The Film Fatales Wonder: Is Bond Going Bye Bye?
Spectre. Rated PG-13. 2015. 148 mins. Starring Daniel Craig and Christolph Waltz. Directed by Sam Mendes.
A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. [IMDb]
Nicole: It's been a four-movie arc for Daniel Craig as Bond, James Bond. And, unlike most Bond films, we've learned a lot about 007 during that arc. This modern Bond is more human than his predecessors. Not just a suave ladies man with a license to kill, but a troubled, complicated man with a past that haunts him. A man who is willing to throw away his career for the love of a woman--a commitment that would have been thought ridiculous by previous Bonds. It's for those reasons that it's going to be hard to say goodbye to Mr. Bond.
elizabeth: As you know, I normally boycott this type of movie because I don’t relish seeing women being used and tossed aside. I don’t like their message. I did go to see Specte to see if they allowed this middle aged man to grow up and have some feelings that aren’t always shaken and not stirred. Craig’s Bond showed some real honest feelings and was more of a humble man than a hired gun.
PARENT ALERT: This movie may be rated PG-13 but I think the pack of 8-9 year old girls who were in the theatre might have been a tad too young. I was very disturbed by that, but I won’t have to deal with their nightmares.
Nicole: I agree on the rating, but parents do need to be more discerning. Even though this Bond differs from Connery and Moore, I'm not saying all the typical Bond-ish stylings aren't present. He woos at the drop of a hat, he jumps into dangerous situations without a moment's hesitation, he wears a Saville Row suit like nobody's business, and he crashes countless cars without one ounce of remorse. (The opening action sequence alone will have you biting your nails. Word of advice: Never get in a helicopter with 007.) Hell, aren't those all the reasons we love Bond to begin with? But what this series has done successfully is make us invest in Bond instead of just riding shotgun.
elizabeth: Too much freaking violence and I loved how Craig did not suffer a scratch even when he was beaten to a pulp – several times during the course of the film. Which brings me back to why I dislike their genre – they glorify violence and almost turn it into an amusement park ride. We don’t need more violence. Or is it just me?
Nicole: It might be...in this case only. It is an action movie about an assassin...not Driving Miss Daisy. Bond wouldn't be Bond without the requisite car chase and shoot out. What I have a problem with is gratuitous violence for the sake of violence and no plot, such as the Saw movies. I liked that Spectre picked up right where Skyfall left off. Bond is bent on trying to avenge the death of M (Judi Dench), who was more of a mother figure to him than a boss. But, complications at MI6 hinder that mission. With MI5 moving in on their turf and shaking the organization up, Bond is on his own... Well, except for his loyal comrades: Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris), Q (Ben Wishaw), and even the new M (Ralph Fiennes). But, Bond's mission is more complicated -- and personal -- than he ever could have imagined.
elizabeth: I did not know that Ralph Fiennes was bowlegged. Yes, all three gave believable performances and were very likable but I wanted to go home and see Fiennes in The English Patient. Now that is a movie.
Nicole: Yes, it's a movie indeed... A movie to nap by. Yawnnnnn. I love every actor in that movie, but you couldn't make me watch it again. (I know I'm in the minority on that one... Just me and Seinfeld's Elaine Benes.) Back to Bond: Christolph Waltz's Blofeld is the architect of all of Bond's pain. Blofeld has made it his life's goal to torture Bond for a "past infraction" that he can't overcome. Of course, like any of Ian Fleming's "coo coo" villains, Blofeld's all bent out of shape for a highly irrational reason -- but, then again, what else can you expect from a complete sociopath?
elizabeth: I hope you and Elaine Benes will be happy together. As much as I admire Christolph Waltz’s acting skills, I have to say that as I left the theater I realized that he looks like what Justin Beiber will look like at 40. I don’t like having those thoughts.
Nicole: True. He needs to stop going to Super Cuts. But, I digress. Along the way, Bond falls in love... No, really. Not since Vesper (Casino Royale) has Bond risked his heart to love. But, Dr. Swann is able to understand, although not condone, his way of life because she was the daughter of an assassin. And, with her, it seems our wayward hero has found a new lease on life...leading us to ask: Is this the end for 007? As the credits roll, the audience is certainly left to believe Daniel Craig's stint has reached a tidy conclusion. Screenwriters are going to have to be extremely creative if they're going to rev up this series with its current leading man. Ultimately, it looks like they're going to reboot Bond with a new actor. And, as much as I love Daniel Craig, the possibilities of casting a new James Bond are all too enticing to resist. Mr. Mendes, give me a ring...I have some very compelling suggestions.
elizabeth: Oh, please. Dr, Swann looks like she just got her high school diploma. What is wrong with an older woman? Like 38. So I lived thru this movie and I am content knowing that I don’t have to see another Bond movie. Ever.
The Film Fatales give Spectre