Spectre Review

Spectre_posterBefore going in to see the latest 007 movie, you can’t help but ignore the fact it’s made by the same director, writers, and cast as Skyfall, one of the best flicks in Bond’s 50+ year history. Then they added the talents of Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, and Christoph Waltz, high caliber thespians all, so I have to wonder: what the fucking hell happened?!

This movie is a goddamn mess. Plain and simple. No, it’s not the worst movie I’ve seen year, all of you know by now I’ve seen some stinkier pieces of shit. But this film is uneven throughout and nothing clicks. So spoiler warning, I’m going to be discussing plot points later on in this thing because may of the film’s failings are inseparable from what I hesitate to call “twists” in the movie. I’ll give you the heads up naturally.

We start with Bond on an assassination mission from the late M (Judi Dench) as a final order to eliminate a guy in Mexico and attend his funeral. After a particularly reckless fight through the city (more so than what I’ve come to expect from Daniel Craig’s modern Bond) we are treated to one of the worst Bond songs I can remember from Sam Smith with an equally terrible and bizarre credits sequence. Anyways, killing the dude in Mexico sets James Bond on a collision course with the clandestine operation of Spectre and it’s “mysterious” leader, Oberhauser, who is connected to Bond’s past.

Before getting to Oberhauser, let’s talk about the writing first…its goddamn terrible. A Bond flick typically has smart, witty one liners couched with sexual innuendo. I didn’t laugh once at the dialogue in this film. It’s mostly exposition oddly, and it felt clunky and awkward at times especially when Bond is macking on the ladies. Even stranger is when Bond begins flirting with the main Bond girl played by Léa Seydoux as Dr. Swann and nearly 15 minutes later in the film, she straight up says “I love you” to Bond.

Now, I get that they were “trying” to give Bond an equal in this movie, but the effort falls flat entirely. Swann is no where near as charming or alluring as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, the only woman you could actually believe Bond would give up the spy business for. Seydoux is just too bland of an actress and she lacks any discernable personality aside from switching roles from ice queen upon meeting Bond to assassin later on to damsel in distress in the final moments of the film.

That and Craig and Seydoux really don’t have any chemistry. You get more of that when Bellucci is in the film…for all of three minutes. I do not understand the point of hyping up Bellucci of becoming a Bond girl only to follow this other chick for the large part of the movie.

But Bond’s relationships and writing aren’t the only things that fall flat in Spectre. Somehow even the action scenes seem to peter out every chance the movie gets. Several chase scenes drag on far longer than they have to with no score to pump you up. You should never make me wish I was watching a Fast and Furious movie to see a better car chase, but that’s how honestly how I felt. Plus some sequences defy all logic or common sense when Bond pulls an airplane out of his ass in this downhill slope sequence that could have easily been just as exciting with literally any other vehicle than a goddamn airplane.

The biggest explosion in the movie happens around the 2/3 mark and it only happens after Bond and his lady friend are far and away to be in any danger of getting blown up. It truly felt unnecessary and ultimately pointless. Even the climax is hardly a climax. There’s a fight between the new M (played by Voldermort, I mean Ralph Fiennes) and the guy who plays Moriarty on Sherlock, that’s hardly even a fight. Q just hacks into a computer database and that’s the end of that conflict. Even Bond doesn’t have a final grand confrontation with the main villain, Oberhauser.

Now here’s where I have to fully spoil the movie. So every one who doesn’t want to be spoiled, skip to the last paragraph. Everybody else, read on….

They’re gone? Great, Oberhauser reveals himself to Bond to be his adoptive brother. Not only that, but Oberhauser is also Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the legendary villain from You Only Live Twice and inspiration for Dr. Evil. So yes, Spectre takes the same ill-fated approach to using a legendary villain as Star Trek Into Darkness did and swear up and down that the main villain TOTALLY isn’t who you think it is only to reveal towards the end that he TOTALLY was the villain you thought he was. And if it didn’t work then, it REALLY doesn’t work now.

It gets dumber when Blofeld claims he only started Spectre, an organization dedicated to controlling the entire world, all because he felt his father was giving Bond too much attention…that’s it. That fucking stupid. You started a global criminal syndicate because daddy didn’t love you? Get the fuck out of here.

Oh and as extra special insult, but the film reveals that every villain in Craig’s movies were all actually members of Spectre THIS WHOLE TIME. Weak. Ass. Shit. It makes Bond’s world feel incredibly small and it just takes the mystery and unpredictability of 007 to follow a predictable “destiny” plot line. As Blofeld grandly reveals HE is the “architect” of all of Bond’s pain. I’m surprised he didn’t go as far as to reveal Blofeld was the one who killed 007’s parents.

It’s completely nonsensical and it really saps the energy that existed in the Craig movies. Even then, I wouldn’t call this the WORST Bond film. I’ve seen Moonraker and Die Another Day for Christ’s sake. But this is definitely on the low end of Bond’s 24 film collection.

Cannot believe the creators of one of the best Bond films also made one of the weakest entries in the series. There are some decent action scenes to be found here, but this is not worth a trip to the theaters. It pains me to give this rating, especially to what may very well be the final outing for Daniel Craig as Bond, but this is a low…


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