Monthly Archives: November 2015

Spectre – Review


by David Roberts

It’s been a long time since I have seen a BondJamesBond movie in the cinema, I think it was a Brosnan one and not one of the better ones, Die Another Day or something perhaps. Very gadgety. I have recently had the opportunity to watch Spectre the final film in the four part trilogy that is Daniel ‘James Blonde’ Craig. It also stars Monica Belucci and Léa Seydoux, proof at least that there was a god when Italy and France were being created. If you haven’t seen Malena and Blue is the Warmest colour you absolutely should do that instead of Spectre.

I am becoming more and more cinematically cynical, cine-cal, since I have had to watch more films in the past few years than I have in my entire life by an extreme amount, some films opening scenes begin and I instantly want to turn my phone off silent mode and beat myself to death with it as loudly and viscerally as I can. Other films, like Spectre, start off with a lot of promise of nailing a premise, then start chipping away at my illusion at a disappointingly slow but determined rate. Imagine walking into a class of five year olds with a list of things that aren’t real (God, Santa, Toothfairy, Love, Happiness, Olaf from Frozen….) and watching their wee faces start to swell up like a month-long over ripe apple covered in salty tears. Apart from continuing to hold out in the hope that I will eventually prove Olaf is real (you can’t prove that there isn’t an Olaf so that means I must be right), this was pretty much my reaction to the 007 movie of 2015.

Now Stylistically the film is great, hundreds of dialogue references and beautiful recreations scenes from James Bond movies of the olden days. These brought me glee but unfortunately the ‘actual’ plot of the movie seemed to be shoe horned in between these homages in a way that with a truck load of unnecessary melodrama gave the movie a feeling of a clip show that Sony had decided was worth spending two hundred and fifty million dollars on.

Monica Bellucci was there as a woman that James Bond sleeps with like most of the early Bond films had, though I’m fairly sure we decided to do away with glorifying his semi-rapey insistence and sexist discarding of beautiful women. Léa Seydoux is used more efficiently to an extent, but is just slotted into the roles of Bond Women from the past and after a bit of dialogue explaining how she has been able to defend herself from a young age instantly gets knocked out in an instant and can’t shoot straight, waiting to be saved, as you’d expect, by James Bond, which I understand is the point of the movie, but it feels a bit redundant to put effort into stating ‘This is a strong female character’ then knocking her the fuck out so as to make her nothing more than a French splash of makeup in a nice dress on the floor.

The film has some nice action scenes and Christoph Waltz is great though I’m starting to think that Tarantino is the only person allowed to write lines for him now, everyone looks nice and are shot well and the soundtrack is lovely….but the script is just a piece of shit if I’m to be blunt. The constant shifting between almost fourth wall breaking winks to the audience and then back again to a melodramatic intense plot line really left the film with a very confusing tone. I was mocked for audibly saying ‘oh for fucks sake’ under my breath at least once and I think the film would’ve been better devoid of humour or with a more honest focus on it, but if you like James Bond you will enjoy this movie at least a little I’d say.