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Movie Review: A Spectre Hangs Over Bond

 

Daniel Craig is tired of James Bond.

 

NIWNa

 

I don’t need to read the interviews leading up to his fourth appearance as the British Assassin to let me in on that fact. It shows in every step he takes, every tired line he recites – it’s obvious in every craggy line on his seamed and weary face. I see it every time he shows that grimace that is supposed to pass for a smile.

 

Gone is the steely-eyed blond that ripped through an embassy to take down a terrorist in that great entry Casino Royale. Gone is the emphatic alpha male who sat with Vesper in the shower through her shock in the same movie. Hell, gone is the lonely orphan who mourned M (Dame Judi Dench) in Skyfall.

 

The only thing left is the burnt-out husk of what was once.

 

Spectre is overall the twenty-fourth (doesn’t that just make you think of a TV series?) entry into Eon Productions’ Bond catalogue. It was directed by Sam Mendes; who also helmed the impressive Skyfall, and frame for frame; Spectre is a delight to watch.

 

If only the same thing could be said of the plot and story.

 

M (Dame Judi Dench) sends Bond a message from the grave, starting opening with the overplayed lines “If you’re watching this then something has happened to me…” so he goes rogue into Mexico and causes an international incident – as usual. Then he runs into an organization whose has been interfering in his life since Casino Royale. It’s his goal to stop this organization – but when he gets close to their leader he realizes the leader is even closer than he; Bond could ever anticipate.

 

I relish the re-introduction of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (played by Christoph Waltz), a popular Bond villain created by Ian Fleming for the novels. Blofeld owns the distinction of being the villain who killed Bond’s freshly-married wife Tracy (by himself in the novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and by proxy in the film version of same novel) – though in this movie neither Blofeld nor Waltz particularly shined. And a major downside to this villain’s upgrading is the unfortunate decision of whoever to shunt a megalomaniac genius’ plan to rule the world and replace it with sibling rivalry. I mean, how retarded is it to think they can sell some lame idea of this bad guy being behind every death of every special woman in Bond’s life – simply because of daddy issues?

 

Tragic.

 

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No offense – but for a character known for his women as well as his skills, this movie boasts the worst set of Bond women I have seen in a while – since Olga Kurylenko’s particularly-bland turn in the 2008 tragedy Quantum of Solace. Even Monica Bellucci; one-time screen queen who positively shimmered, is old and sad here. Bond’s latest squeeze; Dr. Madeline Swann (played with bored perfection by Léa Seydoux) is a pale wannabe doctor who prattles on about her fear and love for Bond – and goes from not trusting Bond to not wanting to live (or was it leave?) without him – all in twenty-four hours. Moneypenny (Naomi Harris) who was strident and energetic in Skyfall actually has more screen time here, but had presence, tone and action taken out of her. Could this be because of her relegation to desk duty after shooting Bond in Skyfall?

 

Sad.

 

The film is rich with laughs thanks to witty repertoire served by Craig in his characteristic deadpan manner. There’s an intense car chase that ends quite unspectacularly – not to mention a train fight with a surprise star; all of which points to the truth that Spectre is just another action film with no story or emotional core; factors that combined to make Craig a quite compelling Bond.

 

We shall miss him.

 

Spectre is showing at Ozone Cinemas at the following times:

Fri-Thur 6th – 12th Nov: 10:10am, 12:40pm, 2:00pm, 3:20pm, 4:40pm, 6:05pm, 7:25pm, 8:45pm

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7 responses

  1. I see it in every time he shows that grimace that’s supposed to pass for a smile.
    The very first paragraph rather blew the movie off the screen.
    Without a doubt you are one hell of a Bond enthusiast. Your knowledge of this icon hero is impressive freakish and might I add your observations on Money penny is so on point, it saddens.
    Yes, I believe old blue eyes is tired, lost his gumption for this particular role. The rest of the movie is your predictable action movie bravado. Despite this realistic and I would be offended if it was not there ( your dry humor and sarcasm) hehehee, Craig is still my 3rd fave of all 007’s.
    You nailed this one Mr Odukoya 🙂

    November 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    • I agree. His Is my all time favourite too . I like him because he balances the macho Bond with the womanizer with the sensitive Bond without missing a beat. Sean Connery raised to power 100.

      Pierce was just another pretty boy – just like Roger Moore.

      Sigh. We wait another ten years…

      Thank you ma’am.

      November 10, 2015 at 12:12 pm

  2. omgoodness, Connery was/ is the ultimate 007 for me. when Criag came on, I thought I had just died and gone to st Peters,lol
    I suppose it was that combo of rugged looks and sensitive balance…usually does it for us women 🙂
    Well as they say, it’s a good year to die. I personally will miss him.

    November 10, 2015 at 12:28 pm

  3. Daniel is my favourite bond though, above Sean. Here’s a dude who can take a beating and has just the right amount of macho, finesse and class.

    I mostly agree with you though – particularly with the characterisations and all. It was too shallow in my opinion and I already had misgivings when I saw the runtime. For a movie that promises elaborate trappings, they seemed to be in too much of a hurry.

    I enjoyed this, as I do most Bond movies. This for me ranks above Quantum of Solace and Skyfall. But that isn’t even a compliment.

    November 10, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    • Ah. I will fight – in fact I will ki you over that last bit. This one over Skyfall ogini?!

      In fact, I forgot to add my Craig Bond ranking in order:

      Casino Royale.

      Skyfall.

      Spectre.

      Quantum of Solace.

      November 10, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      • Ess me o…I can barely remember what happened in Skyfall. Ditto this. Bhet Casino Royale? Every bit! Oya kee me…lol

        November 10, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      • We still haven’t had that…

        After then, I will do the do.

        November 10, 2015 at 5:51 pm

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