MOVIE REVIEW: SPECTRE
Bek: Directed by Sam Mendes, this latest Bond venture stars Ralph Fiennes (M), Léa Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Monica Bellucci (random hot widow), Ben Whishaw (Q) and Naomie Harris (Moneypenny). Oh, and that guy. Whats-his-name.
In Spectre, a naked Bond fights a sexy octopus. Wait…my bad, that’s the open sequence, which is full of erotic tentacle love.
Char: Yeah, it was a bit disturbing, even by Bond standards. All that ink flying around was highly suggestive. I’ll add that I’m usually extremely impatient in Bond opening titles. I dislike the old-school thing of crediting everyone while we listen to some eurovision-level forgettable song and watch a stylised sequence that ends with Bond awkwardly shooting me from the hip. But I’m interrupting the context information. Keep going Bek.
Bek: As with all other Bond movies, Spectre is told in the usual detective story framework, where our manly-man’s-man hero goes rogue to chase a bad guy intent on taking over the world. Along the way: Bond has a helicopter fight, gets in car chases, flies to exotic locations and makes lame dad jokes.
Char: Ok, so I realised watching this film that I just about never follow the plot of any Bond film. To me, it’s like pow-biff-wham-explosion!! sexy times … oh, Bond’s in that city now, okay: pow-biff-wham! more sexy, now something’s being explained I think I—pow! biff! kaboooom!!! roll credits. So, the fact I sort of followed this one says that it might have been a little slow. Or maybe they’ve just gotten better providing flashbacks so that I can remember the small but important bits of banter that I miss that explains why Bond is suddenly in some frozen lake place when he was just in bloody Rome.
Bek: For Bond, this is all possible.
Char: All this and more, apparently. Because a few things bothered me in the logic … like, when Bond takes the DB10. And Q gives him 48 hours. It takes 18 hours minimum to drive to Rome (yes, I googled in the cinema. You can’t hate me. I was in the back row and I stood up for some people who came in to find other people had nicked their seats) … so, like, is that what he supposedly did? Drove 18 hours straight, then arrived fresh as a blue-eyed daisy to do his suave butt kicking? Hmmm.
Bek: I don’t think Bond and logic mix much.
Char: What? Actually you might be right. But I think this one was worse than the earlier ones. Anyway, this is also a film of women-you’ve-seen-in-other-movies, like that chick from Matrix Reloaded. And the one from Midnight in Paris. And the romance is possibly the laziest ever. I mean, so I thought that the Bond-Vesper love thing in Casino Royale was pretty well done. I believed it, much more than I believed it in the original Ian Fleming story. Now, in this flick, there’s one line to explain why Dr-French-accent is Bond’s perfect girl – because she’s the daughter of a spy, possibly the only one who can understand him. Ummm, yeah, OR MAYBE SHE’LL JUST HATE HIS GUTS BECAUSE OF THAT. It was lazy. Lee Child romance lazy.
Bek: Hey! I like Lee Child’s romance! (Jack Reacher, call me). I didn’t mind the love interest angle so much, but found issue with a distinct lack of sexual tension between Madeleine Swan and Bond. Unlike Monica Bellucci’s character, who sizzled onscreen. And was age appropriate. Why not cast her as the main babe? That, I would have liked to see.
Char: Good point. But isn’t that a thing with Bond? There’s always disposable girl before forever (read: for the next 5 mins) girl? There was that evil dude’s wife that Bond got with in Casino Royale, you know, the one riding the stallion down the beach (love a horsey metaphor).
Bek: The villain’s lair, naturally, is of course in a meteor crater and it is here that he wants to drill into Bond’s brain, because he has daddy issues. Or something like that. I found there was a lot less emoting in this movie than the past Daniel Craig ventures, and I kind of missed that. But it’s slick, with a healthy dose of nostalgia for the old Bond movies (white kitty, car ejector seats, etc, etc).
Char: You say nostalgia … I say it got a bit Austin Powers. I know Powers is parodying Bond, but when the parody has been out for years, it’s weird when you do the old thing in the new movies. The cat. The family connection. The evil-German-woman-in-the-evil-organisation thing. And yes, I definitely liked the more vulnerable Bond of Casino Royale. It was fresh, and I didn’t see enough of Bond being challenged with real stakes in this outing. He seems a bit too immune to what’s going on, a bit too lucky. I’ll freely admit I like blond men, and make them a slightly surly quasi-military type like Bond, I’m in. Just give me a reason to think he actually is a man, and not a robot (I draw the line at robots). Remember the torture scene from Casino Royale? See what I mean?
Bek: When the Bad Guy scratched Bond’s balls? Yeah. I mean, I don’t have any, and I still winced.
Char: Exactly. I mean, what kind of evil organisation is this?
Bek’s Grade: 7 Sexy Octopuses out of 10
Char’s Grade: 6 Evil Frauleins out of 10
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