A Review Of The New 007 Movie – Spectre....
A Review Of The New 007 Movie – Spectre….
Those of us who enjoy movies are living in a glorious epoch, because, thankfully, gone are the days when action movies were void of linear plotlines, and, moreover, stellar acting and directing. Perhaps, here is where I should give ‘props’ to such directors like Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight), Josh Whedon (Avengers), Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner), and John Woo (Face Off) for insisting that it is not only Period Pieces that should have good scripts and superb acting… but other supposedly lesser movie genres too. And so it is that Sam Mendes, the auteur of the recent 007s movies, including Spectre, the most recent of the cloak and dagger genre, is following in the hallowed footsteps of those directors named earlier.
An excellent action genre movie should always have a good script, a charismatic ‘bad guy,’ and exciting, heart pounding action sequences, and I am happy to report that all of these characteristics - and more - are present in the new 007 movie, Spectre. Back again is Daniel Craig, playing the more emotional Bond and doling out ass whippings to enemy henchmen of Her Majesty Service. The plot of Spectre encompasses and mirror many themes in our modern pop culture; to that end, we can see and glean elements of the much maligned Illuminati, National Security Agency (NSA), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), and the advent of technology that is a detriment to human blood, sweat, and tears. Spectre is ultimately about procuring intelligence on every aspect of our lives because of the threat of global terrorism… and gauging that delicate balance on how much of our privacy we want to surrender.
Spectre is also about sibling rivalry gone malignantly awry and this aspect of the story is where we get a glimpse into the childhood of this 007 and the reason why he wears his emotions on his proverbial Brooks Brothers sleeves. In addition, of grave concern to 007 is the fact that the powers that be at MI6 want to put him out to pasture and replace him with the advent of technology. At this juncture in Spectre, one cannot help but feel empathy for 007 because he seems like a respected relic… but his penchant for not following orders does not make it any easier for those in his supporting corner. We are later made privy to the fact why 007 is not following orders because, he is, apparently, doing so out of loyalty for and at the behest of the former late M, played by Dame Judy Dench, who has issued a posthumous ‘kill order’ to Bond for him to execute forthwith.
What makes Spectre, starring Daniel Craig, so unique from the earlier 007 Bond movies is that those who usually assist him to carry out state sponsored assassinations, are normally working off site. However, here in Spectre, the new M (Ralph Fiennes), Money-penny, and Q, all get their hands dirty because they too are out in the field battling wits and bad guys; standing out among the Bond’s supporting team is the young Q, Ben Whishaw, who eats and relishes the role as MI6’s smart aleck, tech guru. Of note too is the banter between the head of the new Intelligence order and Ralph Fiennes’ M about the merits of Human Intelligence, as opposed to the cold, calculating machines that are now part and parcel of the ‘Cloak and Dagger’ lethal game.
Christoph Waltz is our bad guy in Spectre and he plays the role with wicked, vile, charismatic flare… no different than his Oscar winning role in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Waltz’ character is not about brawn and so we are not expected to see a knock-down, dragged out fight between him and Craig - that is why he can hire henchmen like former wrestler, Dave Bautista, whom we last saw in Guardians of The Galaxy. Waltz’s take as a baddie is more cerebral and is about matching wits with Bond and the former is deemed to be so dangerous that the late M posthumously sanctioned his murder. Earlier in the blog, I mentioned that there were themes in Spectre that mirror our pop culture and so Waltz’s character is said to be almost omnipresence and omniscient and that his influence is also akin to the supposed principals that make up the New-World-Order - the Rockefellers and the Bilderberg Group - whose members are said to be card carrying members of the ultra secretive Illuminati (Spectre).
As for the action sequences, Spectre did not sell us short: the action starts with kinetic earnest in the apt milieu of Mexico’s celebration of 'The Day of the Dead,' which involved terrifying chase scenes with a helicopter; then to Tundra ice cap landscape being irrigated with bad guys’ blood; then on a train like the Orient Express; and ends up in a well orchestrated holocaust in some remote African desert. I do not know if the Bond lovers are going to be satisfied with the ending of Spectre, but I will say that sometimes death is too easy. Incidentally, I might have found a little flaw in Spectre… as a student of the movies and one who tries to pay attention to the minutiae, I thought that I saw a mistake that the editors may have missed in Spectre: in the previous 007 Bond movie, Skyfall, Q gave James a weapon that only can be used by him; however, in Spectre, I saw someone used this seemingly same weapon to off himself - perhaps, someone can enlighten me one way or the other.