Spectre is the most James Bondian film of the Craig era we’ve had from the franchise in years. Not since the Brosnan’s era have we had such a fully formed Bond movie like the days of old. I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing though.
One year ago the title of the film was released and an impressive cast were introduced to the press as they prepared to film the new movie. The title along with it’s logo promised so much. The return of Bond’s arch nemesis, the gun shot glass reminiscent of the end of OHMSS. Even one of the trailers had the score from OHMSS. Damn great.
I did enjoy it a lot, far more than ‘Skyfall’ which didn’t appeal to me at all and seemed far too early to be showing Bond as “past it”. Spectre is a very different movie and it’s commendable that it is so different. Sam Mendes obviously has a lot of love for the franchise and has taken it back to something a little bit formulaic. As I said, i’m not sure if it’s a good thing. I loved ‘Casino Royale’ which was a kick up the ass to the franchise and was very different to anything we’d see in a Bond film before. What I worry with ‘Spectre’ is that it borders dangerously on the type of Bond film we were so tired of by the time Brosnan had finished his run.
Certainly there were things that were underdeveloped and pushed aside in this film which is surprising considering this is the longest Bond Film yet. It drags in certain places, not because the action is dull but because when we get to character moments such as between Bond and Blofeld and their “history” there isn’t much of a sense of clearing the skeletons out of the closet. The importance is placed on the reveal that Hannes Oberhauser is Blofeld (which we all knew a year ago already) and on how he got his scar. Waltz is so good that I couldn’t give a damn about the scar, he’s great casting. Perfect choice for someone like Blofeld really. Through it all his character is reserved, deadly and bubbling with evil underneath the skin.
The big reveal: Foster brothers, that’s all? Not full on brothers? Half brothers? Foster? I remember a few years back that the rumored script for ‘Die Another Day’ had Bond hunting down the people who had killed his parents in the “skiing accident” and discovering his father was still alive and used to be a 00 agent too (played by Connery). I had thought that maybe finally after Skyfall opened the doors that we would get Bond’s history brought out into the open but nope. Foster brothers. So what?
Script differences: As you may know the script got out about a year ago during the big Sony leak. While I haven’t read it I have seen enough to say that the film fixes some things from the script. Mainly the killing off of Blofeld which would have been idiotic after bringing back to the Bond world after decades of being absent. The other change I was less happy about was that Tanner was a traitor. Damn! I had my suspicions that Tanner was a traitor since ‘Quantum Of Solace’.
The good: We finally get a Bond Villain with a scar that is not a Blofeld wannabe. Monica Bellucci. Craig. M. Q. 006. Opening credits, which make the song “The Writing’s on the wall” so much better.
The Bad: Not enough Monica Bellucci, film drags in places. Unnecessary Blofeld reveal and scar origin story. Car chase wasn’t up to scratch, more comedy that thrills. Cliche thugs return. Lack of chemistry between main female lead and Craig’s Bond (not as bad as the chemistry in Mission Impossible 5). Massive explosions for no reason and the hero and villain trying to find and kill each other when the hero is on a train going to the villain’s hideout and the villain is waiting for him. The era of dumbed down movies continues….
So is this Daniel Craigs last film? Nobody knows, some reports say he is signed on for another movie, other reports claim this is not true. Spectre certainly ties up all the plot points that started with Casino Royale. It would seem a fitting way to go. Bond happy, with a girl. But is that how we want to say farewell to Craig’s Bond before the next actor comes along? Or does that look from Blofeld at the end of the movie as he watches James walk off with his love open the doors for one more film? A film that starts where OHMSS left off. Whatever happens I’m sure Blofeld is staying around. Will Christopher Nolan finally make his Bond film?
Undoubtedly SPECTRE seems a bit of a rush to squeeze out in a year and it does show in places. Hopefully the next film can be leaner.
Favorite Quote: “Throw that down the Toilet, cut out the middle man” – James Bond