Director: Sam Mendes
Writer: John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Jez Butterworth
Based on: Ian Fleming‘s James Bond novels
Sequel to: Casino Royal, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall
Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, Rory Kinnear, Judi Dench
Seen on: 10.11.2015
The 00 program is still reeling from recent (forced) restructures. Now M (Ralph Fiennes) has to fight to keep it going at all as C (Andrew Scott) tries to establish a more technological data gathering approach to spying. Meanwhile, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is on a mission. A mysterious message from the old M (Judi Dench) reaches him, sending him to a funeral in Italy and with it right in the middle of Spectre – a secret organization that seems to have its hand in every major global event.
I’m not a huge Bond fan – which is probably why I enjoyed the most recent efforts in the franchise (well, apart from Quantom of Solace) as it seemed a step away from the worst of Bond’s inherent sexism. Plus, they were good actions films. Spectre, unfortunately, is a jump back into the 70s and with it, into all the Bond-pitfalls that the Craig-Bond-era has at least partly avoided. I was disappointed.
Spectre gets off to a good start. The long opening shot with no (discernible) cuts was exciting and beautifully done (if you disregard the blatant cultural appropriation of the Día de muertos and the never-mentioned again decoy woman). And then the opening credits start and the entire film immediately falls apart. The song is weak, but the credits themselves are an exercise in tentacle porn. As they unfolded before my horrified eyes, I really couldn’t believe that they would go there. (Another reviewer called it “an Apple ad for tentacle porn” which hits the nail on the head.)
But somehow it only gets worse from there, especially regarding the sexism. Women magically lose their clothes throughout the film and/or have inexplicable costume changes, Bellucci’s character is literally only there to get fondled and deliver some information and neither Bond nor the film concern themselves with her any more after that, during a pivotal scene Moneypenny has to wait in the car for some absurd reason – maybe they hoped that her not getting to say a word when the men are making plans is less noticeable that way. Seydoux’ character withstands Bond’s charm for a while, only to throw herself at his feet even harder.
While the movie drowns itself in references to other entries in the Bond franchise, they forget to actually develop the plot that is there and it all culminates in the most ridiculous ending I have seen in a very long while. It is so bad, in fact, that I wish this highly depressing, bleak and awful theory about what it means were actually true (although it doesn’t make complete sense either).
But I could have probably lived with the sexism. I could have lived with the sutpidity (and with suddenly appearing glass walls). I could have lived with a whole lot of fuckery if the movie had managed to be at least entertaining. But the fact of the matter is that I spent long, long, long stretches of the film being absolutely bored. And that just kills everything else.