#FilmReview – SPECTRE – #JamesBond

I don’t often review films, but for those of you that know anything about me – an author with a debut novel logline of ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’ (The Prince’s Man) – you might have realised that I’m a Bond fan.

So I thought I’d share my feelings about the latest in the long-running series – SPECTRE is #24.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the trailer.

It does an excellent job of summarising the film.

Once again, Bond is operating outside of his remit. He’s seen some things that have triggered warning bells inside his head, and he’s determined to follow them up. Despite being ordered not to.

This is usually when we see the best of the superspy, and this time is no exception. New management and the threat of moth-balling the ’00’ section, not to mention MI6. Apparently these spooks are obsolete; it’s all about cyber-terrorism and surveillance – sound scarily possible to anyone else?

So Bond takes it upon himself to investigate, with the (slightly) reluctant assistance of Moneypenny and Q, who support him remotely at the risk of their own jobs. The story takes a personal turn when James identifies the arch villain, and head of SPECTRE (an acronym of Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) as the foster brother he grew up with after he was orphaned. Believed dead for many years, now it looks like he faked his own death and murdered the father-figure James adored.

This is being hailed in the media as ‘the best James Bond ever’. Now I wouldn’t go that far. It certainly lives up to expectations for a Bond film: spectacular settings, high-octane car chases, beautiful women, a rich evil megalomaniac villain, Bond at odds with authority, Bond being tortured, murky spy stuff and lots of death. It also to good effect turns a couple of the regular tropes on their heads – in this film the impossible, unstoppable and highly improbable chase has Bond in the driving seat instead of being the one chased, he gets saved by the girl, and (spoiler alert) he finally quits his job and walks away with the girl. The fact that she’s the daughter of an assassin and can really handle herself helps.

Oh, and it was good to see ‘M’ getting involved too, rather than just sitting behind his desk.

Best Bond ever? Not for me. I’m really enjoying the re-invention of Bond, and while I would struggle to pick a favourite from the classics (probably Octopussy, even though Roger Moore is one of my least favourite Bonds), of the new generation I still rate SKYFALL as a touch better than SPECTRE. Perhaps that’s because of the Scottish connection? (I would love that, wouldn’t I). Daniel Craig isn’t my favourite Bond, but he does deliver the role well, so I forgive him for not being as appealing to look at as some of his predecessors – more realistic spy material, I guess.

But there’s no question SPECTRE delivers. If you’re a Bond fan, you won’t want to miss it.

  • Favourite line from SPECTRE: from Q to Bond about the original Aston Martin that was resurrected in SKYFALL – “When I said bring it back in one piece, I didn’t mean bring back one piece’.
  • Favourite Bond: the original, Sean Connery can’t really be beaten.
  • Favourite Bond (for eye-candy): Pierce Brosnan.
  • Favourite Bond girl: Agent XXX from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ – Barbara Bach (Barbara Starkey) only on the grounds that we are on first name terms and chat occasionally.
  • Favourite Bond car: that original Aston Martin with all the cool gadgets. The Aston Martin in SPECTRE is cool, but half the gadgets don’t work – Bond ‘borrowed’ it a bit too soon.

Are you a James Bond fan? Which Bond is your favourite?

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14 comments

  1. OMG! I wonder if my hubby would mind if I put a poster of Bond on our wall?

    1. Do you think he might find that a bit intimidating? 😉

  2. Yes, I am a Bond fan. I have not seen this movie yet, but I will.

    Sean Connery is my favourite Bond followed closely by Daniel Craig. They both come across as legitimate tough guys, where the others just play a tough guy.

    I preferred ‘Casino Royale’ over ‘Quantum of Solace’. I liked ‘Skyall’, except for a few little things.

    Timothy Dalton is overlooked and harshly treated. I think he did all right.

    Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan are my least faves, & Lazenby doesn’t count.

    Diana Rigg is my top Bond girl.
    {Hey, Deborah, you know Barbara Bach!!!??? Tell her Icky says ‘Howdy’}

    Hail, Spectre!
    ~Icky. 🙂

    1. Hail!
      I totally agree about Timothy Dalton – I really like his Bond, I just think he suffered for playing the role too seriously, too much contrast to the ridiculous campness of Roger Moore.
      I liked ‘Casino Royale’ too, but like many people I thought ‘Quantum of Solace was seriously lacking, especially in the coherent plot department.
      Diana Rigg was great, you’re right, another favourite of mine.
      And yes, Barbara Bach has been an occasional client of mine, as she keeps dressage horses and lives near here, in summer at least. She and her husband, Ringo Starr, go back to the States for the winter.
      I’ll tell her next summer!
      😉

  3. Fabulous commentary Deb! I agree with Ichabod’s choice of favourite Bond, Sean Connery with Daniel filling a close second. 🙂

    1. Always interesting how many different opinions there are as to the best Bond, but I’m not surprised we agree on Connery.

      1. Classic, and handsome! 🙂

  4. I love Bond books by Ian Fleming and movies too. Sean Connery is still the best in my book, but Craig has that intense expression that is intriguing.

    1. Another vote for Sean Connery! You can’t beat the original, though I do agree, Craig fits the role.

      1. Since Connery is up in years, Craig is a suitable replacement. His craggy ( pun intended) looks and not-pretty boy demeanor suits the intensity and integrity of the role.

      2. You are so right; he’s growing on me…

      3. Yeah, me too, I think. His (or his producers/casting director) first mistake was doing a remake of Casino Royale as his introduction as Bond. Comparing him to Connery in that role was unfair, and he was WAY TOO BLONDE! He’s getting better as he ages, I guess.

      4. Yes, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head; having a re-run of Casino Royale was a little unsettling for those of us who’ve been with Bond since the early days.
        Have to say, I’ve never seen him as blond – sandy, maybe, and definitely not dark the way Bond should be, but I notice this time around he’s more grey, and it’s suiting him.

      5. I agree the gray gives Craig a little more respect. Yes, sandy was definitely the color, but not James’s rich dark claim-to-fame.

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