MacGuffin in TWINE

SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
edited March 4 in The James Bond Films

I don't know if this topic already exists but I wonder something about TWINE.

In her cell, M uses the batteries from the clock in front of her to make the locator card work, which is a brilliant idea because it shows she's able to react in the field like a genuine operative. But immediately after getting the signal, 007 is taken prisoner by Elektra's goons because of Bull's betrayal and directly brought to Maiden's Tower, which turns out to be the place where M is kept in.

Wouldn't it have been much more subtle in terms of screenwriting having M sending the signal and then making Bond rescue her on his own considering he's the heroe ?

It's not really a matter of relevance because Zukovsky was also there when the signal was sent. It doesn't destroy the concept of having someone attacking Elektra's lair. Nevertheless, I clearly would have preferred a useless character like Bull not to be in the script and Bond being the one to surprise Elektra (and being tortured anyway just after his arrival because this scene is very cool indeed).

Does anyone see my point ?

Comments

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,186MI6 Agent

    interesting idea for an alternate plot. I think having Bond figure it out singlehandedly and finding his own way to Elektra's island would be more heroic but also conventional, we've seen plots work out like that before, we've just never seen M kidnapped before.

    But how should Bond figure out? Having him also captured and brought to the same place solves the need to explain that.


    All these plot elements are actually from Colonel Sun. M is kidnaped and held in a stone cell on a Greek island, where the villain plans some sort of explosion that will tip the global balance of power and implicate British intelligence.

    But in Colonel Sun it's actually unclear how Bond knows he will find M on that island, I think Amis sort of fudged those important steps in Bond's logic. Bond suspects M is somewhere in Greece, he encounters Ariadne Alexandrou, her people are interested in this conference being held on an island nearby and Bond deduces an agent of Red China is threatening that conference. Why he also figured M was being held by the same people threatening that conference I did not spot the last time I read the book, and I was looking for that logic. Seems like a big assumption when he's supposed to be looking for his kidnapped boss.

    So by having Bond also captured and brought to the same place M is held prisoner does patch up that ambiguity in the book, if indeed they were taking inspiration from Colonel Sun. (Amis of course receives no credit in the film, it's all fan speculation that the book is related at all)

  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
    edited March 5

    @caractacus potts yes it's conventional, so is the concept of Bond saving the world if you think about it...

    Concerning the way Bond figures out where M is precisely located, I'm not saying he shouldn't have asked any help from Zukovsky, who knows Istanbul better than him. Bond will always need allies and it's not what I meant by "on his own".

    My point was not Purvis and Wade did it wrong. The fact Zukovsky also knows where M is held prisoner is a way to solve any relevance issue. But I think the locator card is a subtle MacGuffin I would have used to create a surprise effect towards the audience, especially at Maiden's Tower with Bond coming from nowhere, standing in front of Elektra and then revealing how he found her (I would have inserted the scene where M uses the batteries at that moment of the movie as some kind of flashback).

    What do you think ?

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,186MI6 Agent

    you know, I can't see my post!

    I did indeed write a post during lunch today, decided to edit it, then it completely disappeared when I clicked Send, and I gave up because I should be working not overanalysing Bondmovies.


    and six hours later I still cant see it...

    ...but you must be able to see what I wrote somehow @SeanIsTheOnlyOne to reply to my reply! if so, can you quote what I said so I can see it too?

  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent

    Actually I saw your post for a little while (othewise I couldn't have answered) then I noticed it disappeared after I posted my comment. I can't find it either...

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,186MI6 Agent

    ah well, then I guess I messed up trying to edit and accidentally deleted instead. by chance you must have seen it for the few moments it existed.

    I may try to recall my thoughts and post them again when/if I get a break today. nothing brilliant, I know my lost post was more about Colonel Sun than the World is Not Enough, so somewhat offtopic anyway.

  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
    edited March 6

    @caractacus potts your point is interesting and I don't think it's offtopic. Actually you are right. In both cases, Bond needs some "local" help (Alexandrou in CS and Zukovsky in TWINE) to figure out the correct location.

    That's why in my second post I said "on his own" is not used the way you think. It is more about seeing Bond coming "on his own" to Elektra thanks to Zukovsky's knowledge of Istanbul.

    In the movie, the locator card seems to be some kind of wasted MacGuffin considering the place where Bond is brought by Elektra's goons is precisely the place where M is held prisoner, and it occurs immediately after the signal is sent.

    Do you see what I mean ?

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,186MI6 Agent

    well I better repeat from memory, just so there's no hole in the conversation!

    Yall will have to imagine this is the second post of the thread.

    ________________________________________________________________


    1. Having Bond figure out the location of the villains headquarters and show up on his own initiative just in time to witness the start of the evil countdown is rather conventional. Brosnan did that exactly in his first two films, so there oughta be some variation in how he arrives for the final act, granted the logic in this case may not be satisfactory. (in fact I don't think I ever noticed the details, the nuts and bolts of how plot fits together in the Brosnan films are not something I really notice and I'm not confident they're all there, as so much else seems like standard set pieces cobbled together)
    2. A lot of these elements in the last act of the World is Not Enough I think are from Colonel Sun, even if Amis received no credit. So worth comparing to how that plot set up Bond's arrival.

    In Colonel Sun, M is kidnapped, held prisoner in a stone cell on a Greek island. The villain intends to set off a large explosion, which will tip the global balance of power and implicate British Intelligence once M and Bond's bodies are found in the wreckage. There's even a torture scene where the villain has Bond tied to a chair and tries to sexually arouse him just before the moment of death!

    In the book, Bond is looking for M in Athens when he meets rival Soviet spy Ariadne Alexandrou. Her people are interested in an international conference to be held on a small island, and believe it is under threat. Bond somehow deduces it is a Red Chinese agent who is threatening the conference, and who also must be the one holding M prisoner. How Bond makes this leap in logic Amis does not make clear, and last time I read the book I was flipping back and forth looking for exactly that bit of missing exposition. Bond should not be sailing round the Aegean with a sexy Soviet agent for a week when he's supposed to be looking for his boss! (that's more like something Napoleon Solo would do)

    So... if the film handles a similar sequence of events with an excuse to get Bond on the island that actually makes sense, it's an improvement on the book!

  • SeanIsTheOnlyOneSeanIsTheOnlyOne Posts: 117MI6 Agent
    edited March 7

    Having Bond figure out the location of the villains headquarters and show up on his own initiative just in time to witness the start of the evil countdown is rather conventional. Brosnan did that exactly in his first two films, so there oughta be some variation in how he arrives for the final act, granted the logic in this case may not be satisfactory.

    Personally, I don't give a damn to the fact it is conventional. If it's well made and makes the storyline stronger, what's the matter ?

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,186MI6 Agent
    edited March 18

    I see SiCo restored my missing post! turns out posts gone missing has been a thing in this new forum software.

    @SeanIsTheOnlyOne I'm not that committed to my "opinion", I don't even remember those scenes in the movie that clearly. Just trying to add discussion points to your thread.

    Yes the ritualistic nature of a typical Bond plot structure is part of the appeal, why I think the Spy Who Loved Me is the Bond formula perfected. I wrote a lengthy post somewhere comparing the typical Bond plot structure to Joseph Campbell's archetypic Hero's Journey narrative structure. It's a sequence of ritualistic events, updated to 20th century concerns with all the spy content: nation states and surveillance tech

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