I am the self-proclaimed “Biggest James Bond Fan” I know. When a new one is announced, I get giddy like a three year old on Christmas morning. I watched a lot, not all, of the original films. The Kid likes the Bond franchise for all of the crazy action set pieces, so I watched more of those than whole films. I have been re-reading many of the original Ian Fleming novels, and listening to my James Bond Theme playlist daily. That is just the way this nerd rolls.
After the success of Casino Royale and the failure of Quantum of Solace, I kept my expectations in check following the exceptional (maybe even best) Skyfall. The casting and set photos made that difficult. Then, the abysmal trailer followed by the profoundly bad theme helped to stifle the enthusiasm. But, come on, it’s Bond. Daniel Craig is returning, as is Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, Ben Wishaw, Rory Kinnear, and director Sam Mendes, writers Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan from Skyfall.
Spectre opens with Bond (Craig) chasing and assassinating terrorist Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona) in Mexico. This scene is creative but overlong. Then, Sam Smith’s shitty song and equally as shitty opening title credit sequence rolls. Back in London, Bond is reprimanded by M (Fiennes) for his non-sanctioned actions in Mexico. Bond is forbidden to continue on his mysterious mission. He promptly talks Moneypenny and Q into helping him, as Bond has to open a wound from his past.
Bond makes his way to Rome to sleep with the wife (Monica Bellucci) of Sciarra, then go to an underground meeting for this mysterious crime organization that wears a ring with an octopus on it. He has his first run in with Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista), who is never mentioned by name. Bond keeps digging, finds Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), who leads Bond to his daughter Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux). They team up to try and bring down this syndicate dubbed Spectre (they never mention what it stands for), led by Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz). In the meantime, C (Andrew Scott) is not in charge of a worldwide spying network, and dismembers MI6 and the double-oh section.
I am not going to give away any of the twists, but suffice it to say, I was not impressed. The main twist made me want to get up and leave the theater. There is no reason for it. It is just lazy and stupid storytelling. I would have thought that the writers and producers would have learned from the mistake made in ST:ID a few years back. I would have thought that they would have seen the backlash that that franchise and film took, and not pulled the exact same awful stunt.
I have not been this disappointed in a Bond movie in my life. I was not a huge fan of Quantum of Solace, but Spectre makes it look fantastic. I have seen all the bond films from 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies on, in theaters at least twice. I will not waste my time (148 minutes of it) or money to witness this travesty again in theaters.
The action was not as mind-blowing as they would want you to believe. How they spent a reported $300 million on this, I will never know. This film failed because it was not a Daniel Craig Bond film. It is too campy and gadget filled for Craig’s Bond and this era of spy films. To be honest, I would have rather seen 85 year old Roger Moore play Bond in Spectre. The film was too Bond, too convoluted, and flat out too boring. It was very self-aware of being a Bond film, but not in a good way.
If this is the last outing for Daniel Craig, I say good riddance if this is the direction they are going to go with the franchise. I will be sad to see him go, but I would rather they start with a fresh actor that hadn’t spent years changing the way Bond is portrayed, only to be betrayed. This film will derail the franchise, but, I am sure that Bond will return.