Sam Mendes, who directed Spectre and the last Bond film, Skyfall, at least had an intriguing baddie in Skyfall (Silva, played by Javier Bardem). In fact, Skyfall was a run-of-the-mill film until Silva entered the picture. Thus, I wasn't hoping for much in Bond's 24th outing.
As expected, the spectre of disappointment looms large over this film. From the amateurish helicopter scene to the girl detained in a building rigged to explode, Spectre raises the stakes but falls flat.
The terrorist's biggest crime is that he wants to control the global intelligence network, which means that he can tap into any CCTV in the world. This theme, of course, has shades of intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden written all over it. I could have told the terrorist to be a Twitter or Instagram subscriber instead of plotting this highly risible plan.
The terrorist, Franz Oberhauser (Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz of Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained), is lame. He lacks the gravitas and menace of Silva.
He talks too much, too, so much so that Bond's biggest putdown against him is that he (Bond) welcomes being killed so that he doesn't have to listen to him talk anymore.
As for the Bond girls, I think the series is tilting its head to senior citizens by incorporating
|Bond's nod to senior citizens. He's up to his neck in |
The other Bond girl is the svelte and sensuous 30-year-old Lea Seydoux, a Frenchie who exudes class and independence as Dr Madeleine Swann. Swann has had a rocky relationship with her father, so the film acts as a psychiatrist to lead her to see the light, or at least to see that her father meant well.
Swann shows that she can handle a Sig pistol, but when push comes to shove, she's just another damsel in distress, helpless without Bond.
And what about our dear friend James? Craig instils the necessary steel in him, but his character seems to be going through the motions. Perhaps more than 50 years of him are more than enough for viewers.
He continues to face an unstinting amount of terrorists and baddies, but he dispatches them with his usual aplomb. In the midst of facing death at every opportunity, he also sleeps around at every
|Bond's the toast of women.|
Bond goes rogue and kills a terrorist, so he's removed from duty. But that doesn't stop him. He finagles his way into a funeral to find out about the head of a secret terrorist organisation responsible for blasts around the world.
At the same time, his boss, M (Ralph Fiennes, a pale shade from the dashing character he was in The English Patient), benches him.
British intelligence chief C (Andrew Scott) wants to shut down the double 0 programme and usher in a new era of spying. His goal is to get nine countries to sign on to an intelligence network that will allow each nation to tap the other's resources and info.
M warns C of the risks in doing so but C is adamant in pressing forward.
Bond, meanwhile, goes traipsing around the world, and even gets in a bit of plane skiing and a desert walk.
These are all things you'd have seen in Bond films, so this film doesn't show anything new or spectacular.
The voluble baddie reveals Bond's roots and how they were connected in the past, but it's not enough to entice viewers.
2 out of 5 stars