26

Re: Most confusing plot?

Most confusing plots:

DAF
OP
TLD
LTK (some parts only)
TWINE
QoS

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

27

Re: Most confusing plot?

SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:

Most confusing plots:

DAF
OP
TLD
LTK (some parts only)
TWINE
QoS

You got me thinking about the reasons why...

-DAF's plot is confusing largely thanks to its mood and the inclusion of too many subplots that are included "for the heck of it".  The base  idea of "rolling up the smuggling pipeline" is one I'm convinced would work if the film was 1) serious and 2) getting rid of some of the downright bizarre subplots (the multiple Blofelds, especially). 

A film's plot CAN be temporarily buried by its MacGuffin and get away with it, and it was done so absolutely brilliantly in my single favorite film proto-noir of all time: The Maltese Falcon (and Dashiell Hammett's book is pretty darn good, too).  It's also done pretty well in The ODESSA File, both in the novel by Frederick Forsyth and the film.  But unlike Bogey making quite clear at the end of the former great film that the point was not the black bird, but about solving the murder of Miles Archer or in the latter instance, Peter, who grew up idolizing his father, telling Roschmann that the incident at the Riga dockyard was the reason he was there, DAF never explicitly makes the point about how important the diamonds are or even something that could be solved with A SINGLE PARAGRAPH from Blofeld...

"Mr. Bond, I don't think you've caught on, have you?  Those diamonds weren't for money; they were for power.  The fools doing the smuggling work had to be kept in the dark for security reasons.  But now you're wondering why I sent Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd after them.  When they stop getting diamonds, which by now you've deduced correctly are something I no longer need, they're going to ask questions.  In my organization, Mr. Bond, the fewer questions you ask, the more likely you are to live a relatively long life."

-Regarding OP, I basically did summarize the plot (which I surpsingly understood well upon viewing the movie the first time!).  However, to compact that explanation a bit, they committed two offenses that you do not do in any movie: you assume that your audience is going to believe something is timeless when it's not and you're focusing on the wrong villain.  The latter is very simple; Orlov masterminded the whole thing but was badly underutilized (in some ways, GE's General Ourumov seemed to be an updated but corrected version of Orlov) and because Louis Jourdan was a much better actor than Steven Berkoff, they chose to focus on him.  The problem is that you're not spending time on the guy who is technically the main villain.  But I did mention something about timelessness in there, didn't I?

When OP was filmed, Afghanistan was in the news in a very different way than it is today.  The Soviets invaded it and for a while managed to control the government they deemed legitimate.  Soviet general officers, even those stationed in Europe, would have had easy access to files on people who had not only caused the communist government problems, but also Mohammed Zahir Shah's government.  That was relatively well-known at the time of release.  When Vijay Armitraj utters forth three words..."Exiled Afghan prince"...we immediately know that the latter government (a monarchy on good terms with India) kicked him out since the communist government was known to shoot its prisoners.  It's made clear that Orlov needs funds for a nuclear bomb, but it's implied that he went to Kamal after looking at his file and thinking "oh hey, look, this guy smuggles high value jewelry...that means currency for a bomb!".  That sat well with some well-informed 1980's audiences but aged terribly thanks to the focus quickly being shifted to the Soviets alone (vs. the government they were propping up *and* the Mujahadeen replacing the royalists as the guys most likely to beat the Soviets), literally almost immediately after the film was released.  With a currently-happening geopolitical event in a farflung place that's very volatile, you can't assume it's going to be timeless.  Look at some of the movies made about Afghanistan and Iraq in just the past decade!  Still, it was a combination of refusing to focus on a guy who was technically the main bad guy and assuming the geopolitical climate in Afghanistan was going to stay the same/allow it to be self-explanatory.

-Regarding TLD, the refusal to outright say that Koskov wanted control of the KGB (he does after all want Pushkin shot and then wants to get back to the Soviet Union unharmed...what other motive does he have?) was one of the things that really hurt the film to me.  If you have an explanatory scene like you do with Whittaker where his motives are made extremely clear, then okay, but what's the point of keeping everyone guessing about Koskov?  I get it, you need suspense and it's all about trust, but you risk losing some of the audience by doing so (including my father, who praised Dalton's performance but thought the plot, while understandable, was an outright mess when it came to Koskov).

-Regarding LTK, the overall plot is very straight forward and Franz Sanchez ranks among the best Bond villains.  But you could argue that a few of the plotholes (such as the mercenary and the "what was that?" inclusion of the MI6 agent who gets killed, but also wants to bring Bond back...) are so badly confusing that they detract from the movie.

-Regarding TWINE, there's a reason why the original cut was so long.  It adequately explained everything and tied up all the loose ends.  But almost an hour of it wound up on the cutting room floor, so we really don't know certain things about certain subplots that seem to go nowhere.  I think this teaches another lesson: if you've got a nice, long story to tell, then do it or remove all references to subplots that can't be included.  Don't just keep them in there to fill up the running time.  Short films can be good, too.

-Regarding QoS, I give you the anti-TWINE.  "Okay, let's make this really, really fast-paced and streamlined."  At the expense of the plot, no less.  I imagine the writer's strike severely hurt QoS, but would someone explain why they chose to keep in all these action scenes (the overly-long dogfight comes to mind) as opposed to scenes exposing the plot?  I mean, it's only 107 minutes long.  I remember the very first thing when the film ended the first time I viewed it was NOT related to the plot.  It was "WOW, was that ever quick!"  Even 15-20 more minutes would presumably give us a much-better-developed plot and villain.

Last edited by Dalkowski110 (14th Dec 2012 03:00)

By the way, are you gonna eat that?

28

Re: Most confusing plot?

Dalk, I'm really lovin' your posts. ajb007/martini

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

29

Re: Most confusing plot?

Yes, thanks, Dalk, very lucid and very interesting - you've touched on some things I'd not even considered before!

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

30

Re: Most confusing plot?

chrisisall wrote:

Dalk, I'm really lovin' your posts.  ajb007/martini

::Gets up and takes a bow::  ajb007/lol

But seriously, thanks very much!  ajb007/smile   ajb007/cheers

SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:

Yes, thanks, Dalk, very lucid and very interesting - you've touched on some things I'd not even considered before!

Thanks very much once more!  Either of you guys ever wander out my way to Bloomington, IN, I'm buying the beers!  ajb007/cheers

By the way, are you gonna eat that?

31

Re: Most confusing plot?

Dalkowski110 wrote:

Either of you guys ever wander out my way to Bloomington, IN, I'm buying the beers!  ajb007/cheers

We called the dog Indiana.
ajb007/lol  Sorry, I couldn't resist.
I'd love it, mate!

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

32

Re: Most confusing plot?

ajb007/martini

By the way, are you gonna eat that?

33

Re: Most confusing plot?

ajb007/smile  ajb007/martini

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

34

Re: Most confusing plot?

Well, as I live in the UK, have a virtual glass of your finest non-alchoholic wine on me!  ajb007/martini   ajb007/smile Cheero!

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

35

Re: Most confusing plot?

SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:

Well, as I live in the UK, have a virtual glass of your finest non-alchoholic wine on me!  ajb007/martini   ajb007/smile Cheero!

Will Vernors Ginger Soda suffice?  It's my favorite non-alcoholic beverage, and I actually drink it more than all alcoholic beverages I drink COMBINED.  ajb007/lol

By the way, are you gonna eat that?

36

Re: Most confusing plot?

Dalkowski110 wrote:
SILHOUETTE MAN wrote:

Well, as I live in the UK, have a virtual glass of your finest non-alchoholic wine on me!  ajb007/martini   ajb007/smile Cheero!

Will Vernors Ginger Soda suffice?  It's my favorite non-alcoholic beverage, and I actually drink it more than all alcoholic beverages I drink COMBINED.  ajb007/lol

As a tee-totaller, yes!

Bottoms up!

Writer/Director @ The Bondologist Blog (TBB)
On Twitter: @Dragonpol 
'Like' TBB on FB: TBB Update Page
"The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).

37

Re: Most confusing plot?

I think The Living Daylights and Quantum of Solace have a lot of genuine quality invested into them, but seemed let down by (on paper) relatively dull masterminds and their vague semi-realistic schemes of misusing the trust of Western intelligence agencies (MI6 and the CIA) to ruthlessly exploit Third World woes (trading opium or cutting off the Bolivian water supply does not capture the imagination like volcano bases launching rockets, super tankers swallowing subs, giant antennas rising out of artificial lakes, or orbiting EMP bombs). Casino Royale was essentially just about international terrorists and criminals playing cards but somehow rose well above those latter two movies because of multiple factors, being more firmly based on a Ian Fleming novel, and Martin Campbell doing really well with stuff that perhaps would be dull or goofy in a lot of other people's hands.

The weirdly plotted Octopussy and GoldenEye had some big plotholes to imaginatively fill in, but still have many fun to watch action set pieces and memorable stuff going on (the latter instalment being better than the former, due to Marting Campbell being the first director that brought Bond properly into the MTV era visually and the novelty of Pierce Brosnan, a jack of all trades Bond).

'Alright guard, begin the unnecessarily slow moving dipping mechanism...'

38

Re: Most confusing plot?

I had no problems with the plot for QUANTUM OF SOLACE.  I had a problem with the plots for "GOLDFINGER" and "SKYFALL".

39

Re: Most confusing plot?

I admit I never found TWINE to be confusing. Although DAF, TLD and OP have puzzled the heck out of me.

Does anyone else find it ironic that Q's biggest role is in the LTK film where Bond is a rogue agent? I don't understand how 007's abruptly quitting mi6 affected the plot of License to Kill. Seems like he carried out his mission in the 007 usual fashion...and with even more help from Q branch than he usually gets.

There was that great rooftop sniper scene and then a bunch of ninjas showed up. I was like "what ?????"

"Please don't try to follow me"

1. GE 2. MR 3. TSWLM 4. GF 5. DN 6. TND 7. TMWTGG 8. OP 9. TWINE 10. AVTAK

40

Re: Most confusing plot?

Did you miss the part where they explained another agency was after Sanchez?

Dalton & Connery rule. Brozz was cool. Craig is too.
#1.TLD/LTK 2.TND 3.QOS 4.DN 5.GF/GE 6.SP 7.FRWL 8.TB/TMWTGG 9.TWINE 10.YOLT

41

Re: Most confusing plot?

chrisisall wrote:

Did you miss the part where they explained another agency was after Sanchez?

What about the other Chinese investors who go with him to the institute, were they part of the agency as well?

1. FYEO 2. TLD 3. LTK 4. FRWL 5. OHMSS 6. TSWLM 7. GF  8. OP 9. AVTAK 10. DN 11. SP 12. MR 13. SF  14. CR 15. TB 16. LALD 17. GE 18. YOLT 19. TND 20. TMWTGG 21. TWINE 22. TND 23. DAF 24. DAD

1. Dalton 2. Moore 3. Connery 4. Lazenby 5. Craig  6. Brosnan

42

Re: Most confusing plot?

Dr No said that the Americans and the East didn't employ him, so he's using a radio beam to ruin American space launches. Would the Americans accuse the Russians of sabotage. The film focuses on No's efforts to hurt the Americans. How are the Russians affected?

Have you ever heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?"

" I don't listen to hip hop!"

43

Re: Most confusing plot?

I think it's implied that they're next. Dr No says "they can both pay for their mistake" and that Crab Key is "an expendable little island" and "when my mission is accomplished, I'll destroy it and move on"- to do the same thing to the Russians?

Of course, this ambiguity is caused by Eon changing Fleming's plot in which No is working (on a freelance basis) for Russia against the USA.

44

Re: Most confusing plot?

Octopussy and The Living Daylights

1. FYEO 2. TLD 3. LTK 4. FRWL 5. OHMSS 6. TSWLM 7. GF  8. OP 9. AVTAK 10. DN 11. SP 12. MR 13. SF  14. CR 15. TB 16. LALD 17. GE 18. YOLT 19. TND 20. TMWTGG 21. TWINE 22. TND 23. DAF 24. DAD

1. Dalton 2. Moore 3. Connery 4. Lazenby 5. Craig  6. Brosnan

45

Re: Most confusing plot?

Wadsy wrote:

Octopussy and The Living Daylights

The more we talk about it, I find they're confusing for no reason at all in order to appear complex.

1. TWINE  2. FYEO  3. MR  4. TLD  5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS  7. DN  8. OP  9. AVTAK  10. TMWTGG  11. QoS 12. GE  13. CR  14. TB  15. FRWL  16. LTK  17. GF  18. SF  19. LaLD  20. YOLT  21. TND  22. DAD  23. DAF.

"If you'll forgive me, that's a little too scented for my palate."

46

Re: Most confusing plot?

Wadsy wrote:

Octopussy and The Living Daylights

in another Living Daylights related thread, Ornithologist suggested the inclusion of the Fleming story actually makes the film even more complicated and confusing than it would be without it

both of these two films begin with a short story from the Octopussy book, which then spins out into a larger story (and neither of them is the short story called Octopussy)
in each case, the Fleming content at first glance looks like I always pictured the short story (auction room, sniper in the distant window), but in fact the characters are completely different than who Fleming wrote, and what is supposed to be going on is actually completely different than what Fleming wrote, and yet it still doesn't actually flow logically into what follows (does anybody care about the fake Egg? why did there need to be a fake sniper at all?)
and yet in FYEO they were able to tie two other Fleming short stories together seamlessly, along with a big chunk of another novel, and Licence to Kill succeeds with a similar mélange, and its all the same director ...

maybe its just the stories in Fleming's Octopussy aren't that substantial to begin with?

47

Re: Most confusing plot?

Wadsy wrote:

Octopussy and The Living Daylights

These.

Octupussy: As I understand it, Orlov believes that the Russian forces are stronger than NATO and would likely triumph if only they were bold enough to attack Europe. The Red Army, however, argue that any such attack would be suicidal as NATO are just as likely to respond with nuclear strikes which would result in a full-scale global war. Orlov, therefore, plans to avoid such an eventuality by forcing Europe into nuclear disarmament. To this end, he aims to smuggle a nuclear bomb onto an American air force base and detonate it. Europe will believe this to be an accident caused by an American bomb and this will result in NATO surrendering their nuclear arms in order for avoid such a disaster from occurring.

To smuggle the bomb, Orlov must involve himself with smugglers. They, of course, will want payment in some way. This payment will be made in jewellery. Orlov therefore sets upon a scheme in which Russian jewels can be smuggled out of the Kremlin Art Repository with the aid of its curator Lenkin. The real jewellery is replaced with fakes. It seems that Lenkin and Khan are forging such jewellery together. I say this according to the conversation that Bond later overhears between Orlov and Khan:

Orlov: Congratulations on the quality of your workmanship, Kamal Khan.

Kamal: Thank you, General Orlov. As you can see, each piece has been meticulously duplicated according to Lenkin's specifications.

This, therefore, is why Khan is here. The smuggling itself is arranged by Octopussy through her travelling circus. Unknown to her, however, a nuclear bomb is hidden in the circus cannon. The circus is set to perform at an American airbase in West Germany and it is here that the bomb will be detonated. Mischka and Grischka work for Orlov and are only part of Octopussy’s troupe in order to keep an eye on the bomb.

Things, however, do not go according to plan. M16 agent 009, presumably while investigating some other matter, uncovers the plot and, while undercover as a clown, steals a fake Fabergé egg as proof to show his superiors. He is hunted by Mischka and Grischka and knifed in the back, but not before he has reached the house of the British ambassador. We do not know how young 009 is – this may be the first time he has been confronted with such killers, which may go some way to explaining why he looks so terrified.

MI6 receive the fake egg and learn that a real one is set to be auctioned at Sotherby’s. At the auction, Bond notices Khan and tries to outbid him. Khan is annoyed – not because Bond is driving the price up, but because he may lose the egg to Bond. An inventory of the Kremlin Art Depository is to be held in a matter of days and Orlov has tasked Khan with winning the egg back so that it can be returned to the vaults before its disappearance is discovered. Bond takes the opportunity to switch the real egg with the fake one, presumably to frustrate whatever plan Khan has for it.

Bond follows Khan to India and, during a backgammon game, shows off the real egg in an effort to unnerve him. Khan, of course, believes this to be the fake one which he had previously thought to be lost in the river just before 009’s death. Knowing nothing good can come of Bond’s interest, Khan tries to have him killed and recover the egg.

Q installs a bug into the egg and Bond takes it back to his hotel. Magda wants it and Bond lets her take it as this will allow him to eavesdrop on Khan. Before he can even attempt to listen in, however, Bond is knocked out by Gobinda and taken to the Monsoon Palace. Khan is intrigued by Bond and wants to know what he knows. Orlov visits Khan and is given the (real) egg that has been recovered from Bond. The general, of course, believes the egg is fake and destroys it. Khan flinches – not because he knows the egg is real, but because of Orlov’s heavy-handed manner. The fake egg, assumed to be the real one, is bundled in with the counterfeit jewellery and taken to Orlov’s helicopter. Ordinarily, these fakes would have been smuggled back to Russia via the circus, but the egg fiasco has necessitated Orlov’s visit and he is taking advantage of this by returning the next cache of fakes to Russia – which will, in time, be swapped out for the real ones and smuggled out.

I love this film ajb007/smile It has some of the best action in the series - Bond racing after the train by car, fighting on top of the train, hunted through the jungle, chasing after the plane on horseback etc. Plus the terrifically tense climax in which Bond has to dress as a clown and convince everyone that he is serious when he says that an atomic bomb will be going off at any minute! There's also several moments in which Bond has to face the irritations of real life when he is prevented from using a public phone box during an emergency, his radio-device is interrupted by a hair-dryer and a car of mischievous kids cheat him out of a ride. All of which is played straight.

It's an exciting, exotic and occasionally surreal adventure with a topical plot and a timeless feel. Like Kipling via Hitchcock.


The Living Daylights: I think this is it. The Soviets give Koscov $50 million to be used as a deposit on the purchase of weapons. However, instead of doing this, he buys diamonds from the Netherlands and uses this to purchase opium from an Afghan tribe named the Snow-Leopard Brotherhood (for their part, they want to use the money to buy their own weapons to fight off the Soviets). Koskov plans to sell the opium in America which – in only a matter of days – will earn him many millions of dollars. He will then be able to do what he was instructed to do in the first place and buy the weapons for the Russians.

Last edited by DavidJones (3rd Feb 2019 20:39)

My Top 10 Bonds: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.

48

Re: Most confusing plot?

Octopussy thought:

It's sometimes said that Sotheby's sale of a Fabergé egg would likely draw attention from the Russians.

It just occured to me, however, that maybe the inventory for the Kremlin Art Repository was arranged because the Russians had heard about the Sotheby sale and wanted to make sure that their collection was still complete.

Just a thought.

My Top 10 Bonds: Octopussy, Goldeneye, From Russia With Love, Tomorrow Never Dies, Licence to Kill, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, Moonraker, Goldfinger and The Spy Who Loved Me.