Deathmatch 2024 - Sideswipes

Vested as you are with great skills (you really are, you’re smashing), with great power comes great responsibility (Plato, I think) and it falls to you to make things unhappen. You are the gender neutral Master of the obsolete. No wonder you’re on a message board about the James Bond film series.

Your successes over the years having included the Ford Fiesta, one hour photo booths, public telephones and good manners, your magic touch of death now turns to the Bond films (as surely it must, and probably already has - when was the last one?) and specifically, their “action sequences”. One of the below has to be deleted forever, you cunning stunt.

June 1

  • Quantum of Solace - freefalling into the sinkhole
  • Die Another Day - ice wave parasailing
0 voters
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The freefalling isn’t great, but it comes and goes in a relative flash and the film is able to move on. Parasailing on the other hand, goes on for what feels a while (and is accompanied by the fanfare of the Bond theme if I’m not mistaken). And you are left with the residual feeling that something isn’t quite right, like the time you ate that “Best Around!” falafel from the food truck that you always wanted to try but realized later that that was probably ill-advised and you should’ve just gone to Pret…


Both scenes betray a failed grasp of physics and a glaring technical incompetence, but for whatever reason, the parasailing irks me more.

It’s close, however. I’m tempted to suspect the filmmakers realized the QoS freefall would only “work” with the rapid-fire cuts we see, and decided to stack the deck by applying the same approach to all the other stunt scenes in the film; hey, if we can only sort of barely follow a car chase, a boat chase and numerous fistfights that we’re pretty sure could happen, then maybe by the time we get to a stunt that’s impossible, applying the same editing style will “sell” it, right?

Maybe I just find the DAD scene more irksome because it exemplifies the unearned cockiness of the entire production. The filmmakers obviously felt this would be the Bond to top all Bonds and turned everything up to “11,” to the point where they could’ve added the subtitle, “Moonraker, Hold My Beer.” But with the parasailing scene, they cross a rubicon even for those of us still on the fence this late into the madness, and provide (us) haters with an easy, convenient target, so the entire enterprise can be dismissed by mumbling, “parasailing scene.” It doesn’t help that it follows an equally ridiculous race between a rocket sled and a space laser that obligingly slows to a crawl so Bond has enough time to devise a surf board and parachute rig, so he can safely return to where he parked his invisible car.

Tough call, and good start to the Deathmatches. Looking forward to the next round.


Agreed. The QoS freefall doesn’t belong in a Craig film, but the second half of DAD isn’t really compatible with its first half, either. My vote came down to what is more infamous, and without question that’s the ice wave. Even though I can defend aspects of it depending on my mood.


The poor execution aside, this is my “problem” with the ice surfing thing; it’s at the end of an escape from somewhere to which Bond immediately returns, thus rendering the escape pointless. One could cut straight from The Actor Pierce Brosnan running just like Donald Trump dances, straight to his (urm) invisible Aston Martin and cut all the jet car bit and lose nothing. The Quantum of Solace one is a bit dodgy in execution but at least it gets the protagonists to a point that advances such story as there is.


SAF—his own person as always.

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The amazing thing is that the freefall stunt was reportedly something they’d wanted to work into a film for a long time. I can only imagine what prevented it from happening earlier was the little matter of real-world physics, luckily no longer a concern in the age of CG effects…even if those effects are barely a step up from Minecraft.

DAD puts a button on the parasurfing scene by not only having Bond proceed to an invisible car, but actually hide behind it, officially moving the “Number of F–'s Given” quotient into the negative range.


Incidentally, props to “Freefalling Into The Sinkhole” as both an easier to remember and a more descriptive title for Craig’s sophomore effort.


It’s something I’ll never forget in my whole life. I’d been on the interweb Bond lore since the first BTS photos from DAD had emerged (shooting of the opening surf scenes with Laird Hamilton, which where shot in Hawaii, whereas the subsequent scenes ashore where shot in… Cornwall – and all this doubling for North Korea :grimacing:)
I’d followed the production very close, from a more or less noob perspective, and during that time, I got to meet that guy (Tim007, if anyone from the olden days remembers), who was living not far from my place and who was on the team of that Bond fan site (CBn, that is). Grew to the Bond fan community in the year to come and formed relations that lead to me becoming a moderator on here myself a few years later.
We expected great things to come (lack of experience, it was the first Bond movie with wide internet coverage of the shooting etc. – to which we contributed a lot ourselves, including major Eon troubles), with everything we’d seen and heard and reported about, and we decided to go to see the movie in Luxembourg (close to where we both lived back then), where they had it a week before Germany, and as original undubbed version (which still is a rarity in Germany today).
While we were watching, we shared glances and eye-rolling, indicating that we both got more and more aware of the fact that this highly expected 20th Bond movie might not be what we had expected it to be.
And as we got to that infamous glacier surf scene, I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper into my seat, thinking: “I’m so glad that no one in the house knows that we’re from that Bond fan site.” When I looked to my left, Tim seemed to think exactly the same, which he later confirmed to me. If anyone would have known, our exit from the cinema would be worse than that one of the Top Gear team from Argentina…
An utter embarrassment, and a traumatic experience. But taught me to never again set my hopes up way too high on a forthcoming Bond movie until I’ve seen it myself.

And don’t get me started about how they talk about this scene in the making-of clips on the DVD…

I’m sure you all understand about my vote…


Could it be that ice wave parasailing would lose even to the pink tie?

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Probably. The level of CGI seen in the ice wave was glaringly foreign to the franchise. Not just visually sticking out like a sore thumb, but being against the spirit of doing things for real.


June 2

Deny one its existence…

  • The Spy who Loved Me ski jump
  • GoldenEye dam jump
0 voters
1 Like

Ouch! That is just too cruel Jim. Both are fabulous, eye-popping stunts and terrific for the series. But if I have to choose one, then it has to be the GoldenEye dam jump to lose, because The Spy Who Loved Me ski jump is THE most iconic stunt of the Bond series and personifies 007 and the series like none other. It is also probably the most iconic stunt in all of filmdom. It simply has to stay.


I really don’t aspire to be a contrarian.

In the case of DAD - it has the huge benefit of me having seen it as a preview in the presence of Peter Lamont. And the audience was totally game and loved every second and applauded it. Was the CGI bad? Oh, yeah. Was it fun to see the film top itself with outrageous ideas again and again? You bet.

But in contrast to that QOS scene it just fit right in with the rest. Whereas QOS up to that point was a really gritty revenge tale which did not need nor ask for that stunt, a scene which leads to an equally boring lull as the SPECTRE scene at the train station in the middle of nowhere.

Yes, yes, introspection and symbolism. But why do a freefall which is ridiculously devoid of realism and edited so fast that it is over before one can appreciate it? And freefalling has never been better than in MR.

As for Ski Jump or Bungee Fall - the Ski Jump was part of an exciting sequence ending it with a typical Bond moment. The Bungee spectacle was only put in to have a PR worthy stunt right up front. But was it necessary for the narrative? It still opens up questions about the whole location of that sequence. Under a dam, but over a cliff?


If we really have to choose I’m keeping the ski jump.

I like that it’s treated in a celebratory, best of British way with the Bond Theme blaring into the title sequence. The dam jump is a strong stunt, but it’s very matter of fact and low key in comparison, and inspired by the spirit of TSWLM to begin with.


“Spy”'s ski jump inaugurated the tradition of starting a Bond film with a stunt spectacular enough to climax any “normal” action film. The GE jump, while impressive, was just a continuation of that tradition and, as it turns out, merely a lead-up to the mid-air bike-to-plane transfer that apparently was intended to be even bigger and more impressive (though it ends up being less so).

Dramatically, the ski jump climaxes a running battle on skis and extricates Bond from a “certain death” scenario. In contrast, the GE jump is the very first thing we see in the film: “Hey, look, there’s Bond. Oh, he’s jumping off a dam.” There’s no build-up, no tension and no explanation – at this point – for why it’s even happening.

Also, maybe I’m alone in this but it’s bothersome that the GE scene has that downshot of Bond standing on the edge and looking skyward, revealing that whomever we’re looking at is definitely NOT Pierce Brosnan. Considering we barely glimpse the tactical-suited figure’s face until this point – if we do at all – this “reveal” of an unknown stuntman, followed by the jump where we STILL don’t see his face, means the jump is being done by someone we (so far) don’t know for reasons we can’t fathom.

Further, I’m far from the bungee-jumping type, but isn’t the idea that the cord securing you at the top is highly elastic, preventing you from a quick, back-breaking wrench at the end of the fall? And doesn’t that elasticity mean that on reaching the end of it, you’re pulled back up again for a considerable distance? If so, when Bond fires the piton with another cable anchoring him to the ground, why doesn’t he snap his spine? Or alternatively, why isn’t the gun simply yanked out of his hands? And as others have pointed out, how can he jump from a dam, then jump again, even further, to catch the plane? Why is the dam even there if all that’s below it is another cliff?

Anyway, the GE jump can vanish without hurting anything, since even the film itself doesn’t consider it the climactic stunt of the PTS. But if the ski jump goes, it doesn’t inspire the great tradition that gave us the MR freefall, the FYEO copter sequence, the OP mini-jet, the TLD Gibraltar chase and all the others I like to varying degrees.


Ski jump!

Nothing new to add to all the posts thus far. Other than the thought that both the ski jump and the parasailing are the “originals!” and thus can’t be topped. The skip jump can’t be topped with that aspect of its status in mind, the dam bungee is but a copy; as is the freeefall. The parasailing can’t be topped; or bottomed, depending on one’s point of view…


There is supposedly a moment, exactly at the point of farthest extension of the bungee rope, when the entire system Bond-rope-top of dam is in balance and the kinetic energy stored in that extension. If Bond shoots his piston at exactly that moment he might just hit his target. But the catch is really how much energy would affect Bond once he’s part of the piston-Bond-rope-top of dam system? Because we clearly see him going down beyond the point of farthest bungee extension…

Let’s just say Bond’s spinal traction training probably comes in handy at some point. :man_shrugging:t3:


Saving the ski jump, obv. The dam jump, like GoldenEye throughout, is a facsimile trigger of exploited community memory of other Bond films.


So it turns out Count Lippe did him a favor after all…