• John Parker

Spectre review

I did not like Spectre.  In fact, I thought it was terrible.

As a James Bond film, it failed at the most fundamental level, in that it was not fun.  What it was, however, was long and boring.  And pointless.  And a massive backwards step after the terrific Skyfall.  What else....hmmm...oh yes, it was spectacularly unspectacular, which considering the money spent on this production, is a particularly egregious sin.

Yes, I know the cinematography was beautiful, and that Touch of Evil opening was very impressive, but that was all undone 5 minutes later with the shitty CGI during the helicopter fight.  Also, the sound was terrible.

Did I mention it was loooooong?  Two and half hours! When it finally makes it's way to ITV on boxing day 2018, it's going to be an all day event. Let's see, what else annoyed me?  Daniel Craig's suits were too small for his stocky frame. He looked silly, most definitely not cool.

The treatment of Monica Bellucci's character, oh my goodness!!!! Even for a Bond film, this was hideous.  The one dreadful moment from Skyfall was the now infamous shower scene, but this film goes one step further. SPOILER. He fucks Monica Bellucci's character on the day of her husband's funeral - whom he killed. Are we supposed to cheer this and go, "oh good old James, always a hit with the ladies", as he's grotesquely pressing himself against her, pumping her for information, and then, well, pumping her?

After all the talk about how casting a woman who was actually older than Bond was a step in the right direction for this series' long and very problematic issue with its depiction of women, this was an absolute slap in the face.

There is also a stretch in the middle of the film, where pretty much nothing happens for about half an hour.  What the hell?  When did it become okay for Bond films to be so ponderous and dull?  This is a James Bond film! It is supposed to be fun, exciting and thrilling.  It was none of these things.  And the people who say that Spectre is all of these things, have clearly not been to the cinema enough in 2015.

You want fun, exciting and thrilling? You want gadgets, fast cars, and insane edge of the seat action? Try Fast and Furious 7.  How about the best car chase ever committed to celluloid?  A film with action and invention so creative the extraordinary images will be seared onto your eyeballs.  Sound good?  Try Mad Max Fury Road. How about the most tense action scene of the year? Directed with such verve and panache, a traffic jam on the US/Mexico border leaves you gripping your seat, as the sweat pours down your back.  Sicario.  Came out a few weeks ago.  Astounding film.

All three of these films make Spectre look like a sad old man, trying to desperately cling onto his youth. I've been reading some of the four and five star reviews given to Spectre by the leading lights of UK film criticism.  I am shocked at the leniency being afforded.  But then why should I be surprised? It's bloody Bond after all.

But John, you've not mentioned two time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz as evil criminal mastermind Franz Oberhauser.

One word. Goldmember.

If we are to assume that this is Daniel Craig's last outing as Bond, I wonder how history will remember his stint as 007.

For me, Skyfall is a genuine contender for best Bond film ever made.  Definitely in the top three.  But Quantum and Spectre are both dreadful.  And Casino Royale was very patchy too.  Far too caught up in trying to out-Bourne Bourne, and it took an age to get going.

But if the ridiculous level of acclaim this film is receiving is anything to go by, then Craig’s era will probably be remembered more fondly that it deserves.

Final thought: Mission:Impossible – Rogue Nation.  Same plot.  Much better film.

2 stars

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