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?