Double O Fine
Not many people know this but I have a disability. You probably wouldn’t realise from looking at me or even talking to me but it’s there. My problem is that for the life of me I cannot remember which one is which out of my girlfriend’s 2 cousins even though i’ve met them both and even though I’ve had it explained literally tens of times.
Ok, so it’s not really a disability, in fact most people would just call me a forgetful moron and slap me across the chops with whatever is closest to hand… but it’s real to me dammit!
At least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. The problem isn’t just confined to my girlfriend’s cousins; I have a similar trouble with Bond films. I’ve seen all of them many times, I can remember the villains and some of the action scenes but the plot just doesn’t sink in.
Spectre might have just broken that curse. There are perhaps 2 reasons for this. Firstly we know that Daniel Craig wants to drop the 007 moniker and whether this will happen or not (he wanted to leave after Quantum of Solace too) it does lead me to the second reason which is that all his films have been leading up to this point.
Casino Royale was obviously the origin story of everyone’s favourite “double-0” and it was a film that showed James bond as a rough, rugged and physical character. In Spectre Bond’s persona is very different. Bond now feels like the suave and cocksure agent of the original Dr No. It also references people from all of Daniel Craig’s films to show Spectre as the infamous shadowy organisation featured in the earlier James Bond films. To this extent Spectre feels like a complete package and a perfect drop off point to bring in a new Bond and a new storyline.
I really liked how Spectre pulls it’s influences from past all these different Bond films even if it does play with the tilme line in a way that hardcore Bond fans might not appreciate. What are hardcore Bond fans called anyway? Bondages? Flemingoers? Who knows.
Anyway, mild spoilers, but Spectre not only sets up the organisation of the same name but it also sets up one of the most infamous super-villains in Bond history. Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) plays our iconic villain, of course, that’s not the name he is famous for but I won’t spell it out.
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Waltz as the main villain. He isn’t as disconcerting as Javier Bardem was in Skyfall and apart from his intelligence he doesn’t seem so formidable to Bond. He does however have one surprising advantage: an awesome henchman.
Dave Bautista plays Mr Hinx. Not only does he have a terrific name but he is terrific as a henchman. Bautista is so massive in comparison to Craig that you are ready to believe that Bond has finally met his match. So good was his character that I would love to see him come back in a Bond film down the line, only this time with more than one word being said would be good.
Another surprise to me was the car chases, which have always been a staple of Bond films. In spectre there is no overtaking on tight corners, no ramming of cars, no big impressive jumps or flips, no explosions or crashes just a lot of one car tailing another. The car chases sadly seemed to lack inspiration and excitement when compared to almost any other Bond film.
Another staple of Bond films is 007’s unrelenting womanising. Of course we are treated to a couple of Bond girls with Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci). You would have thought that with all the fuss about the age of Monica Bellucci’s age before release that she would be in the film for more than 10 minutes. It’s actually a shame she is not in the film more. If she was the main Bond girl instead of Léa Seydoux I could have been singing Bond’s praises for being a progressive Hollywood film.
Sadly that’s not the case but you shouldn’t, and probably won’t, focus on that because Spectre manages to wrap up Daniel Craig’s Bond era in a really satisfying manner. In my eyes it’s one of the best Bond films but oddly enough not because of it being a stunning, gadget-laden spectacle. Instead its a relatively deep, involving and well paced plot that is the highlight. The only question remaining is who will be the next Bond, James Bond.
- Return of the henchman
- Introduction to super-villains
- A well rounded Bond film
- Belluci’s bit part
- Uninteresting car chases
- Waltz as the villain