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The name's Bond, James Bond
A Changing of the Guard?
Yes, we know that Daniel Craig has very publically indicated that he is no longer interested in populating the role of the top agent on Her Majesties’ Secret Service, but that shouldn’t stop us from still tall talking about his last outing as James Bond — especially as it was his initial appearance in that role that led us back to truly enjoying the franchise.
Spectre 007 (Blu-ray)
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.
Bond is on the Hunt
So, to jump right in, we start this one out with Bond (still Craig) on a rogue mission in first Mexico City, where he winds up not only blowing up a large part of a building, but killing an infamous criminal named Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona), whom Bond has been tracking. Checking in at HQ, Bond is spanked by M (Fiennes) for going off-script, which Bond brushes off as he is wont to do before scurrying off to Rome, where the MI6 agent is meets the very beautiful Lucia (Bellucci), Sciarra’s widow. Bond then infiltrates a secret meeting of some very mysterious fellows, where he uncovers the existence of the sinister organization known as SPECTRE.
SPECTRE - Final Trailer (Official)
Chasing Down the Leads
Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh, (Andrew Scott) the new head of the Centre of National Security, who not only questions Bond’s actions but goes on to challenge the actual relevance of MI6 led by M. All the while, Moneypenny and Q (both of whom have been covertly enlisted by Bond to assist on his current quest) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann, (Seydoux) who is the daughter of his old nemesis Mr. White, (Jesper Christensen) who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of the assassin, Swann seems to understand Bond in a way that most others apparently cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks.
In Mexico City
Now for the Fun Part!
As with other Craig-lead Bond films, this one is a twisted Gordian knot of lies, secrets, and deception that wind themselves around high-octane intrigue, firefights, hyper-kinetic violence, and high-speed chase sequences. Yes, much of a Bond film is seeing what exciting thing is going to blow up next as he wends his way through the mystery to arrive at the conclusion and breaking the back of whatever sinister plot is afoot this time around. Still that doesn’t so much make the films monotonous, but really does (for some of us at least) add to the thrill of the hunt.
The King of Cool
The Legacy of Bond
Sure, sure Jason Borne may very well be tougher and rougher, Jack Bauer may be more aggressively pro-active, and Nick Fury may be more Machiavellianly suave, but when talking about the very definition of über-spy coolness, Bond is the cock of the walk. Now while — as we pointed out at the top of this piece — Craig is no longer part of the legend, we still can look forward to who might very well be next in line to take over this very iconic spot. Several names have been bandied about, including Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Henry Cavill (who just did a turn as Napoleon Solo in the big-screen reboot of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.), Tom Hiddleston (who is currently playing a spy John le Carré's The Night Manager on AMC), Jason Statham, Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth, and (believe it or not) Gillian Anderson (Scully from X-Files).
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
The Once and Future Bond
Whoever winds up next as Bond (including apparently even Craig himself), we’ll just have to wait and see. In the mean time we still have the eight actors who have already played Bond (nine if you count David Oyelowo who played Bond in the audiobook Trigger Mortis), 26 films and one TV series.
Ian Fleming whittled the effigy of James Bond out of his experiences with the British naval intelligence during World War II. After the publication of his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in1952, 007 quickly became a cultural icon in the Cold War and a fixture in our collective consciousness. In SPECTRE, Laurence A. Rickels examines Fleming's novels and film adaptations like never before, looking awry at Bond through the sieve of psychoanalytic theory, history, and Kulturindustrie. Within the Bond universe, SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) is the global terrorist organization run by supervillain Ernst Stavro Bloefeld. Fleming added SPECTRE late in the game for the crossover into the film medium. The ghostly amalgam of perpetrators and victims of the Nazi era, SPECTRE deconstructs and manipulates the opposition of the Cold War, its repression of the recent past, in order to promote the welfare of an organization that is in every sense an underworld. For Rickels, SPECTRE is a theoretical apparatus whereby he monitors and measures the flows, intensities and codings of the Bond universe while using it to read other texts, ranging from the writings of Goethe, Shakespeare and Derrida to the post-Freudian theories of Melanie Klein. This visionary, richly allusive study breaks new ground while extending ideas developed in such works as Aberrations of Mourning and Nazi Psychoanalysis. Rickels' approach is at once playful and pointed as he looms over Bond and lays him bare on the chaise.