Spectre (12A)

If you’ve somehow managed to avoid the trailers for Spectre then I’m sure you’ve notice the barrage of Bond-related ads out there.

For example Sony’s ironic ‘Made for Bond’ Xperia Z5 ad in which Daniel Craig never even features. There’s also the chance to smell like Bond with OO7 Fragrances’ aptly named ‘SEVEN’ aftershave. If I want to smell like women, booze and regret I could just go into Southampton on a Friday night.

We’ve been force fed this crap for months now like it’s going to produce the finest foie gras known to man, but instead it’s just resulted in Bond overload. So did the movie live up to all the hype? Not at all. I’ve had farts with more substance than Spectre.

Director Sam Mendes is normally on point with his movie, but this movie is as riddled with mistakes as Bond is with STDs.

When I found out that Christoph Waltz was going to be starring in Spectre I was delighted. He scared the bejesus out of me in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds so I was excited to see what he would bring to the table. The sad fact is that he doesn’t bring much at all, unless boredom counts. No? Nothing then.

Waltz isn’t alone in this though. Sherlock’s Andrew Scott and Bond’s geek chic Q, played by Ben Whishaw, are as equally apathetic.

Okay so what about the big guns Daniel Craig and Ralph Fiennes? Surely they could muster some enthusiasm for their latest movie? Guess again. They merely went through the motions and like any fair weather fan, made an effort when they could be bothered. Naomie Harris and Lea Seyadoux were the only ones that gave the impression that they wanted to be on the big screen.

Spectre isn’t half as good as Skyfall. The wheels have most certainly come off the Bond franchise. Like Craig’s acting in this movie, the storyline lacks any real depth.

In Spectre we see Bond globe-trotting in search of the head of a secret organisation that threatens to disrupt world order in order to make a buck or two. Meanwhile the 007 program is facing termination after one cock up too many catches the attention of the head of the Joint Intelligence Service, known as C (Andrew Scott) . We’re told that everything M (Dench not Fiennes) worked for was a waste of time and that they are behind the times. It’s a very fitting metaphor for Spectre.

A good Bond needs the following element to succeed: A goodie, a baddie, an imminent threat and the occasional cheesy one-liner. Spectre is missing quite a few of these. It lacks any real flow and seems to lose itself at times, only to come back to life in a half-arsed effort to fix it all.

Just like any good Pokemon fan, when it comes to STDs Bond has to catch them all. He’s a well-known lothario. It’s a tired concept, but hey why fix what isn’t broken right? Well Mendes didn’t think so. The result is a love story between Bond and Madeleine Swann (Lea Seyadoux) that’s spelt out for us to the point that it becomes cringe-worthy. A good romance should sell itself, this one is just laughable.

Then there’s the lacklustre Bond theme from Sam Smith who famously boasted that ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ only took him 20 minutes to write. Boy does it show! It has nothing to do with Bond in the slightest and sticks out like a sore thumb in the scene it’s shown in. Smith’s dreary melody is played out to the backdrop of the Day of the Dead in Mexico, one of the biggest and loudest events in the world.

You may think I’m a Bond hater but nothing could be further away from the truth. I yearn for the good old days of Roger Moore and Sean Connery, before the franchise became so saturated, when being James Bond meant not taking yourself too seriously.

By Ruth Walker
★★☆☆☆

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