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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

20.15 Blog #13: Spectre didn't have a ghost of a chance

I can’t remember a time when I hadn’t seen all the James Bond films.

Like all my viewing habits, we had a nox upstairs in the corner of my parents bedroom with every Bond film taped off the telly.  In our house, we rarely had any bought tapes, everything (including Asterix, Star Wars and various cartoons) were taped of the telly)  This was viewing on demand

My Dad’s Bond was Connery and early Moore, so those are firm favourites in my mind’s eye.  A few years ago, we went through each Bond film in order.  I remember being pleasantly surprised that Timothy Dalton’s Bond films were engaging, and saddened that Moonraker was not the gem I recall from my youth.

My Bond was Brosnan.  Born in 1988, Brosnan’s best Bond was part of growing up, even if I didn’t see them all in the cinema, he was still my generation’s Bond.  As tough as Dalton, but with more humour.  Goldeneye has everything for me, especially that nostalgic connection to the Nintendo game.   Ah the hours and hours spent throwing Proxy mines at each other…

Anyway, due to two pretty naff Bond films, my teenage and young adult years lacked a Bond, so I kinda got attached to the older Bond as best than any current fad.  I was a little slow to catch up with Daniel Craig, missing both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

I enjoyed Skyfall, despite the sexist development with Moneypenny for turning her from a field agent to someone stuck behind a desk.  But I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Bond is an interesting English figure.  We’re good at making rebels of the establishment, and yet against the establishment.  Robin Hood, the disgraced ex-lord of Locksley.  Falstaff, a Lord and yet a vagabond.  Dennis The Menace, the naughty kid who, in his heyday, had mass mainstream appeal.  Lennon and Lydon.

Bond is part of the British establishment.  He’s not the loner, like the American Western figure, and yet he is the character who might break the rules, go behind his superior’s backs, defy laws (driving a tank through Moscow etc).  There’s a whole bundle of Bond traits, it’s not one thing.  One film might play down the Britishness, another film will explore the violence, another the gadgets, another the villains, but it’s all a melting pot of Bond.

SPOILERS


I found Spectre insufferable.  It seemed to take ages for Bond to actually get anywhere, and then major plot points were glossed over quickly as the need to wrap everything up rushed everything in the final act (they were brothers?  Spectre organised for M to be killed?  What are the other agents doing while the 00 programme is being shut down?).  Spectre were set up as this indestructible huge organisation, but Bond very easily blew up their base without much effort.  Then Blofeld went from being their sinister shadowy figure to a guy who flies in a helicopter above London with a couple of henchmen rather than his grand army.  What was his devious plan?  Collect everyone’s credit card details?  Watch us on the toilet?  I was not impressed.  I was underwhelmed.  I felt like a rehash of Skyfall.

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