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SKYFALL Post-Release - Page 21

post #1001 of 1198

Well except when she shot the wrong man on that train! And then just watched as the man she was supposed to shoot happily rode the train to freedom. Oh and Bond had to take the wheel from her in that car chase because wimen drivers har har.

post #1002 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

Well except when she shot the wrong man on that train! And then just watched as the man she was supposed to shoot happily rode the train to freedom. Oh and Bond had to take the wheel from her in that car chase because wimen drivers har har.

Fuck! I forgot about the part where she didn't re-set and take out the bad guy even though I pointed it out in my first post in this very thread. 1-0 Cylon.

But I also pointed out in this thread that only a racist and a sexist would blame her for the shot she did take - a shot she had called out as not clear and which she only took because she was ordered to. That was a roll of the dice and it wasn't even her roll. 1-1.

Har har indeed but that driving incident wasn't a case of her failing, it was a case of Bond making an executive decision to change their tactics without telling her. It was a failure of teamwork on Bond's part. As was Bond killing communications with her in Macau. In spite of the fact he had sabotaged her support role she was still able to save Bond's ass when death appeared certain for 007. Lastly her conduct after Silva invaded the House Of Lords or wherever the fuck that shootout happened was exemplary and she saved many lives with her cool-headed performance. Bond, meanwhile, took protection of M into his own hands. She was dead within 48 hours.

My report will show that Moneypenny's one blemish - not re-setting for the shot - was more than compensated for by the fact that not only did Bond live but she saved his life, while hamstrung by Bond's penis-driven ineptness, on a future occasion and went on to show great composure and courage under fire. My recommendation is that Moneypenny is given All The Medals. My recommendation regarding Bond is that he should stand court martial for his actions leading to the death of the leader of MI6.
post #1003 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post



But I also pointed out in this thread that only a racist and a sexist would blame her for the shot she did take - a shot she had called out as not clear and which she only took because she was ordered to. That was a roll of the dice and it wasn't even her roll.

 

 

Ordered to.....by a woman!

post #1004 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post


Ordered to.....by a woman!

BOND SHOULD BE IN JAIL!!!
post #1005 of 1198

I'd also like to point out that Moneypenny is great at shaving with a straight razor. 

 

Hey, it's a skill, right?

post #1006 of 1198

One I lack!

 

Seriously, I found that Tai/Chinease Lesbian review pretty hilarious, and I am a Bond Fan (film & print versions), but there is no denying they have retrograde attitudes towards women, Gays, and all non-English people.

post #1007 of 1198

Got this from Phil through Facebook!  YES!

 

post #1008 of 1198

They look like a really grumpy lesbian couple.

post #1009 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

One I lack!

Seriously, I found that Tai/Chinease Lesbian review pretty hilarious, and I am a Bond Fan (film & print versions), but there is no denying they have retrograde attitudes towards women, Gays, and all non-English people.

Oh sure, and it should be clear to all concerned (which should be everyone because I am fascinating) that my argument that Moneypenny was actually portrayed as a superior field agent to Bond is proof that the makers have a retrograde attitude towards women.

If you she was incompetent in the field and as such pulled back to a desk job then that makes sense. The fact she was actually portrayed as more than competent in the field and yet was SHOEHORNED by the writer(s) into the desk job in a fit of SHITHOUSE characteriZATION only proves that they'll do ANYTHING to keep a good woman DOWN.

I'm not blaming a single person though, at least not 100%. It could be that the writers were mandated by Bond Central to bring Moneypenny into the picture and they actually wanted a Moneypenny who wasn't a mere office girl as she's traditionally portrayed. So they gave her this backstory as a badass, because who doesn't like badass ladies, right? Except that, in the end, she still has to become Moneypenny. What I'm getting at is that the writers may actually have had their hearts in the right place, they just, unlike Silva, botched the execution (yes pun).
post #1010 of 1198
I think we have to see how she's handled in the next film before we can declare the revamped character a failure. If they continue giving her more to do, it's maybe not so bad.
post #1011 of 1198
Bucho: Moneypenny was a superior agent to 007?

What? James Bond's record is virtually unmatched in the service. Moneypenny was just some field agent in assigned to the Turkey station that happened to get roped in on that gig. She's not a globe trotting double-o in her own right.
post #1012 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

Bucho: Moneypenny was a superior agent to 007?
What? James Bond's record is virtually unmatched in the service. Moneypenny was just some field agent in assigned to the Turkey station that happened to get roped in on that gig. She's not a globe trotting double-o in her own right.

Keep up please Doc, my case is bulletproof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

Only a racist and a sexist would blame her for the shot she did take - a shot she had called out as not clear and which she only took because she was ordered to. That was a roll of the dice and it wasn't even her roll.

That driving incident wasn't a case of her failing, it was a case of Bond making an executive decision to change their tactics without telling her. It was a failure of teamwork on Bond's part. As was Bond killing communications with her in Macau. In spite of the fact Bond had sabotaged her support role she was still able to save Bond's ass when death appeared certain for 007. Lastly her conduct after Silva invaded the House Of Lords or wherever the fuck that shootout happened was exemplary and she saved many lives with her cool-headed performance.

Bond, meanwhile, took protection of M into his own hands. She was dead within 48 hours.

My report will show that Moneypenny's one blemish - not re-setting for the shot - was more than compensated for by the fact that not only did Bond live but she saved his life, while hamstrung by Bond's penis-driven ineptness, on a future occasion and went on to show great composure and courage under fire. My recommendation is that Moneypenny is given All The Medals. My recommendation regarding Bond is that he should stand court martial for his actions leading to the death of the leader of MI6.
post #1013 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post

Keep up please Doc, my case is bulletproof.

I just don't think Moneypenny could have pulled off what Bond did, or that any other man could have. And you can't just ask of Moneypenny performed well or not in this film (and she didn't, at the one moment it really mattered), but whether she's cut out for what Bond does. Clearly she can't kill without remorse, and she isn't on Bond's level.
post #1014 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post

And you can't just ask if Moneypenny performed well or not in this film (and she didn't, at the one moment it really mattered) ...

Except that the idea that there was "one moment it really mattered" is a false one. Unless you consider the moment she SAVED BOND'S LIFE a moment which didn't really matter.
post #1015 of 1198

Wait, is there really a discussion going on over whether Moneypenny is better in the field than Bond? The film makes it really clear: Moneypenny can't hack it in the field, whatever good she does end up doing to redeem herself for shooting 007 by accident. If Bond is inept for letting M die, Moneypenny is equally inept for missing that shot. The difference is that Bond is capable of things Moneypenny-- by her own admission-- isn't when out in the field. (Though Moneypenny proves to be adept in her own ways. She just, you know, can't fight a top-class assassin armed with a fucking rifle in hand-to-hand combat, or kill half a dozen guys when they all have their guns trained on him and he's out in the open.)

 

That said I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility that Moneypenny winds up reteaming with Bond in the field in another film, mostly because Harris and Craig clicked well together and I think that would be a huge missed opportunity. Can't really fully capitalize on their chemistry when she's behind a desk and he's off in some exotic location.

 

(Not to mention that Bond's aptitude and ability being questioned is sort of the whole point of the movie.)

post #1016 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Wait, is there really a discussion going on over whether Moneypenny is better in the field than Bond? 

 

As close to one as a person can get when speaking with Princess Kate, anyway.

 

But you're right that the movie portrays her as inept, even as you can feel it trying not to.  She performs ably after the opening, when it does give her half an out by being ordered to take the shot against her own judgment.  But the only peer we can judge her performance against is Bond, which obviously is stacking the deck.  And there's really no getting around the desk job feeling like a demotion. It doesn't matter how much she can contribute from the office, the Bond movies overvalue the rough and tumble aspect of espionage to a fetishistic degree. That's the entirety of the appeal.

post #1017 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Wait, is there really a discussion going on over whether Moneypenny is better in the field than Bond?

Not really. That was Doc not picking up on what I had thought (and continue to think) was an hi-larious case of comedic hyperbole on my part. I'l try harder in future to signpost my Why So Seriousness.

I was really just pointing out that the shot Moneypenny missed wasn't truly a failure on her part. Or if it was supposed to be then the movie did a shithouse job of making it seem like it was. A long-distance target moving at high speed while simultaneously in close quarters combat with a friendly is a ridiculous shot. She tells M that a clear shot does not exist and only fires because she's ordered to.

The true fail there is that she doesn't recover and take the clear shot at the bad guy after the "while simultaneously in close quarters combat with a friendly" aspect is taken out of the equation.

But that's her only fail in the film and she goes on to perform cool-headely and effectively in every subsequent engagement, including SAVING BOND'S LIFE, which makes her decision to leave the field at the end seem really damn odd.
post #1018 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post


Not really. That was Doc not picking up on what I had thought (and continue to think) was an hi-larious case of comedic hyperbole on my part. I'l try harder in future to signpost my Why So Seriousness.
I was really just pointing out that the shot Moneypenny missed wasn't truly a failure on her part. Or if it was supposed to be then the movie did a shithouse job of making it seem like it was. A long-distance target moving at high speed while simultaneously in close quarters combat with a friendly is a ridiculous shot. She tells M that a clear shot does not exist and only fires because she's ordered to.
The true fail there is that she doesn't recover and take the clear shot at the bad guy after the "while simultaneously in close quarters combat with a friendly" aspect is taken out of the equation.
But that's her only fail in the film and she goes on to perform cool-headely and effectively in every subsequent engagement, including SAVING BOND'S LIFE, which makes her decision to leave the field at the end seem really damn odd.

 

 

If only Moneypenny and Bond had some way to communicate with each other...I dunno...some kind of Radio thingy in their ears...then she could say "HEY BOND, HIT THE DECK I'M GONNA SHOOT THIS SUMBITCH!" and what if Bond is like "No way I'm gonna take him out with my FIST" and then Moneypenny gets ordered to just shoot because they have to get this guy but good and also start the movie.

post #1019 of 1198
Thread Starter 
I think folks need to remember that was ultimately her decision not to return to the field. She was only given a suspension after the Istanbul mission. In the end she realizes that field work probably isn't the right profession for her and makes the decision to take a different path.

But nah, the film is incredibly racist/sexist for implying that a black woman would actually accept a job as a secretary to a white man. No real self-respecting independent woman would ever stoop "so low".
post #1020 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Stockslivevan View Post

I think folks need to remember that was ultimately her decision not to return to the field. She was only given a suspension after the Istanbul mission. In the end she realizes that field work probably isn't the right profession for her and makes the decision to take a different path.
But nah, the film is incredibly racist/sexist for implying that a black woman would actually accept a job as a secretary to a white man. No real self-respecting independent woman would ever stoop "so low".

 

 

She don't offer to work for M but will work for Mallory. Even MoneyPenny hates women!


Edited by Cylon Baby - 12/13/12 at 9:28pm
post #1021 of 1198

Or maybe she just looks at Bond and thinks "Christ do I want to end up as a alcoholic burnt out pyscho? Nooope!"

post #1022 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Stockslivevan View Post

But nah, the film is incredibly racist/sexist for implying that a black woman would actually accept a job as a secretary to a white man. No real self-respecting independent woman would ever stoop "so low".

Not to mention, I doubt all she'll be doing is making phone calls and scheduling appointments this go 'round. It makes sense that a former field agent/analyst would be M's assistant.

post #1023 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

Not to mention, I doubt all she'll be doing is making phone calls and scheduling appointments this go 'round. It makes sense that a former field agent/analyst would be M's assistant.

 

 

Yeah she"ll be making Tea as well!

post #1024 of 1198
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

Not to mention, I doubt all she'll be doing is making phone calls and scheduling appointments this go 'round. It makes sense that a former field agent/analyst would be M's assistant.

True, and it's actually an aspect that of her character that was acknowledged in the previous films but rarely used. Like when she shows up on the field in a customs uniform to give Bond his passport. Just wait and see Harris' Moneypenny do some of that or even more.
post #1025 of 1198

I hope there's a scene in the next movie where someone tries to assassinate M, and Moneypenny intervenes by throwing a jammy dodger in his face followed by a tray of tea. Then I want her to stand over the assassin's burnt and battered body, and say "The name's Moneypenny. Miss Moneypenny."

post #1026 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post


Not really. That was Doc not picking up on what I had thought (and continue to think) was an hi-larious case of comedic hyperbole on my part. I'l try harder in future to signpost my Why So Seriousness.
I was really just pointing out that the shot Moneypenny missed wasn't truly a failure on her part. Or if it was supposed to be then the movie did a shithouse job of making it seem like it was. A long-distance target moving at high speed while simultaneously in close quarters combat with a friendly is a ridiculous shot. She tells M that a clear shot does not exist and only fires because she's ordered to.
The true fail there is that she doesn't recover and take the clear shot at the bad guy after the "while simultaneously in close quarters combat with a friendly" aspect is taken out of the equation.
But that's her only fail in the film and she goes on to perform cool-headely and effectively in every subsequent engagement, including SAVING BOND'S LIFE, which makes her decision to leave the field at the end seem really damn odd.

 

Word on the Not So Seriousness. You don't need to change anything for me, keep in mind that I'm a moron and have a hard time telling when someone's making a real point through mock over-dramatics.

 

As far as the movie-- I think the film goes to lengths to portray the "Oops Shot the Hero" incident as both a pockmark on M's and Moneypenny's ledgers. Skyfall's primary narrative thrust is all about questions of M's competence as a leader, after all, and I think her command to Moneypenny is meant to set that up and serve as an incident we reflect on throughout the entire running time; Moneypenny, on the other hand, finds herself back in the office in the wake of the event, and even though she's shown her worth in the field by the time things are being wrapped up, it's clear that the incident has affected her enough that she'd prefer (at least for the interim) to stay behind a desk. I got the impression that her secretarial position was indeed a demotion handed down by the brass, but also something she actively chose to embrace. Based on her actions in Macau, I'm betting she could have wriggled her way back into field work on a more permanent basis if she wanted to. Seems to me like the place the film leaves her is both one imposed on her by her superiors, and one she consciously accepts for herself.

 

But I think the series, going forward, would be doing itself a disservice to leave her outside of Fiennes' office for the entire duration. Like I said, she's great with Craig.

post #1027 of 1198

I think the thing with the decision to put Eve behind a desk there's a clear and logical story reason for it, but at the same time there's no amount of explanation that's going to make me feel completely comfortable with the image of her behind a desk at the end.

 

It's the exact same way that somebody can(and has) explained Severine's role in the story to me numerous times and I'm still not going to like it. I'm tired of the dead Bond girl and I'm just not going to enjoy it on film.

post #1028 of 1198

 It helps a little, perhaps, if you consider the new Moneypenny less of a desk-bound secretary in the civilian sense and more like aide de camp to the leader of a quasi-military outfit. Nothing wrong with a position like that--  it’s where future leaders are groomed.

post #1029 of 1198

My comments are quite late. I'll quickly tick the boxes against points already made.

- Didn't like how the girl with whisky on her head got shot only moments before Bond remembered he could take down 4 armed men single-handedly.

- Thought that scene got worse when Bond busted out an average joke while an enthusatic rendition of the title theme played... dead girl still bent over with noone seeming to care.

- Q was proved to be an arrogant idiot when plugging Silva's laptop into MI6's network so it can get hacked in the most obvious and lazy manner.

- MI6 proved to be completely incompetant by setting up headquarters with a seemingly unsecured passage straight into the London underground

- SIlva had his extremely well planned "I'll throw a train at you" attack, which despite the incredibly small chances of it needing to be used, proved to be ineffective.

- After all this, Bond decides the best course of action is to take M out to nowhere so he can be out-numbered and out-gunned and ultimately fail in his objective to save M.

 

So yeah, there are a lot of good elements to this film, but I was so very disappointed. Biggest disappointment of the year. I literally drove from the cinema to an pub and drank some Guinness to make myself feel better.

post #1030 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slim View Post

 It helps a little, perhaps, if you consider the new Moneypenny less of a desk-bound secretary in the civilian sense and more like aide de camp to the leader of a quasi-military outfit. Nothing wrong with a position like that--  it’s where future leaders are groomed.

 

An excellent point, and her last name begins with M. COINCIDENCE?

 

(I actually like this line of thinking, but it's doubtful the films will pick it up.)

post #1031 of 1198

 I saw Skyfall again last night and its still that is right with James Bond movies. There is one thing about the movie that I find odd. Destroying the Aston Martin is made out to be worst act than killing  Severine.

 

  I'm glad Q was brought back. I don't think the movies need to have a lot of gadgets, but I do want to see the banter between Bond and Q, which they had.

"Put your back into it."

"Why don't you come down here and put your back into it."


Edited by Chaz - 12/17/12 at 10:16pm
post #1032 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Word on the Not So Seriousness. You don't need to change anything for me, keep in mind that I'm a moron and have a hard time telling when someone's making a real point through mock over-dramatics.

As far as the movie-- I think the film goes to lengths to portray the "Oops Shot the Hero" incident as both a pockmark on M's and Moneypenny's ledgers. Skyfall's primary narrative thrust is all about questions of M's competence as a leader, after all, and I think her command to Moneypenny is meant to set that up and serve as an incident we reflect on throughout the entire running time; Moneypenny, on the other hand, finds herself back in the office in the wake of the event, and even though she's shown her worth in the field by the time things are being wrapped up, it's clear that the incident has affected her enough that she'd prefer (at least for the interim) to stay behind a desk. I got the impression that her secretarial position was indeed a demotion handed down by the brass, but also something she actively chose to embrace. Based on her actions in Macau, I'm betting she could have wriggled her way back into field work on a more permanent basis if she wanted to. Seems to me like the place the film leaves her is both one imposed on her by her superiors, and one she consciously accepts for herself.

What you've written is how the film tries to portray Moneypenny's arc but to me it fails to sell it.

The idea you've outlined is clear, but the film shits on its own point by showing us that every moment Moneypenny is in action apart from the opening one she's handling herself beautifully, quipping along cheekily with Bond as if she doesn't have a care in the world, so what they've done instead of what they intended is to play out some kind of premature redemption arc for her (where she literally saves his life) and then pull the rug at the end just so they can cram in that originally intended resolution.

You say "It's clear that the incident has affected her enough that she'd prefer (at least for the interim) to stay behind a desk", but that's only "clear" from what she explains at the end. Without that shoehorned exposition you have a film which has for several scenes portrayed someone who is completely unaffected by the opening incident. It's chronic prequelitis and it should have been treated by a good script doctor. Or a bullet.
post #1033 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post


What you've written is how the film tries to portray Moneypenny's arc but to me it fails to sell it.
The idea you've outlined is clear, but the film shits on its own point by showing us that every moment Moneypenny is in action apart from the opening one she's handling herself beautifully, quipping along cheekily with Bond as if she doesn't have a care in the world, so what they've done instead of what they intended is to play out some kind of premature redemption arc for her (where she literally saves his life) and then pull the rug at the end just so they can cram in that originally intended resolution.
You say "It's clear that the incident has affected her enough that she'd prefer (at least for the interim) to stay behind a desk", but that's only "clear" from what she explains at the end. Without that shoehorned exposition you have a film which has for several scenes portrayed someone who is completely unaffected by the opening incident. It's chronic prequelitis and it should have been treated by a good script doctor. Or a bullet.

 

 

Actually she expresses regret and lack of confidence to Bond, and Bond tells her only half jokingly that he'd rather have her in front of him than in back (so she doesn't shoot him again haha). It could also be that Moneypenny is displaying the traditional "stiff upper lip" in line with the movie's theme of Traditional British Values and how important (and useful!) they are in today's world.

post #1034 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post

 

An excellent point, and her last name begins with M. COINCIDENCE?

 

Ha. I wish that had occurred to me when I was posting, but I've been thinking exactly along those lines.

 

Yeah, I doubt they'd pull the trigger on something like that too. But who knows? If Harris sticks around a while and Fiennes eventually moves on, there are some neat possibilities there.

post #1035 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

Actually she expresses regret and lack of confidence to Bond, and Bond tells her only half jokingly that he'd rather have her in front of him than in back (so she doesn't shoot him again haha). It could also be that Moneypenny is displaying the traditional "stiff upper lip" in line with the movie's theme of Traditional British Values and how important (and useful!) they are in today's world.

Oh, true dat Cylon, there was that other scene of exposition (a word I'm using as profanity, probably unfairly) which was then completely contradicted the way Moneypenny performed and behaved in the field.

The stiff upper lip thing doesn't fly for me in regards to Moneypenny because it's not there in the performance. To me it's an idea you can project onto the character in order to make a nonsensical plot/character element make more sense, but I paid my $17.50 with the promise of not having to perform any projection. Some time in the future I will pay $0 to watch it again on TV, at which time I will re-study Naomi Harris's Moneypenny with a fine-toothed comb and a loupe to see which one of us is right.
post #1036 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriegaffe View Post

- Didn't like how the girl with whisky on her head got shot only moments before Bond remembered he could take down 4 armed men single-handedly.

 

I find the film works best if you stop thinking of Bond as a human being and instead as literally Death incarnate, an abstract concept personified that cannot be killed and exists only to end life. Hence he can't shoot a firing range target dummy for shit, he can't hit a shot glass on Severine's head, he can't save M, these are all meaningless to him. But once the situation calls for people to die, you bet your life he'll wipe out 4 dudes in 2 seconds, or a small army of bad guys who are armed to the teeth. You can't stop him by shooting him with rounds that could tear a man in two, or dropping him a hundred feet off a bridge, or with dragons, or dumping a train on him, or even by drowning him in a lake. The Queen basically has Death at her beck and call, and unsurprisingly he leaves a trail of corpses in his wake because it's all he knows.

 

Another nice touch was having Silva, a man betrayed by M and the service, ultimately dispatched by with a knife in the back. I'm still not particularly keen on the film but at least it has fair number of clever/interesting things to discuss, for good or bad.

post #1037 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucho View Post


What you've written is how the film tries to portray Moneypenny's arc but to me it fails to sell it.
The idea you've outlined is clear, but the film shits on its own point by showing us that every moment Moneypenny is in action apart from the opening one she's handling herself beautifully, quipping along cheekily with Bond as if she doesn't have a care in the world, so what they've done instead of what they intended is to play out some kind of premature redemption arc for her (where she literally saves his life) and then pull the rug at the end just so they can cram in that originally intended resolution.
You say "It's clear that the incident has affected her enough that she'd prefer (at least for the interim) to stay behind a desk", but that's only "clear" from what she explains at the end. Without that shoehorned exposition you have a film which has for several scenes portrayed someone who is completely unaffected by the opening incident. It's chronic prequelitis and it should have been treated by a good script doctor. Or a bullet.

 

I would actually argue that Harris' performance does so much more to make Moneypenny's field reservations clear than even blatant exposition

could.

 

As to the rest, sorry, you're a bit off base here. The film isn't shitting on its own point because its point is precisely that no matter how good she is in the field (and as I said before, she is quite good), one botched decision is all it takes to put her behind a desk. Skyfall isn't about making Moneypenny look bad, quite the opposite-- she's clearly skilled, but shooting Bond is a huge fucking deal. She doesn't want to be in the field, and I don't blame her because that's a traumatic experience, and MI6 doesn't want her in the field either. In a way, her arc is another demonstration of how M's leaderships and mis-calls affect the lives of the agents she commands. Moneypenny isn't another Silva waiting to happen, but she is somebody brought low by M's machinations. 


So basically, it's right in line with the rest of the film's thematic thrust. 

post #1038 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

 

I would actually argue that Harris' performance does so much more to make Moneypenny's field reservations clear than even blatant exposition

could.

 

As to the rest, sorry, you're a bit off base here. The film isn't shitting on its own point because its point is precisely that no matter how good she is in the field (and as I said before, she is quite good), one botched decision is all it takes to put her behind a desk. Skyfall isn't about making Moneypenny look bad, quite the opposite-- she's clearly skilled, but shooting Bond is a huge fucking deal. She doesn't want to be in the field, and I don't blame her because that's a traumatic experience, and MI6 doesn't want her in the field either. In a way, her arc is another demonstration of how M's leaderships and mis-calls affect the lives of the agents she commands. Moneypenny isn't another Silva waiting to happen, but she is somebody brought low by M's machinations. 


So basically, it's right in line with the rest of the film's thematic thrust. 

 

But Bond is lionized for not letting traumatic experiences in the field stop him.  She can't help but come up lacking in comparison to Bond (he's James Bond, for Christ's sake), but there is no one else to contrast her with.

post #1039 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

But Bond is lionized for not letting traumatic experiences in the field stop him.  She can't help but come up lacking in comparison to Bond (he's James Bond, for Christ's sake), but there is no one else to contrast her with.

But Bond is renowned for being cold and heartless. He can shrug off death because that is the kind of man he is. It is not saying Moneypenny is incompetent because she was traumatized by the violence in Turkey. Most normal people would be. Being James Bond isn't something most people would really want to aspire to, not when you think about what his life really entails. Not everyone is cut out for it, and there is no shame in that.
post #1040 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Harford View Post


But Bond is renowned for being cold and heartless. He can shrug off death because that is the kind of man he is. It is not saying Moneypenny is incompetent because she was traumatized by the violence in Turkey. Most normal people would be. Being James Bond isn't something most people would really want to aspire to, not when you think about what his life really entails. Not everyone is cut out for it, and there is no shame in that.

 

I'm obviously not most people, then. I'd love to be James Bond! The women! The gadgets! The great suits! The women! Killing people with strange accents! Drinking on the job! The women!

 

Man, did I mention the women?

post #1041 of 1198

Yeah, I agree with you that most people would be severely fucked up by this stuff in real life, but the movies aren't real life and Bond is a totally aspirational figure as presented.  He's a surpassed iconic and become self-parodic in that way.

post #1042 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post

 

But Bond is lionized for not letting traumatic experiences in the field stop him.  She can't help but come up lacking in comparison to Bond (he's James Bond, for Christ's sake), but there is no one else to contrast her with.

 

Maybe not in the field (except for Agent 00Dead at the beginning!), but she's a damn sight better at what she does than Q, whose lapse in judgment ends up being much more severe than Moneypenny's bad aim. (Though it's just as necessary for the plot.) 

 

Does she need a foil in order for her arc to work? I guess that's my big question. 

post #1043 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

 

Does she need a foil in order for her arc to work? I guess that's my big question. 

I lean toward yes, because Bond functions as one whether they intend it or not, and it casts an unflattering light on her decision.

post #1044 of 1198

Interesting thought. I don't know, I never for a second thought badly of Moneypenny for her ultimate choice to take on a role as M's secretary; I might have done if she went right from shooting Bond back to just being a desk jockey, but she goes back out into the field, completes a mission, and then makes a decision, one I can't really blame her for.

 

I know that these films aren't really intended to be examined through a real, human lens, but I couldn't help but feel empathy for her in the end. And respect. And a bit of sorrow, too.

post #1045 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

I would actually argue that Harris' performance does so much more to make Moneypenny's field reservations clear than even blatant exposition
could.

As to the rest, sorry, you're a bit off base here. The film isn't shitting on its own point because its point is precisely that no matter how good she is in the field (and as I said before, she is quite good), one botched decision is all it takes to put her behind a desk. ...

I felt the way Harris played Moneypenny in the field after the opening incident was as an operative who's as confident as any other agent, including Bond. Her flirting and quipping with Bond, her absolute coolness when she saved Bond's life, her unquestionable effectiveness in all situations ... I don't see even an ounce of her reservations on display except for in those expository scenes. There's no evidence in her performance that it was a traumatic experience beyond the specific dialogue.

Besides, if the film's point is that one botched decision is all it takes to put her behind a desk then why does the film go to great lengths to show us clearly that taking the 50/50 shot was 100% M's decision, and not Moneypenny's decision at all? And after Q's blatant imbecility lead to fucking over MI6 what will we expect of his fate in the next film? And what happens now that Bond has botched the decision on how best to protect M, leading her to an isolated location where they would certainly be outnumbered while passing probably two dozen military bases between London and Scotland where she would be faaaaaaaaaaar more certain of safety?

Am I the one who's really off base Agracru? OR IS THAT RECKLESS, INCOMPETENT BUFFOON JAMES DOUBLE OH FUCK-UP BOND THE ONE WHO'S OFF BASE!?!?
post #1046 of 1198

She's confident, but it's not like she's totally forgotten about the mishap earlier in the film, either. The reason she doesn't show anything but confidence in the field is because she's in the field and she has no other option, but I think her quieter moments with Bond give a lot of subtext to her character-- the way she uses her eyes, her body language, don't necessarily suggest someone with no reservations about their abilities or their competence. The experience didn't ruin her, but it did bring her down. I don't think you needed dialogue to get that across, but we are talking about a Bond film, so we get it anyways. 

 

Realistically, Q should be getting publicly flogged for his idiocy, but Ben Whishaw is so precious. It'll never happen to him.

post #1047 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

She's confident, but it's not like she's totally forgotten about the mishap earlier in the film, either. The reason she doesn't show anything but confidence in the field is because she's in the field and she has no other option, but I think her quieter moments with Bond give a lot of subtext to her character-- the way she uses her eyes, her body language, don't necessarily suggest someone with no reservations about their abilities or their competence.

The quieter moments. The way she uses her eyes and her body language. That's the exact flirting I'm talking about. She's supremely confident in the quieter moments. Even cool-as-fuck 007 is taken aback by her unerring confidence. Remember the saucy-as-fuck scene where she shaves Bond as they prepare for action? The woman radiates complete and utter self-assuredness. When she saves Bond's life her eyes and her body language do necessarily suggest exactly that she has no reservations about her abilities or her competence. That's exactly where I've been coming from. That her performance - body language, eyes, voice - suggests exactly that, while the exposition exposits the opposite.

The film tells us she's not up to it, but it shows us that she's not just "fine" in the field, she's either out there actively enjoying herself (saving Bond's life in Macau) or handling surprising situations with as much calmness and effectiveness as anyone (London). Q might be the film's moron, but Moneypenny's story is the oxymoron.
post #1048 of 1198

Go back to the scene where they first reconnect after Bond returns to MI6. Forget the dialogue. That's not a person who is defined only by self-confidence. She's clearly shaken, and I think-- outside the field, where, as I said, she has no choice but to be confident-- it gives her pathos. 

 

That's why I think Harris is so great here. She gives a performance that adds much more beyond her lines. If she doesn't keep up appearances in future installments, it'll be a waste.

post #1049 of 1198

It's not a question of whether or not Eve can handle herself in the field and enjoy it.  Clearly, she has the skills and the zeal.  The issue is whether she can instantly follow orders and commit to the darker, messier aspects of special ops missions, such as firing upon a fellow agent.  There was no risk of that presented in the casino.  But Eve knows that if she stays in the field, she's going to have to make nasty decisions like that again.  It's the sort of thing Bond can do (like leaving the other agent to bleed to death) even though he hates it.

post #1050 of 1198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Phibes View Post

It's not a question of whether or not Eve can handle herself in the field and enjoy it.  Clearly, she has the skills and the zeal.  The issue is whether she can instantly follow orders and commit to the darker, messier aspects of special ops missions, such as firing upon a fellow agent.  There was no risk of that presented in the casino.  But Eve knows that if she stays in the field, she's going to have to make nasty decisions like that again.  It's the sort of thing Bond can do (like leaving the other agent to bleed to death) even though he hates it.

 

Right. My whole point is that the movie(s) place such value that ability in Bond that this reads as an implicit failure on her part.  Even though in real life, it would only mean that she's not toe-ing the line of sociopathy.

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