The Emperor’s New 007 Movie.

spectre

It is half-past-midnight local time. I got in the front door ten minutes ago after a forty minute walk home in the dark and cold from the cinema. At least it wasn’t raining. I made myself a cup of tea and I’ve fired up the computer because I have a blog-post I feel compelled to write while things are still fresh in my mind. I need to get this off my chest or I might not sleep.

A famous poet once said something like poetry is emotion recollected in tranquillity. This blog-post is emotion recollected while I’m still passionate about it. If I leave it until the morning, when I’m tranquil, I probably won’t bother. I’ll find something better to spend my time on and then one day I’ll regret it.

I purposely avoided looking at any film critic’s opinion of this latest James Bond offering. I shall go and look now and probably see that not one of them agrees with me – in print. I did notice online that Pierce Brosnan made a negative comment or two about it.

Well here’s me stripping naked and standing in full sun atop the battlements.

So, I went to the cinema tonight to watch the latest James Bond movie, Spectre. I have been looking forward to this one for months. I have long been a James Bond movie fan. With the introduction of Daniel Craig to the Bond franchise they just got better. Casino Royale with Craig was the dog’s bollocks of Bond movies. That means I loved it.

Spectre, by comparison and staying with the bollocks scale to give it some relative context was, for my money, a bag of bollocks. That means I didn’t like it. In fact it wasn’t just a bag of bollocks it was a sack of the surgically removed bollocks of a prison wing full of convicted paedophiles all suffering from the advanced stages of aggressive testicular cancer. That means I more than didn’t like it.

Quite fittingly this movie’s Bond song is called Writing’s on the Wall. It’s not a great Bond song as Bond songs go. With the necessary hindsight that having watched Spectre provides, the writing was on the wall regarding the quality of the Daniel Craig Bond films with Skyfall. Too much of that was just stupid and too much of a stretch of the imagination even for a Bond film. But let us stick with Spectre.

I’ve come away from this cinema experience feeling insulted by the people responsible for making this movie. I feel like the people who were  involved in making this movie are guilty of lazy ‘thinking’ and simply trading on the franchise name.

Positives:

Daniel Craig’s wardrobe stole the show. (I’m talking about his clothes, not an item of bedroom furniture, even though the actual wardrobes in the bedroom scenes were less wooden than some of the acting.) I mean it. I’m not exactly a fashion victim, myself, but I was pretty taken with some of his outfits.

The opening setting got me a bit excited and the helicopter fight scene was about the best in the whole film.

I cannot think of another positive and I saw this film less than an hour ago.

Negatives:

For a start the film’s basic premise was quite simply dumb. How could an organisation like that go undetected for ever? Come on. It just wasn’t credible. It wasn’t even incredible. It was just… dumb and insulting. I know that with Bond films one has to be prepared to suspend disbelief and I must be capable of that because I’m a Bond film fan. But Spectre just left me fuming that I’d been taken for a mug.

The film was a mess of disjointed, randomly packaged ‘ideas’ of scenes with absolutely no apparent coherent framework linking them all together. This film was a mish-mash, an incoherant shambles. A jumble. A complete dog’s dinner of fantastical thoughts. It seemed that the idea was just to throw in as many geographically varied locations as they could and forget about tying them neatly together. Forget about maintaining a lucid narrative arc. And so many of these scenes were just poorly imagined. Half of them didn’t make sense. And for a Bond film saying something didn’t make sense must mean it really was ill-conceived.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that there were conversations that went like this:

Mendes: Let’s send him up a snowy mountain to find the beautiful girl and then we’ll stick them in the middle of Tangiers (?) and then they can go to the middle of a desert and wait for a car to give them a lift to a secret hideaway where they can blow it all up and get away.

(Yeah I know that last bit’s par for the course with Bond movies but I seem to remember some coherence with the linkage of scenes where it’s been done before.)

Someone: Yeah, great Sam, but er… how do we link it? You know?

Mendes: Let’s worry about that later. It’s not important now. I don’t think they’ll notice anyway, do you? That’s boring shit anyway. Have we got room for another helicopter scene?

Laughter.

Half-way through the film I started smelling cheese. And I had a whole row to myself and no one sitting in front of me all the way to the big screen. I realised it was the scenes and the dialogue and the script that stank. And then I realised it wasn’t cheese I was smelling – that would be to insult cheese. What I was smelling was that triangular shaped, foil packaged, processed whey that masquerades as an affront to and in violation of the Trades Description Act as cheese. I was smelling portions of that slimy yellow muck that had been left out in the hot sun for a couple of days. Spectre became cheesier and cheesier as Alice might have been moved to say.

I’m in shock at just how bad it was.

I’m angry about it in case you can’t tell. This is a great movie franchise, a cinematic stalwart that has just been done untold damage by people who should know better. It was indolent, lazy film-making. It was fucking awful is what it was.

The acting of the leading ladies was poor. Wooden. I’d go so far as to say they were poorly cast. Unconvincing. Lacking depth. Especially, Lea Seydoux. I’m sure can act. But in this she was woeful.

The villain, Christoph Waltz is a great actor. But in Spectre I felt that his hands were tied with the puerile script he had to work with. He could turn out to be the worst Bond villain ever. There was no menace about him. He barely had a chance to warm up.

If the Bond estate want to save this golden goose of a franchise that keeps them sitting on their fat arses all day counting their royalties they need to do something radical with it. Get Tarantino to direct the next one. Retire Daniel Craig because looking good as a tailor’s dummy isn’t enough for a Bond movie. Breathe some new life into it. Get in some intelligent writers. The Bond films need to move on. Oh and please enough with all the little nods to the past. They didn’t impress me. Most of them fell flat. They just made me think that the film-makers were rather conceited and lacking ideas. Actually, when I think about it now, that’s just about right.

I shall be interested to see where they’re going to go from here. One thing’s for sure it can’t get any worse… can it?

(It’s now 2.15 am. I have to get up in five hours to get The Halfling ready for school. But that’s how much this meant to me. I feel better already.)

14 thoughts on “The Emperor’s New 007 Movie.

  1. My Dearest Mr.Tidy::
    In the US, such products as the ‘faux cheese’ as “Processed Cheese Food Product”, which warns the consumer that it is basically edible plastic with artificial EVERYTHING….rather like the Spectre movie–avoid at all costs!
    I totally understand your need to get rid of the bad taste Spectre left & Thank You ever so much for sacrificing your sleep in order to warn us. It is quite sad to see how far the franchise has fallen; from the hey day of Sean Connery to today’s Daniel Craig…oh, how the mighty have fallen!

    Thanks for sacrificing your time,money & brain cells in order to warn the rest of us not to do the same. I hope you’ve gotten a respite and feel better after your verbal regurgitation of Spwctre–better out than in, as Nanny would say.

    Eagerly awaiting new Romney….

    • Hi Lucy
      Thanks for your comment. I really do feel better for my rant, although I have woken up this morning thinking of many other things I could have said, like, where was the story? And I’m going insane because I can’t get the song out of my head. Anyway, enough of my bleating.

      R&M#6 progresses. I’ll post news here as soon as I have some.
      Best wishes. (Say cheese!)

    • Thanks, Misha. Good to know it’s not just me. And yes, why didn’t I mention that little element of sibling rivalry in my moan about the dumbness of the basic premise? Here I go again…
      Best wishes.

  2. Hi Oliver,
    What a coincidence. I went to see Spectre last night, and was really looking forward to it, but I, too, came away rather disappointed. I was not impressed with the script and I certainly didn’t like the song. The premise of someone taking over global security I could just about live with, but it was when the Security Service’s building at Vauxhall Cross got blown up, I thought, nah, they’ve gone too far: stretched the imagination too much. I have a feeling that this will be the last Bond film Daniel Craig will make, but next time can someone, please, write a sexy, romantic scene without it looking as though it had come straight out of a 60’s B movie: can someone please be a bit more original? Could go on about it but I have to pack a small valise as I’m off to Oxford then Stratford for a few days, to take in some culture.
    Best wishes.
    Pat.

    • Morning Pat
      Great minds and all that.
      I honestly believe I could write a better script than that. Honestly.
      Yes, blowing up the building because there wouldn’t have been any security firms watching it would there? And that trail he had to follow through it with all the photos. Just the idea that we are meant to believe that could be arranged within the time scales of the movie etc etc. It was all so insulting to the viewers’ intelligence.
      What I particularly remember about the sex scenes is the way DC went at the women. Like a rapist. Bond has casual sex and he enjoys it but DC just came across as desperate, not passionate.
      Have a great and cultured break.
      Best wishes.

  3. It was that good then Oliver? Mmmm, do I detect that very slightly you didn’t like Spectre? Can’t think what in your blog gave me that impression lol

  4. Seriously though, l did read somewhere that Daniel Craig adamantly does not want to do any more Bond films, that speaks volumes on its own. I haven’t seen Spectre yet, but everyone I know who has, has made the same comment about the storyline being so weak. However, like a lamb to slaughter and after years as a Bond fan, I will go along to watch it!

    • I was reading a good interview with him this morning – Time out magazine. You must see it. Even if I’d seen loads of negative reviews I’d have still gone because I wouldn’t have believed them. Let me know what you think.

  5. Hello Oliver,

    Have just read your excellent blog about Spectre.

    However, I can’t help but feel that you are one film behind! I would definitely put Skyfall in the ‘sack of’, rather than ‘the dog’s’ column.

    It seems obvious that the franchise holders are only intent on squeezing every last egg out of the golden goose, regardless of the harm they are inflicting on the name of Bond. They seem oblivious to the fact that they are alienating every long-standing fan.

    However, many thanks for confirming what I have felt since Skyfall – nothing will induce me to watch Spectre!

    Best wishes,

    David

    • Hi David
      Many thanks for your comment.
      The funny thing with Skyfall, for me, is that I’m always happy to watch it again even though I know it’s poor. And every viewing only entrenches that feeling in me. I can’t explain my draw to these films. I loved Casino Royale and I suppose I just hold out hope for another of those.
      There is, in my opinion, absolutely no excuse for these film-makers to turn out such a duffer with all the money and talent available to them. I really did find it insulting. And I’m still smarting from that several days later .
      Best wishes.

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