect for it. Desmond Llewelyn is turning in his grave.

  2. I believe this will be the fate of SKYFALL. I enjoyed the film when I first saw it. It gave the audience of the time what it had long wanted – an emotional look at Bond. A Bond past, his family, his parental issues with M, action that moved fast and stunts that looked good.

    But today we look back and see the movie for what it was – a mess that not only makes little sense but has moments of laughably stupid leaps in believability.

    Oh, I doubt many newspapers bother to establish the “official” view of any movie including Bond.

  3. Yes it has it’s faults, but this story smell of needing to fill a news quota. And it’s not even news. Most movies are flawed.

  4. *Its and *smells. Thank you mobile typing.

  5. It’s really strange to me when writer’s follow the bandwagon and
    bash a movie to death. for a start I don’t think that writer Tim robey’s
    a bond fan. and claiming that director Sam mendes was over credited
    for his work, is totally unfair, what Tim as a writer doesn’t understand
    is. it’s not only people who are not in the film industry that rated ‘skyfall’
    but many professional’s even former bond actor’s loved the movie.
    So what was Tim robey’s point ? utter rubbish.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: