I recently saw Spectre.
And true to form, it disappointed.
Its come to a point that a very good James Bond is as rare as a sighting of Arsenal during the knockout stages of Champions League.
Make no mistake, it wasn’t awful by any stretch of the imagination. At the same time, it wasn’t good either.
Meh is the word.
Just look at this table of Bond movies and their ratings on Rotten Tomatoes
|Dr. No||1962||Sean Connery||96% (51 reviews)|
|From Russia with Love||1963||Sean Connery||96% (51 reviews)|
|Goldfinger||1964||Sean Connery||96% (56 reviews)|
|Thunderball||1965||Sean Connery||86% (43 reviews)|
|You Only Live Twice||1967||Sean Connery||72% (43 reviews)|
|On Her Majesty’s Secret Service||1969||George Lazenby||82% (45 reviews)|
|Diamonds Are Forever||1971||Sean Connery||67% (43 reviews)|
|Live and Let Die||1973||Roger Moore||66% (44 reviews)|
|The Man with the Golden Gun||1974||Roger Moore||45% (44 reviews)|
|The Spy Who Loved Me||1977||Roger Moore||79% (47 reviews)|
|Moonraker||1979||Roger Moore||60% (45 reviews)|
|For Your Eyes Only||1981||Roger Moore||74% (46 reviews)|
|Octopussy||1983||Roger Moore||42% (43 reviews)|
|A View to a Kill||1985||Roger Moore||35% (54 reviews)|
|The Living Daylights||1987||Timothy Dalton||70% (50 reviews)|
|Licence to Kill||1989||Timothy Dalton||77% (52 reviews)|
|GoldenEye||1995||Pierce Brosnan||78% (72 reviews)|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||1997||Pierce Brosnan||57% (82 reviews)|
|The World Is Not Enough||1999||Pierce Brosnan||51% (136 reviews)|
|Die Another Day||2002||Pierce Brosnan||57% (214 reviews)|
|Casino Royale||2006||Daniel Craig||95% (245 reviews)|
|Quantum of Solace||2008||Daniel Craig||65% (279 reviews)|
|Skyfall||2012||Daniel Craig||93% (340 reviews)|
|Spectre||2015||Daniel Craig||64% (231 reviews)|
Pay particular attention to the last dozen or so films – from Octopussy to Spectre.
How many of that lot were really good?
License to Kill, Goldeneye, Casino Royale, Skyfall.
The other 7 are spectacular shite.
And then there is Spectre.
Lets start from the beginning
That opening song is god awful.
Its one of the worst songs of the last 5 years anywhere, never mind in films.
And what’s with the song title – the whole point of that song is that it shares the name of the movie – Goldfinger, Live and Let Die (personal favorite), Skyfall are all great.
And then there is this Sam Smith song called Writings on the All – that song might be a nice opening song for a movie like Love Actually or Notebook or Atonement.
But this is James freaking Bond for fucks sake!!!!
Then we come to that whole Mexico City opening segment.
It starts off fabulously with a very good background theme.
But then it becomes inexplicable with explosions.
Plus Bond is supposed to beat the bad guy, but not supposed to put the lives of thousands at risk. (I can’t describe much else without giving out spoilers)
Remember that running opening chase in Casino Royale and that Istanbul one in Skyfall?
This segment has no chase, no edge of the seat excitement.
Its just dull.
Then there is the story. Its convoluted, long and makes not much sense.
Even someone with below par IQ like my mono-testicular friend the Gudduda can easily find out huge ass plot holes.
Its a bad story when the two most important questions that keep hammering your skulls are “But, why?” and “Now what”? Moreover, its a criminal waste of talents like Monicca Bellucci and Christopher Waltz.
James Bond (them movies, not the books) always involves some epic misogyny. But throughout all the sexual conquests, one thing has remained steadfast. Bond has always cared about the women, and has always tried to keep them safe.
Well, not here.
Here he beds Bellucci and once he has the information he needs, he, for all practical purposes, just discards her like some used tissue paper.
Not cool man, not cool.
That’s what villains are supposed to do, not heroes.
Why he has to fuck her to get the information is another one of life’s mysteries – just save her life, take her to a protected place and she will give you the information.
And what do you do with some information?
You go to the lair of the grand villain with nary a plan. You meet the grand villain.
You barely escape.
And then you do a whole tangenital story arc for some weird convoluted reason to try and find the lair of the grand villain!
The hell man, you already know!!
What makes an action movie great?
Its villains of course.
Javier Bardem in Skyfall was glorious; Hannibal the cannibal in Casino Royale excellent
There are 3 in this picture
There is Batista
There is Moriarty
And there is Blofeld.
Batista is the silent assassin – the big bad. He plays his role perfectly, with an air of charming menace.
But this is a man who is the Bondian equivalent of Bane, the way he dies is just so stupid and abrupt.
Moriarty is fine, it just feels like after being bested by Sherlock, he has decided to become a sidekick to Blofeld – the acting style is so similar.
Blofeld, on the other hand, is a catastrophe.
Here’s the most powerful man on the earth; the man who controls everything; the man who is closest to an omniscient god.
And he has only about half a dozen security guards
And a headquarters that gets blown up by a watch.
What kind of fuckwittery is this?
Also, he sends Batista to kill Bonds. And when Bond actually comes into his headquarters, instead of killing him on the spot, he decided on some 1960s Batmanesque cheesy campy torture.
Its as if he has never even watched the Good Bad and Ugly.
Admittedly, There is a time and a place for cheesy campy tortures – 1960/70 Batman and James Bond. But Bond is supposed to escape such dimwittedness with some awesome gadgets.
A whole cornucopia of cheesiness – but that’s what expected.
But Spectre has no gadgets, here Bond is more like Jason Bourne.
But here’s the thing with Jason Bourne – he does not need gadgets because he will kill you with a toothbrush or a newspaper; he will strangle you with your own farts.
And Bourne’s villains don’t’ do cheesy.
The equation is simple
Serious villains = Bourne
Campy villains = Bond
That’s whats expected. You can’t have Bond acting as a substitute Bourne beating up campy villains.
That’s just nor right.
Plus, you know what the most devastating torture out there is?
You leave a man alive with only his memories and watch them slowly kill him from the inside out. Scars fade, wounds heal, but your memories are what will kill you.
And here the torture involves taking away Bond’s memories.
Just what exactly is the point of that?
The story leaves so many questions unanswered.
What happens to Bellucci?
What happens to Blofeld?
What happens to Bond?
What happens to Bishwaksen after he has wasted 3 hours of his life watching this?
After the glorious highs of Skyfall, this is all so mundane, all so boring, all such a disappointment.
There is no point in being “na ghar ka, na ghat ka” half assedness is just wrong.
Either be full on Bourne or be like the best Bond out there