I saw the last Bond a few weeks ago and it’s only now that I barely found the time to write about it. So here is my review: (Spoilers ahead)
Disclaimer: I watched this film in a theatre with leather recliner chairs. And I have to say that it was by far the best movie viewing experience of my life. I have not been to the theatre since, but I imagine a downgrade to the regular seats is going to be painful! So now that I disclosed this factor that may or may not have skewed my opinion, we can start talking about the movie itself.
Is it a bad movie? Not really. I wouldn’t go that far. It’s just decent.
Is it a satisfying end for the Daniel Craig/Sam Mendes Bond? The answer for me is NO. Not at all!
1. Too American
Surveillance is a very contemporary topic, but it’s also a very American one. And I don’t mean that it’s bad just because it’s American. I mean that while watching Spectre, I wasn’t thinking of the Queen, the Duchess or even tea, and those are things I like to think about when I watch a Bond film… Can you blame me?
I might be wrong and surveillance might be a topical issue in the UK, but you have to admit that Spectre, the evil omniscient organization that rules the world (Muhahaha) is kinda sorta exactly identical to the NRO or the NSA or whatever agency is spying on us these days. A picture speaks a 1000 words:
2. Enough Bond, but not enough Mendes
Skyfall was a such a particular Bond: We got to see a much weaker side of the un-defeatable man, we saw him doubt himself and underperform so much that he was almost unrecognizable. But in the same time, Sam Mendes’ touch was in every scene of the film! And it was beautiful. He also gave us such a particular “Bond Woman”. M was hands down the best Bond Girl ever! In that sense, I guess, Skyfall was “enough Mendes but not enough Bond”.
When it comes to Spectre, we do find Bond again! We’re rooting for him. We see him looking great in his awesome suits and we get our fair share of classic stunts, gadgets, cars… We also get a taste of the earlier Bonds with the exotic/international/ oriental vibes. But while I was relieved to see Bond back, I was disappointed in Sam Mendes. There wasn’t enough of his print on the film.
Granted the plot is somewhat “Mendesian”: You know Bond now has feelings, he’s thinking about retiring, settling down, risking everything and leaving it behind for Miss France. All of which isn’t very “Bond”.
And yes! The writing’s on the wall is such a striking and uncommon song for a Bond film. But that’s as far as it gets. Nothing else even hints that Mendes is the director of the film.
3. Lea Seydoux’s character and acting are just Meh!
She’s not a great actress. And I don’t say this because I believe she only owes her fame to Blue is the Warmest Color. I say this because really her performance didn’t do much to make her character more interesting. The script wanted her to be the mysterious woman who puts an end to Bond’s eternal bachelor curse but it really didn’t work.
A) because the script didn’t allow her character to grow to be what Amal Alamuddin is to George Clooney. if you see what I mean…
B) because Lea Seydoux didn’t add anything to the mix. Her performance was just dry and meh.. I didn’t hate it…It’s just meh! She left me indifferent
4. Bond’s Amal should have been MoneyPenny
They kept hammering the idea that Miss Swann is the daughter of an assassin and that’s why she can understand Bond and “save” him or whatever (And here I have to admit that it’s a smart move to make her a shrink).
But, But, But… I know for a fact that Spectre would have been 10 times the movie it is now if Miss MoneyPenny was the Bond girl. It would have made so much more sense. Especially with all the hints we got from Skyfall. I mean just watch this:
And look at this chemistry:
I can go all day on these two…
5. What have you done to Chris Waltz?
Great actor, shitty role. And that’s a shame. Because if you have the chance to work with this master, you give him a role of his caliber! That’s the least you can do. Whatever interpretation of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Franz Oberhauser may be, it is not a successful one.
So there you have it! 5 reasons why Spectre was a disappointing end of the Daniel Craig series. For the next bond, let’s cross our fingers for Idris.