Spectre spoilers ahead. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t want the few surprises contained in the film revealed, Do Not click the continue reading (or look at the Wikipedia page—there is a massive spoiler in first line).
Everyone else, did Spectre deliver everything we hoped? (Not sure what we were hoping for? Check here)
So what were we looking for?
- A good Bond girl. No Bond girl deaths, which isn’t a bad thing. Monica Bellucci played Lucia Sciarra, the widow of the assassin Bond dramatically kills by throwing him from a looping helicopter in the opening sequence. Bellucci doesn’t get a great deal to work with and the best she gets is shot of her post-coital in a corset. Dr. Madeleine Swann is the main Bond girl and daughter of Quantum villain Mr White from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Not a screamer and unconvincingly saves Bond from being thrown off a train. We could have hoped for more than just a hostage love interest who Bond rides off into the London morning. She didn’t exactly give us much.
- A car chase with an Aston Martin. Bond takes a spin in the BD10 on the streets of Rome. Have there been better car chases in Bond film? Yes. Even Quantum of Solace had a better car chase. Die Another Day had a better car chase. Compared to just about any Bond car chase, this was the equivalent of watching Paw Patrol. However, the DB5 appeared in the drive off into the morning rush hour. Enough said.
- Great locations. Rainy London appeared. Mexico City was amazing. The Austrian Alps were nothing more than snow. Rome at night was ok. The Spectre base in the desert was slightly reminiscent of the Quantum of Solace ending. Not a good comparison.
- Secret organisations. The SPECTRE board meeting was good. Slightly too convenient and hardly as discrete as the Quantum meeting. Not a hugely inspiring criminal organisation, just a group of well dressed business men and women collected together. It lacked an underlying sense of evil or threat. While the delivery of criminal activity was clearly drawn from a scene in Thunderball, this one lacked sinister intent.
- A great Bond villain. Not a huge surprise but Franz Oberhauser turns out to be Ernst Blofeld complete with his fluffy cat. A nice origin of the facial disfigurement, because you can’t have a villain without a disfigurement. Christoper Waltz did a great job, let’s hope he is signed up for another film.
- The essential Bond characters. All the gang are there, except Felix who gets an honorable mention. No one dies and everyone is a little bit in trouble. In the final section of the film, the support cast (minus Felix) are essential. If it wasn’t for them, the computer would have turned itself on at midnight. Oh no, shock, horror, gasp (sarcasm intended).
What else did we get?
- I’d like the beginning of more encounters with Spectre and possibly an origin for Bloefeld or a transition to Blofeld. The Blofeld origin was more or less presented. The whole ‘James Bond stole my dad so I killed him’ was ok. I was a little curious why Blofeld hadn’t gone after Bond before. Oh wait, apparently he had, in the form of all the other Daniel Craig films. Blofeld claims to have been behind the deaths of Vesper Lynn and M, but he obviously hasn’t watched the films because Vesper let herself get killed after trapping herself in a lift, or did I misunderstand that moment? I suppose he was saying he ordered the deaths. Not exactly the sae thing, but we get what he is saying. No doubt Blofeld is going to get out and hopefully cause some trouble. It is possible, the film just didn’t give any indication.
- Emotional time with Bond. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a great deal of time given over to Bond being an orphan or Bond’s childhood with Oberhauser. It did feel a little like a couple of scenes found their way onto the cutting room floor. With a two and a half hour run time, probably not a bad thing. I’m sure we’ll see them on the bluray. As for Swann, Bond has had a couple of vaguely convincing relationships, this didn’t seem like a convincing relationship.
- A complete film. The threat was a little boring. It wasn’t immediately threatening. Captain America had a technological threat that was going to kill hundreds of people. In Skyfall, uncover agents were going to get killed. Here it was just turning on a computer system that would share secret society resources. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly made life threatening. As for resolving the threat, yeah sure. Q turned off the computer. But haven’t the countries already voted. Won’t they just turn it back on?
- Don’t kill off Christoph Waltz. There is a moment when Bond might have shot Waltz, but he didn’t. Let’s hope we see him again in the next film.
Final verdict? It ticked all the boxes. It’s going to make a lot of money. But it is a mediocre Bond film. Watchable. Better than Quantum of Solace, but falling short of the promise of Skyfall.