SPECTRE — a less than favorable review from a lifelong Bond fan.
This one has some spoilers
Let me preface this post by saying I’m probably the biggest Bond fan you know. I live for the November release date every other year. This is a hard post to write.
A short bit of history: SPECTRE and Blofeld are the original Bond villain organization and his arch nemesis. Eon(Everything Or Nothing, the production company that controls the franchise) hasn’t had the rights to produce a movie with SPECTRE or Blofeld in it for almost 50 years. They regained the rights in 2013 and this movie was supposed to be an epic resurfacing of Bond’s origins.
SPECTRE starts out in beautiful, glorious Bond fashion. The screen flashes “The Dead are Alive” and there’s a wonderfully shot, one cut scene of Bond walking through a Dia de los Muertos parade. This is arguably the last truly interesting scene of the movie.
Sam Smith’s terrible song plays as the opening credits roll. It starts the movie off in an uncomfortable place and never recovers. Unlike most good Bond films SPECTRE lacks it’s signature clever quips or any semblance of a good script. The dialogue is drab and lifeless. Every scene is completely predictable and the foreshadowing is way too obvious. At first the throwbacks to old Bond films were really fun but slowly I started to realize every scene was just a reincarnation of an older one. It got very tiresome, I stopped being impressed and started getting upset.
Accompanied with these shortcomings is the grossly overused villain story, or lack thereof. It’s the tired plot of someone controlling too much information via government monitoring of its people and their digital devices, it’s just so played out. It’s such a huge letdown that the SPECTRE team couldn’t think of an original story for such an important part of the Bond saga.
In many ways this felt like the first part of a two part story, a la Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1, or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1. Hopefully it’s just a setup for the real movie coming next.
A few good takeaways
The movie had some redeeming qualities but not enough to make up for all of it’s downfalls. Ben Whishaw and Naomi Harris are still great fits for the Q and Moneypenny role. The Aston Martin DB10 prototype was insane. Per usual I found myself lusting over Bond’s car. Visually the movie was very well shot, lots of interesting settings but it lacked the substance it needed. It felt similar to what I’d imagine dating a supermodel is like. Learning a lot about the Blofeld backstory, how and why he came to be, and how he earned some of his characteristics was great.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the throwback that I actually cared for, the Vesper Lynd references. If I could pick any fictional character that’s fate could have ended differently, it would be hers. So when she’s brought up numerous times throughout SPECTRE, I feel Bond’s pain every time.
Hope for the future
In my opinion the Daniel Craig Bond era is 2 for 4. Hopefully both Craig and Waltz come back for another Bond/Blofeld matchup and they can recover from this tragedy.