Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

Warning: This review contains major spoilers for Spectre!

There are no bad James Bond movies, but… some are better than others. If you liked Skyfall, you’ll probably like this one, but I personally had many problems with Skyfall, and I think Spectre is an even weaker film.

I will praise the cinematography: this is a beautifully shot film, with lots of on-location shooting that milks Rome, Austria, Mexico City, and London for all their gorgeous worth, and a few impressive long takes, such as the shot of Bond taking a jaunt across rooftops during the Day of the Dead festival after waltzing out of a lady’s hotel bedroom. And some of the action scenes are pretty good and well-executed—though none really stood out for me. The most memorable and best is probably the fight scene with wrestler Dave Bautista (his character is called Mr. Hinx, but you’ll only know that from the credits), but that was a bit clumsy, plot-wise, and he literally comes out of nowhere, and the fact that it’s the last we see of him is a bit lame.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review
The article continues after this advertisement...

Frankly, Bautista was kind of wasted. He’s supposed to be the movie’s resident Invincible Henchman, but he gets zero lines and mostly just stands around being menacing and doing the occasional evil thing. He’s introduced gouging out the eyes of a fellow Spectre operative in an “eviler than thou” moment, but not only did they not make this method of killing a signature of his (I got the impression that it was supposed to be, but he never tries to do this again, as far as I can remember), he never really does anything other than show up as an excuse for some action scenes, before he dies in the second act. Given the way he was billed, and the way he’s introduced, this is kind of weird.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

And if he got the short end of the stick, Monica Bellucci basically got a twig. For all the attention she got for this role, she’s in the film for maybe ten minutes before disappearing forever. It’s a glorified cameo, which makes me wonder why her role was given so much media buzz. Except, of course, the obvious answer: she’s a recognizable enough name to help put backsides in seats.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

Oh, and Judi Dench shows up to kick off the story, but this thread is left completely unexplained. Bond shows a video to Moneypenny where M tells him to find and kill a certain man, which we see him do in the cold open before the opening credits. But afterwards? Nothing. Not even a mention. Who was this guy? How did M know him? Why did she want him dead? There was no explanation whatsoever.

Here’s one of a number of forced contrivances that tie this paper-thin plot together: the man in question is Marco Scarria, who turns out to be an operative of Spectre, which Bond is put on the trail of because he nicks Scarria’s ring in a fight. Why did he steal it? Who knows. He didn’t even see the Spectre symbol (which I always thought was an actual “spectre”, but according to the opening credits, it’s an octopus. Oh, well) from where he was. He just saw the silver ring, and he snatched it.

Later on, some terrible technobabble that would make the CSI writers roll their eyes is used to tie this to every villain in the last three Bond films. Apparently, at some point, each of these long-dead people were in contact with this specific ring (did they shake Scarria’s hand? Was that supposed to be it? Or do Spectre agents share rings like dirty needles?) which enables computer genius Q to figure out that everything that happened in the previous three films has been orchestrated by one organization (which is evidently not Quantum) because they left DNA residue on the ring, or something.

I’m tempted to say they pulled this out of their backsides, but of course the first two Daniel Craig films were setting this up somewhat, and while Skyfall gave no hints to this, it does seem that the films might have had a bit of a color-coded naming hint going on: Mr. White, Dominic Greene, Raoul Silva. And the studio only re-acquired the rights to the SPECTRE/Spectre name late in 2013, so maybe it’s just a case of actually having a plan, but executing it poorly.

One of the reasons SPECTRE worked in the Connery films was that both Bond and the audience knew from the first movie that this was who Bond was up against, and they built up the confrontation expertly, right up to the climactic reveal in You Only Live Twice where Bond finally meets the cat-stroking evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld face-to-face, whom the audience had been menaced by since From Russia with Love.

And yes, in case you’re wondering: Franz Oberhauser, the character played by Christoph Waltz, is indeed Blofeld in this continuity, but it loses impact since a) it was as obvious a reveal as KHAAAAAN! in Star Trek: Into Darkness, and b) unlike the original series, there’s no build up: Spectre is only named and introduced here in this movie, and we’re merely told that they were behind everything else up to this point (they don’t even bother explaining the finer details of this; it’s closer to the reveal in Day 7 of 24, which was basically, “Yeah, so this random bad guy you’ve never seen before? He was behind everything. And now he’s in jail!”). It’s not that this wasn’t hinted at or anything, but the fact that it’s a “big reveal” kind of misses the point of what made the original so great.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

Instead, they give us a very, very lame and lazy backstory to make it “personal” between Blofeld and Bond this time around, to make up for the lack of build-up: Bond, as in the novels, was raised by a mountain climber named Hannes Oberhauser following the death of his parents, and Franz is an original character who’s supposed to be his son, who grew jealous of how his father treated the young James (oh yes, he calls him “James”, so we don’t even get to hear Blofeld call him “Mr. Bond”, which is what he always called him in the older movies, and if you watch Diamonds are Forever, this is even a hint to tell Blofeld apart from his body doubles). So Franz killed his father in (or with?) an avalanche (yes, an avalanche. How, exactly?) and was presumed dead, but apparently survived, took the name Ernst Stavro Blofeld (from his mother’s side, he says), and somehow went from the son of a mountain climber to the founder and head of the most dangerous and sophisticated criminal empire the world has ever seen.

Yes, you read that right: Blofeld, in this continuity, is James Bond’s foster brother, and that’s why he hates him. It’s a “twist” of Mortal Kombat proportions. And they don’t even do anything with it. Sure, Bond is motivated to hunt Blofeld down after learning the treacherous sociopath is still alive, but we don’t learn why until the two finally meet and Blofeld, after giving a guided tour of his evil lair (naturally), tortures Bond (in an admittedly effective scene involving Blofeld sadistically drilling holes into Bond’s skull. Also, his cat is there). And afterwards, Bond just calls him “Blofeld” anyway, so it’s a weak build up with a weak payoff in a weak attempt to capture the enmity of one of the most famous cinematic archenemy relationships of all time in the most clumsy and lazy manner possible.

This scene ends with Bond and Bond girl Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) escaping Blofeld’s high-tech desert lair, in the middle of nowhere, in the most “suspension of disbelief”-defying scene possible. The duo fight past every single one of his guards, Bond shoots something that causes explosions to go off, the pair make it to a helicopter that’s conveniently waiting for them to steal, and then before escaping, they watch as the entire base blows up for no reason. It’s a parody of Bond by this point. Yes, villainous lairs have a tendency to blow up, but this one (which is the hub of Blofeld’s entire operation, by the way; he’s connected to every surveillance network on Earth from here) is as sensitive to gunshots as dynamite is to matches. It’s a wonder why he even arms his guards.

And naturally, not only does Blofeld somehow escape from this, but when he next shows up (having taken an exploding watch to the face), he’s sporting a cartoonish, Donald Pleasance-esque scar down his face, plus he’s blind in one eye for good measure.

We then cut to a rather boring climax on the dark, empty streets of London (the streets of Rome, where we had a not terribly exciting car chase, was equally derelict, as was the train when Bautista showed up, despite being crowded earlier. Where are all the people, is what I’m asking?) that seems suspiciously reminiscent of the one from Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation from earlier this year. Though admittedly, this one has more explosions.

Between that and having Seydoux as the Bond girl (she was an assassin in the fourth Mission: Impossible entry, Ghost Protocol), I have to wonder if someone working on this script got a sneak peek at the story of that one and decided to rip it off. Or maybe it’s the reverse; Either is possible, as is sheer coincidence, but damn is this ending familiar.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

The evil plan—Spectre has tricked the world into adopting its intelligence network by engineering terrorist attacks, so they’ll be able to secretly control every security service in the world if they aren’t stopped—is suspiciously familiar too, reminiscent of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, amongst others, only without the plan to kill hundreds of thousands of people at the end (which makes me wonder what the returning Mr. White was talking about. He claims he betrayed Spectre because they were now “too evil” for him, because they’re planning to kill women and children, but given we’ve seen him fund ruthless African militia armies and be involved in a plot to engineer both a drought and a coup in South America, what’s so bad about this?).

Oh, and Andrew Scott, better known as Jim Moriarty from the BBC Sherlock series, is in this film too as C, the guy looking to take over MI6 from M and merge it with MI5, but is secretly a member of Spectre. It’s a neat casting gag—Moriarty is working for SPECTRE!—but he’s more of an enemy of M than of Bond, to the point where M, acting more like a vigilante than the Head of British Intelligence, ends up being the one who fights and accidently kills him. He really exists to exposit some crappy, Skyfall-esque arguments about how men on the ground aren’t needed and are old-fashioned and everything can be done with computers, cameras, drones, etc.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

Oh, and M (who’s in charge of a covert intelligence service, and has a section consisting solely of elite government assassins) and C frame this as a battle between the latter’s Orwellian ambitions and the former fighting for democracy. Of all the things for M to take a stand on. Democracy. Yes, I think Captain America is what they’re ripping off here. And M is Captain America.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

Also, the two of them have a little exchange which I think sums up the problems with this film rather neatly in a meta sort of way. C, now exposed and under arrest, says he didn’t know that M stood for “moron” and pulls a gun on him, only to find that the bullets have been taken out. M retorts, “I guess we know what C stands for.” And everyone in my packed cinema laughed, because we thought he meant… well, you know what we thought he meant, only for M to say, “Careless.” Yes, “careless”. This sums up the fundamental problem with this film rather nicely. It looks like it’s doing something clever and edgy, but in reality, what it’s saying and doing is rather lame and tame.

And as for Bond himself? Bond is…okay. He is a bit inconsistent, to be honest. This is probably the most lighthearted of the Craig films yet, so there are times he doesn’t seem to be taking this quite seriously enough, given he’s supposedly on a personal vendetta of some sort. The thing is, since we don’t actually learn what the history between he and Oberhauser is until the pair actually meet, for a good deal of the movie, Bond is playing an affectionate parody of himself, notably in the intro which takes his penchant for reckless disregard for collateral damage to a borderline comedic extreme, as he deals with a bomb meant for a stadium by shooting it, which causes a building to collapse (nearly killing himself, and endangering any innocent person who might have been in the area), before fighting inside of (and trying to hijack) a helicopter in mid-air as it hovers above a crowded square, beating the crap out of the pilot while he’s busy dealing with the other guy. In other words, Bond nearly crashes a helicopter and almost kills dozens of people (including himself) in order to assassinate one man whose evil plot by this point has already been foiled on the orders of his dead boss. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, Bond is often a little bit cavalier with public safety, but this is pretty bad even by his standards, especially since in those other cases, it’s usually the bad guys trying to kill him and not the other way around.

It’s only on occasion where Bond seems to be taking any of this as seriously as he should, given he’s supposedly pursuing a bloody vendetta. The scene where he interrogates Mr. White is probably the closest he comes to demonstrating the raw emotion he’s supposed to be feeling, but it’s not helped by the fact that neither the audience nor the script seems certain about what exactly that emotion is; otherwise, he seems rather easily distracted by couch gags, old-fashioned cars, and mice who may or may not be double agents. Craig has just gotten a bit too laid back in a role he might not be very fond of anymore (if he ever really was), and he no longer seems to have much of that gritty intensity he originally brought to the table back in Casino Royale.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

The other issue is that he falls in love, which is a problem, because it isn’t particularly convincing. Léa Seydoux is perfectly fine in the role of Mr. White’s doctor daughter (whose doctorate doesn’t really matter beyond her introduction, though). She gives a good, emotional performance, and gets one or two quite meaty scenes. The problem is that the film acts like she’s the One for Bond, even though they don’t really know each other enough, don’t particularly like each other at first, and are probably bonding over the emotional trauma of what they’re going through more than anything else.

The character also spends much of the movie as somebody’s hostage, and while she has an interesting backstory and implicitly a decent set of skills, she never really feels like she “earns” Bond’s love the way, say, Vesper Lynd or Tracy Di Vicenzo did, her admonishment of him as stuck in the life of a killer coming off as rather cliché by this point in the franchise, since we’ve heard it before, and we’ve heard it better.

Spectre (2015): a spoiler-filled review

Given that we know they’re going to go on making sequels, it’s odd that the film treats itself as something of a swansong for Bond (oh God, is that why she’s called Swann? It is, isn’t it?), to the point of pitting him against his classic arch-nemesis one more time, and giving him a girl he can actually settle down with. Some of this might have to do with Craig being not really sure if he even wants to come back for a fifth movie, or if he’s done with the character. The fact that he contributed to the script is telling, though the fact that he was one of four or five people who worked on it also explains the numerous problems with the messy and underdeveloped plot.

Basically, much like Skyfall, I feel like this is a movie made by people who may have some measure of respect for the character of James Bond, but don’t seem to understand him. This is a well-shot film with good-to-strong performances and fairly competent action and dramatic scenes, but it’s undermined by a weak script and one too many in-jokes and poking fun at the franchise, most notably the car chase in Rome where the gadgets fail to work (which is again something reminiscent of Mission: Impossible 4) and the borderline strawman critiques of both Bond and his employers. I was rarely “bored”, but I was frequently taken out of it. While a good deal of it works, the parts that don’t are the parts that matter. It’s a film where the plot is really just an excuse, and it suffers and even embarrasses itself for it.

It’s a film I would watch again, but it’s not making my top 10 Bond list anytime soon, either. It seems like a movie that’s going to get a little more awkward as the years go on.

And Mr. Craig, if you don’t want to do anymore Bond movies, then just don’t. Maybe letting a new guy take over the role will be best for everybody.

You may also like...

  • Gallen_Dugall

    Sounds like I’ll pass unless my friends want to see it, and they might since they’re serious Bond fans.

  • Moppet

    I’ve been passing on the new Bond movies since I saw the first of them. I haven’t liked the new approach or much about the actor playing him now, and I never could put my finger on why. I suppose his viewpoint on Bond, at least, says something about why I didn’t like him as Bond all this time. Even when you’re being professional, that sort of thing, in my experience, comes out, even if in subtle ways. Not very subtle here.

    • maarvarq

      I didn’t even see CR. Admittedly, I’ve never been a big Bond fan, but just the way the promotional material seem to always show Craig with the same expression of Resting Bitch Face just put me off. “These movies will not be fun at all”, I thought, and apparently I was right.

      • Muthsarah

        Most of the earlier films are a lot more fun, and a lot more welcoming of their viewers to HAVE fun with them. The “we have to be all stoic and serious to be hardcore and totes real, yo” phenomenon is a recent one. And, yes, the greatest failing of the Craig series is a serious lack of fun. So much hard work put into them, to be no more than a series of improbable action set-pieces held together by a bunch of scenes full of miserable glowering and dead-eyed stares, passing themselves off as “plot”.

        Seriously, if you haven’t checked out the earlier films, there are a lot of really fun ones. For Your Eyes Only, Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Goldeneye. Something for every taste.

        They weren’t always the slog the recent films are. They used to be fast-paced entertainment-focused films first, and hyper-badass-stone-faced Heineken and automobile spokesvehicles second if ever.

        • maarvarq

          Sorry for being unclear, but I did mean the recent (i.e. Craig) ones specifically. I have seen some of the others – Goldeneye was pretty good IIRC – and I will check out your recommendations at some point. Thanks!

  • Greenhornet

    I am a fan of the early Bond movies and use to read the novels; so here’s a couple of FYIs.
    VESPER LYND was a double agent that Bond really fell for, even naming his vodka martini “shaken, not stirred” after her. In the last chapter however, she confesses to being a double agent and commits suicide. 007 is royally pissed, referring to her as “the bitch”. This may have led to his cavalier attitude towards women.
    Although known for dropping like flies in the movies, the “Bond Women” in the novels were often still breathing on the last page. In GOLDFINGER, for instance, both Jill and Tillie Masterson live!

    • MorTeez

      Wow. Your statement of the Masterson sisters surviving in the GOLDFINGER novel is so full of IGNORANCE & FAIL, it makes me wonder exactly what *your* definition of actually reading the novels is.

      Because in the novel, it’s a FACT – not my “opinion” – that both sisters DIED. With Tilly TELLING Bond of Jill’s fate that happened after Bond & Jill happily parted ways after ruining Goldfinger’s card-cheating in Miami (instead of the Movie’s superior way of actually *showing* it for Bond to see for himself because… that’s what a Movie’s for: to SHOW stuff happen). Then Tilly was allowed to remain prisoner with Bond until she died at Fort Knox when Oddjob hit her with his patented Killer Hat.

      And for Political IN-Correctness deduction points, it was all because poor Tilly was a Lesbian who took a shine to Pussy Galore and thought Pussy would somehow protect her better than Bond. Which is why Tilly dawdled around long enough for Oddjob to kill her, all so Bond could lament this to Felix Leiter in the most UN-compassionate way quoted below:

      “Poor little bitch. She didn’t think much of men. Felix, I could have got her away if she’d only followed me.”

      Terrible. Just…. terrible. I don’t know how anyone could have missed that.

      • Wizkamridr

        Your post is full of ignorance and fail because you don’t know how to have a normal conversation with anyone.

        • CaptainCalvinCat

          Well, he’s right… Jill and Tilly both were killed in the novel.

          • MorTeez

            Yes. Yes I am right. And to you “Wizkamridr”, howzabout minding your own fucking business and letting “Greenhornet” defend him/herself for their own mistakes? Or do you just get off playing the “hero” coming to the defense of some poor “victim” to stoke your own ego without actually giving a shit about THEM?

            Speaking only for myself, it really sets off my Beserk-Button to notice so many so-called “experts” not only getting their facts wrong online, but to realize some of them actually GET PAID for having “Official Bond Movie Books” published without Doing their Homework while basking in the reflected glory of playing their trumped-up roles as know-it-all “superfans”.

            Like the constant misquoting of The Man With The Golden Gun’s line of “Speak NOW or Forever Hold Your Piece” which was actually “SO SPEAK or forever hold your peace.” Or OHMSS’s first ski-chase scene where it’s assumed Blofeld muttered “idiot” when one of his lackeys crashed into a tree, when it was his Henchman GUNTHER who said the line.

            And the worst offender was the “James Bond FAQ” book that insisted FYEO’s pre-credits disposal of the wheelchair-bound Blofeld by Bond’s scooping him up with a helicopter and dropping him into a chimney stack actually took the White Cat with them, just to make a snarky joke about how this violated multiple SPCA Laws with its cat-killing. But clearly, the cat jumped off the wheelchair and fled right before the Helicopter closed in on Blofeld, which in itself was the Joke that after Blofeld left all his other cats to die (YOLT, OHMSS, DAF), *this* cat left HIM. And THAT is proof enough for me that this really was Blofeld, even though they couldn’t admit it then because of all the Kevin McClory bullshit that was bringing them down.

          • Greenhornet

            Jill was taken to the hospital when she suffered from the gold paint.
            Maybe my memory is off after several years, but your attitude SUCKS.

          • KHarn

            On second thought, my reply was inadequate. Let me rephrase it:
            Dear Douchy McNitpick;
            Please take off the foam finger and stop dancing around your computer shrieking “I WON! I WON!” for a minute and realize that you’ve won nothing. It’s not a contest with a prize at the end and no one cares.
            I know a lot of stuff, but I have NEVER said that I was an expert at anything. Sometimes I forget something and sometimes two subjects get crossed. When that happens, I admit my error, correct it if I can and move on. Never have I hid in shame or came back under a different name, it doesn’t matter to me.
            What I was trying to do was get a conversation going where we could compare the books to the movies, is there anything wrong with that?
            Laughing in your face,
            Greenhornet
            PS: I tried the Vesper Lynde martini and it SUCKED.

          • TorMeez

            Yeah, FUCK YOU too!
            – R.J. McReady,
            signing off to a snotty hypocrite jagoff dipshit pussy.

        • Gallen_Dugall

          This is not the place for proper conversations,
          THIS
          IS
          INTERNETS!

  • Muthsarah

    Please understand, I read maybe 2% of your article. The rest later.

    I’m new to Bond fanaticism. I started to take to the series only in the last 3-4 years, was underwhelmed by Skyfall, and saw probably half the films for the first time only afterwards. Now that I’m all caught up, I’m basically in the same boat as the lifelong fans. I either have to accept what passes for Bond today, or….well…I don’t really have an alternative. Stop caring, I guess.

    As someone who clearly has had a much longer relationship with the franchise, do you think the movies are likely to turn around in the next decade? Is Bond still a living series (EDIT: and not just in one direction), or is this – grim, depressing, only the occasional lazy reference to the older movies as if that’s supposed to mean anything and be a substitute for even the slightest bit of levity because apparently we can’t have fun anymore because we’re super serious and badass and there’s clearly a one-drop rule about these things and the numbers we cannot cross the numbers just keep making the same movie over and over again without any variation in tone or ….

    ..

    (first five chapters of OHMSS, first five chapters of OHMSS….)

    ..

    For someone who prefers the pre-Brosnan era, do you think Bond is all in the past? Are they just making post-Bond movies now? Only aping other successful movie series, and tossing the occasional meaningless bone to the old fans?

    • Jonathan Campbell

      Bond always aped other successful series; it’s how he survived for fifty plus year-by being adaptable. Moonraker apes Star Wars; Live and Let Die apes blaxploitation; Licence to Kill apes 80s action thrillers, etc. It’s normal for the franchise. What was different about these last two was that they were taking bits and pieces of the plots of particular movies, and not doing it well.

      Bond in general is cyclical; he goes from gritty spy thriller to increasingly goofy to ridiculously over the top and back to serious spy thriller again. Skyfall and Spectre have both started to reintroduce the more light hearted elements of the franchise, though again I debate if they are doing it well. But Bond will endure- and the franchise will go where it goes.

      • Muthsarah

        Yes, I know they’ve been copying other styles since LaLD, but they’ve usually left off at the superficial. They didn’t make a blaxploitation film, they made a Bond film, with stylistic elements of blaxploitation. Moonraker wasn’t really that much more absurd in its story than TSWLM (it wasn’t actually set on another planet or anything). The films all seemed to have the same goal: drop James Bond, internationally-renowned superspy, into a new situation based on what’s been popular lately, and tell a fast-paced, fun, recognizably-Bondian story with it.

        Lately, though, they’ve been leaving the last part out. Since Casino Royale, general breezy light-heartedness is gone. Even the Dalton films didn’t go that far. LtK had Felix thrown to the sharks, his wife brutally killed, and a henchman’s head exploded, but then they went to a road house and had a ridiculous brawl (including a swordfish). Then Wayne Newton showed up, followed by some ninjas. OHMSS had Bond’s wife getting killed at the end, but before that, it had James “reading” a Playboy and then falling into a Alpine harem. Which wouldn’t be remotely out of place in the silliest of Bonds. Previously, even the “darker” films had lots of stuff for fans of the more light-hearted films. But Casino Royale, Quantum and Skyfall had, at best, the occasional throwaway joke. Which the characters may or may not have even smiled at.

        Three (maybe now four) films in a row that are eschewing any lightness, anywhere, of any kind. And they’re making a lot of money.

        Is the old Bond formula gone? If they eventually do go too far and feel they have to dial it back to an earlier, more popular, formula (like OHMSS –> DaF, Moonraker –> FYEO, DaD –> CR), is that gonna mean going back to the Connery/Moore/Brosnan style, or just back to Skyfall? Do you think modern (or future) audiences even want levity, or is the Craig interpretation going to be what Bond is from here on, the new “reset point”? Has Bond been permanently re-defined?

        • Jonathan Campbell

          Okay, I see. My answer is “No”, I don’t think the old Bond formula is gone. I think they are just struggling to find a balance. And you have to remember that these last two outings both had the same director and various script problems; it is still probably the most “light-hearted” of the Craig movies (how funny you think it is remains up to you) but they are “held back” by the fact that Craig is just the wrong sort of person for this sort of thing (which can affect his performance, but also how he and his supporting cast are written-not that I think his performance is BAD, mind). I think Moore and Brosnan were better at doing “serious” Bond than Dalton and Craig were at “funny” Bond, for instance.

          In other words, if Craig leaves and they bring in someone else, that person will be brought in with a more light-hearted series in mind and cast as such. Things can be more ORGANISED. Plus, debut Bond movies tend to be fairly strong.

  • Mr. Greene

    “Madeleine Swann” is a Proust reference. “Madeleine” being the sweet cake the protagonist eats that sets him off remembering at the novel’s start, and “Swann” being a major character in the first part of the book, Swann’s Way.
    …contrived, yes, I know.

    • Jonathan Campbell

      Huh.

      Interesting.

      • Mr. Greene

        Also completely irrelevant to the plot, of course, which is why it’s such an out-there reference.

  • Thomas Stockel

    I saw it tonight…And yeah, you point out many of the film’s glaring flaws. I really wanted to like the film, but I found myself indifferent to it.

  • MichaelANovelli

    I liked it, but the series really has turned into Austin Powers by this point. This movie even had a Frau! ^_^

    • Joel Schlosberg

      And a Mr. Bigglesworth!

  • David f White

    I never saw Skyfall!! I haven’t seen a movie in the theatre since I walk out of the Avengers in 2012!!

    • MichaelANovelli

      I’m intrigued by your words and would like to subscribe to your newsletter…

  • Xander Schmertz

    Augh. Mr. White’s line about SPECTRE being “too evil” and referencing women and children is clearly about the sex trafficking stuff Bond overheard when he crashed their meeting. Half a paragraph of snark that could have been avoided if you’d paid attention instead of watching for things to criticize.

    • Jonathan Campbell

      If that was what he was referencing, that doesn’t add up, because we are introduced to him funding brutal African militants, and later participating in a scheme to cause a draught in Bolivia and install a murderous dictator (who is also a rapist) as it’s new Head of State, so it’s pretty obvious that he never cared about hurting women and children beforehand. As I said in the snarky paragraph.

  • PhysUnknown

    I feel like we could have gotten a great Bond film had they mashed “Skyfall” and “Spectre” together. Basically, “Skyfall” would be the first half of the movie (Silva blows up MI6, kills M), “Spectre” the second (Bond hunts down Silva, only to learn that he was just a henchman to something much larger). Leave out all of the “Bond is too old” garbage, and focus on M and Mallory trying to save MI6 from Silva/C/Spectre

    • Muthsarah

      Spectre’s already the Quantum of Solace to Skyfall’s Casino Royale.

      But studios are all seemingly averse to editing, especially in the scripting phase of development. Every expensive movie has to be epic-lengthed for some reason. Which just makes it riskier and less profitable, AND gives the director and editor more balls to juggle (we heard – and saw – what happened when they freaked out about the third act, during the shoot). Make it cheaper and shorter, and you can make more money through more screenings, and cut down on the production time. And keep your star happy by making him work less for the same salary, then maybe he’ll stick around longer.

      Also, one clear buildup to one clear ending. It may seem quaint to some, but it’s becoming an increasingly novel concept.

  • Hutchy01

    I think ERB summed this film up perfectly in one line “People want a hero with a little personality
    No one wants to sit through your gritty reality”