I grew up a huge James Bond fan. In fact I owned the entire collection on VHS (including Lazenbey’s single showing) during the Brosnan era. Something about that collection of action, camp, and the debonair (probably more misogyny looking back at it) made me want to wear suits and drink something fancy while handling a weapon and government technology that cost somewhere in the ballpark of a public schools 10 year funding plan. As you can imagine I was an incredibly mature person in middle school.
Anyways, the recent changing of the guard that has taken place in this film franchise has been refreshing in many ways. The darker edge to Craig’s Bond has breathed new life into a stale expectation of the typical romp with sexually overt damsel’s in distress (Pussy Galore anyone?), heavy martini drinking, and the legitimately great (or cringe worthy) collection of dad-like witticisms and pick up lines.
In Spectre, however, there is a strange flatness throughout the film. Is this following in the line of the previous Bond reincarnations with a serious edge accented by the well placed wink and/or nod to the fun of Connery or Moore, or is the thematic GPS broken on this thing?
I don’t want to be too harsh, but it just seemed befuddled with what the movie wanted to be. Former Bond star Pierce Brosnan probably had one of the more insightful critiques – it just does not move, it stumbles and falters into strange moments of stillness, raising questions like: Why didn’t you cut this whole section out?
It is not just the dragging on of the storyline either. Note the overt messaging through eye-rolling imagery… at one point I was laughing about how many scenes can take place in all glass buildings. I get that the movie is about the growing and watchful Orwellian figures of the computer age, but the attempt at this serious connotation was too intentional, too aware, and just too consistently prominent – we got the point with the cameras and computers and old family photos… in fact we got the point with the title of the movie!
Now, as mean and nasty as I have been, Spectre was still fun, still had the action and cheek that make Bond worth watching. If you have not seen it, it’s worth checking out at the library (or waiting until Wal-Mart puts it in their $3 bin). But if you really want a Bond for the sake of Bond look elsewhere in the canon.
Now if you have the Writings of the Wall song stuck in your head, heeeeeeeeeeeeere you go. Truth be told, the video is lame. Maybe just listen and not watch: