**Warning – This is riddled with spoilers**
Let’s try and come up with the perfect James Bond film. You and I right now, lets try and come up with the story that somehow encapsulates the best of the Bond franchise so far.
Ok, so. Lets start with the villain. Easy – That’s got to be Ernst Stavro Blofelt. Don’t forget he has a cat. Next? He needs a henchman, the best ones always have henchmen. Some sort of combination between Jaws and Oddjob is what we need. Seemingly unstoppable force of nature who doesn’t speak. The car? Well both a beautiful new car with some gadgets, but also obviously we need the DB5.
The villain needs a lair, in some sort of mountain. Or volcano. Or crater.
So now lets get talking about scenes. We need a fight on a train, we need a speedboat chase. Now lets not forget the greatest of all Bond scenes. The single greatest moment in the franchise. Bond strapped down as a laser slowly approaches him. Not in an attempt to make him talk but because the bad guy just wanted to kill him. We can’t use a laser though, maybe some sort of drill?
We need an ejector seat. We need some sort of ski chase. Hey even better – lets change it from Bond on skis to Bond using a plane like skis chasing down a mountain. We need Q out in the field. We obviously need exotic locations. We need one of those scenes where all the bad guys are sat around a massive table talking about evil things like a normal business meeting.
Now. Lets talk about Bond. We need a bit of darkness, but we need a bit of comedy. We need some light hearted moments like the car playing Sinatra songs. We need some moments where we show things about Bond’s past to capture the Casino Royale ‘bond becoming bond’ moments. We need Judi Dench somehow.
Spectre is not a new Bond film. It is a greatest hits album by the James Bond franchise. A Frankenstein’s Bond that is the product of a group of people throwing the kitchen sink at trying to make the most successful Bond film that the world has ever seen.
I love James Bond films. I bloomin’ love them. There’s a good part of me that enjoyed Spectre. Its hard not to. Its beautifully shot, and it’s jam packed with moments that are Bond through and through.
But when I stand back, the reality is that it didn’t make a lot of sense at times, was 30-45 minutes too long and it an attempt to be everything, ended up not really being anything other than really fun in parts. For me it quickly ranks in the bottom half of Bond films.
We’ve enjoyed seeing the origins of James Bond in recent films. So somehow in an attempt to give us more of that, we now end up with the insane idea that Bond and Blofelt grew up together for a while. But lets not mention that for a bit, even when they’re talking. Lets hang onto that one for later.
In the era now of franchises that link stories together (Marvel, Nolan Batman’s etc) it attempts to do this by putting the villains from previous Craig films under the organisation, even pinning up some of their photos on walls (not really sure why). It even tries to explain the whole Quantum business.
Some positives. It’s shot beautifully. The opening long scene is fantastically executed. The set pieces are very well done and both Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux are great. Daniel Craig does everything that is asked of him.
Ultimately, when you listen to a greatest hits album, its hard not to enjoy the favourites from the past, and thats where Spectre left me. Its a bit more of a pretty serious Austin Powers film rather than a new Bond film.
6/10 (1st act 9/10, 3rd act 2/10)