Movie Review: “SPECTRE”


Well, at least that’s over. Daniel Craig has publicly stated that he would rather “slash his wrists” than play James Bond again, which means that SPECTRE is likely his final film as 007. Having just spent the afternoon of my forty-fourth birthday sitting through a matinee showing of this dismal, dour, and preternaturally self-absorbed film, I can see why he is eager to quit the franchise. I’m eager for him to leave, as well.

My reasoning for this is simple: this long, boring movie isn’t a James Bond film. Dr. No was a James Bond film. Moonraker was a James Bond film. Even the absolutely terrible The World Is Not Enough was a James Bond film. But SPECTRE is not. Instead, like its predecessors Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, it’s a film about James Bond. The distinction is important, both for the future of the 007 franchise and for our understanding of why action movies have fundamentally and perhaps irreversibly changed for the worse in the past decade.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Don’t read this unless you’ve either seen the movie or can live with having a few major plot points revealed ahead of time.

It seemed like a minor, if blasphemous, detail at the time, but it was hugely significant. The title montage at the beginning of “Casino Royale”, the first film in the Daniel Craig series, ends by showing you… Daniel Craig as James Bond. This had never happened in the twenty films prior; at the most there had been a shadow of a face or silhouette that could have been whatever actor was playing Bond at the time. But Casino Royale‘s title ends with you staring Craig right in his emotionally vacant, dockworker’s eyes. Welcome to the narcissist Bond.

Casino Royale is a Bond origin story, and it’s also notable because it was the one Fleming book that never received a proper film treatment until 2006. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not just that the rights to the book were tied up in various hands until someone had dump trucks full of cash delivered to all the right places. It’s this: Bond does’t need an origin story. Nobody saw Dr. No and thought: “Gee, I’d like to see what happened to make this Bond fellow the way he is.” That movie stood on its own merits and by the time it was over we knew everything we needed to know about James Bond.

The nineteen movies that followed Dr. No, and the unauthorized Thunderball remix starring Connery, Never Say Never Again, all followed the same basic theme. There’s a bad guy who is going to do something terrible to the world. He has unlimited henchmen and a secret hideout and probably a super-weapon. Bond will discover the plan, probably by getting captured, and then he will foil the plan. Having done so, he will then knock it off with a good-looking woman who finds herself unable to resist Bond, even if she started off as his enemy.

By contrast, the stakes in Casino Royale are much lower — a terrorist is trying to pay back the African warlord he defrauded — but the misery quotient is much higher. There’s virtually no joy in the film. Craig is tortured, his heart stops, he is beaten, he falls down stairs a few times. Then his girlfriend dies. It’s reasonably true to the original book, but faithfulness to the source material was never part of the Bond-film formula.

Quantum Of Solace, the follow-up film, has a villain who is going to double the price of water in Bolivia. This was based on a true story that actually was much worse than the premise of the movie but yet still wasn’t important enough to make international news. And again Bond spends the movie enduring all sorts of gruesome physical misery for no purpose. Nobody suffers like Daniel Craig as James Bond. Everything that happens in the movie injures him somehow. Couple that with his inability to comfortably wear a suit and you start to wonder — how is this guy a British secret agent at all? There’s just one scene in the whole thing that would properly belong in any of the first twenty films, and it’s when Mr. White, surveying the damage after Bond runs wild through Quantum’s meeting-at-the-opera, says, “Well, Tosca isn’t for everyone.” When your main villain is better at being Bond than your Bond is, that’s a problem.

But wait, it gets worse. We have Skyfall, the Official Bond Movie Of Emo Millennials. After his fellow agent shoots him by mistake, Bond spends a year or so feeling sorry for himself on a beach somewhere. When he returns to service, everybody’s concerned about him being up to the job because he’s so old and battered and bruised. (Age of Daniel Craig during filming: 43. Age of Roger Moore during filming of A View To A Kill: 57.) And then it turns out that there’s MORE BOND ORIGIN STORY because the final shootout happens at the estate where he grew up as a child. And everybody is just SO SAD and the bad guy is ONE OF US YOU KNOW and there are many EMOTIONAL MOMENTS and the entire second half of the film is shot in the DEAD OF NIGHT and it’s all about OUR SAD CHILDHOODS.

Now, finally, it’s time for SPECTRE. The key line from the movie is delivered in the previews: “It was me, James, the architect of all your pain.” So, it turns out that there is a THIRD ORIGIN STORY for Bond. If you’re counting, that’s three origin stories in four films. This time, we learn that “Blofeld” is actually a childhood friend of Bond’s who resents him for taking his father’s affection away. So he formed SPECTRE to make James Bond unhappy.

I repeat: the entire point of a multi-billion-dollar global criminal conspiracy was to make sure that James Bond was sad and that all his girlfriends died. It’s an idea so ridiculous that it can’t even be properly stretched and folded over the previous three Craig movies without coming apart at the seams. For the rest of the film, Bond runs around in a maze designed for him by his childhood pal. Then he makes a couple of solid two-hundred-yard pistol shots at a helicopter and then it’s all over.

Most of SPECTRE is a lifeless trudge through various “homages” to previous Bond films that just serve to make the viewer nostalgic for said films at the expense of the one he is watching. Even the much-ballyhooed car Aston-vs-Jag chase scene manages to look simultaneously slow, fake, and consequence-free. There’s no joy or excitement in the film whatsoever. Think of the relentlessly dour atmosphere of various Sixties films that were based on John Le Carre books, minus the disciplined plotting and memorable characters.

What makes this a despicable film rather than a merely poor one, however, is the fealty it swears to two particularly loathsome modern ideas. The first one: The only source of evil in the world is old white men in the established power structure. To be fair, it’s a rare Bond movie that has a nonwhite villain; the last one to have an arch-enemy who managed to remain ethnic the whole way through was 1989’s License To Kill. But this creeping notion that the only true bad guys in this world are created by Western democracies is infantile and ridiculous. It’s a story that is hugely comforting for progressive extremists and the people who swallow the progressive media: all the evil in the world is right here and we can fix it! But it’s not worthy of consideration by functioning adults.

The fact of the matter is that Western democracy is the shining light by which everything we value exists, from women’s rights to modern medicine to freedom of assembly. Every time we encourage young people to watch movies that deliberately undermine that truth, we are assisting in the destruction of our society and a return to the Dark Ages.

The second problematic idea in SPECTRE is the pure mainline injection of narcissism it brings to the Bond movies and the Bond character. Like all the post-modernist critiques of various comic books and heroic movies, it gives strength and credibility to the idea that “bad guys” are created by the presence of the “good guys”. That if James Bond had never been born that none of the terrible things done by Quantum or SPECTRE could have happened. Like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, where it is alternately suggested to, and shouted at, the viewer that the existence of Batman causes people like the Joker or Bane to choose an evil path, SPECTRE suggests that the existence of a James Bond is what brings evil organizations into being.

When children see enough of a message like this, the net effect is to convince them that traditional heroism or courage is both unnecessary and dangerous. It’s how you get the Twitter Social Justice Mob, a bunch of anonymous cowards trying to make sure that everybody who disagrees with them loses his job and home and children. Every kid in my generation wanted to be James Bond. You got to drive cool cars and nail good-looking women and save the world. But who would want to be Daniel Craig’s James Bond? You spend more time being tortured than you do behind the wheel of an Aston Martin. Honestly, my pal Matt Farah has a better life than James Bond. He sleeps with attractive women and he drives an Aston Martin and the closest he ever comes to confronting evil is when my brother stays over at his place.

It has to be said, before I close this review, that there is a brilliant movie hidden within SPECTRE. It’s the sub-plot where Ralph Fiennes and his associates are shutting down a corporate-sponsored global surveillance network just a few minutes before it goes live. That’s a great plot and Fiennes is thoroughly admirable as a pistol-packing, active-leadership “M”. It’s enough to make you wonder — hey, Ralph is only 52. Couldn’t we get a couple of movies where he was Bond? Movies in the old high-spirited Roger Moore tradition? I won’t hold my breath for that.

There is going to be a change in the future, however. No wonder Mr. Craig is eager to leave the role. He’s tired of doing these depressing, meaningless films where he has to frown the entire time. I’m ready for him to quit as well. But the Bond franchise has plenty of life left in it. Supposedly Idris Elba is the next Bond. That would please the mandatory-diversity crowd, to have a black Bond. But I think that Mr. Elba, with his sagging eyelids and morose disposition, is the wrong brother for the job. No, I think they need the other guy from The Wire: Wood Harris, who played Avon Barksdale. I’m ready for some Bond movies where Avon Barksdale kicks ass and drives cool cars and goes to casinos and whatnot. Those would be fun movies, and that’s what I want from the Bond franchise. After all, if I want to hear a story about a guy in his mid-forties coming to terms with his mortality and his sorrow and the consequences of his actions — shit, man, I can get that for free, you know?

44 Replies to “Movie Review: “SPECTRE””

  1. MarkySparky

    Saw the movie this weekend and I enjoyed it. That I am not normally a Bond Movie Fan probably explains that.

    I don’t think Western democracy was particularly well-defended by unaccountable British government agents and their feats of cocksmanship. Not everything is a referendum on Tumblr identity politics c. 2015. Bond is far, far more interesting (to me) when he’s battling personal demons and incompetent/corrupt institutions than when he’s gallivanting around with loose women. Obviously personal tastes can differ.

  2. galactagog

    excellent review

    I had time to read this because I’m currently stuck on hold…held hostage listening to “I’m the one who loves you baaaby” and other bad ’70’s adult contemporary tunes

    Which sorta ties in with the old Bond movies, I suppose

    Maybe they can use that as a future Bond torture technique ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyway I agree on the lameness of the new Bond movies…although they aren’t as cheesy as the Pierce Brosnan ones, which were even worse IMO. But the new ones definitely lack the wry humour of “Bond”, and generally just read as standard action movies

    Dr No was one of the best

    Oh well, I have tickets for it booked with friends this Wed…maybe if I get sloshed enough it’ll be entertaining

    ps this was a great line:

    ” He sleeps with attractive women and he drives an Aston Martin and the closest he ever comes to confronting evil is when my brother stays over at his place.”

    ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Favorite Bond: Timothy Dalton. I think he’s the closest to Fleming’s books. He’s also the only Bond who manages to combine menace and polish.

      Favorite Movie: either OHMSS or Goldeneye.

      • Sammy B

        RIGHT ON

        I watched both of his this weekend again. While the production values/budget let him down just a little bit, they are both great movies and I think just the right balance of “dark, brooding” Bond and some of Moore’s campiness. A shame they didn’t get to make more with him

      • viper32cm

        I really wish Dalton had starred in a few more films. From what I’ve read, some of the highers up in production (not sure who) wanted Dalton in the 70s, but he refused, believing himself to be too young at the time. Perhaps so, but Moore had the job for a touch too long, and Dalton would have been a welcome change well before 1987. Regardless, I imagine Dalton could have kept the job through the mid-90s at least. It would have been interesting to see what Dalton could have done with the Goldeneye script and how he would have handled Judi Dench as M.

      • mattc

        The fact that one of your favorites is generally regarded as the worst bond movie says that maybe you’re tastes are different than the typical James Bond fan.

        Regardless, I do agree with your assessment of the Daniel Craig Bond movies. The difference being, I kinda like them in their own way. I did not like Spectre as much because it felt cobbled together and unfinished, even though it was 2.5 hours long. Monica Bellucci’s character felt like it was an afterthought, “hey, we signed Monica, we need to add her somewhere…” and Christoph Walz’s character was not even close to as menacing as he was in Inglorious Bastards. That was a letdown. That, and they’re really just phoning in the Q branch these days, though probably selling some Omega watches…

  3. MrGreenMan

    Can’t they just let it go off to a nice retirement? Isn’t this one written by yet another person that isn’t Ian Fleming?

    Daniel Craig was truly horrible as James Bond for anyone who liked James Bond. Roger Moore’s corpse could have been propped up and been more enjoyable.

    Thanks for the encouragement to skip this one – it, like Doctor Who, belongs in my childhood memories.

    • Sobro

      My contention has been that Daniel Craig was playing James Smith, not James Bond. As you say, there’s no joy (de vivre nor de mort) in this iteration of the franchise. Good riddance. As for Doctor Who, one more angst-filled episode and I’m going to look forward to its 8 month hiatus.

  4. Sammy B

    Valid points, all. We caught this yesterday evening and it definitely felt too long and not enough “stuff” happening. I’m not sure if trimming a whole setpiece here or there would have worked, but certainly trimming a few minutes here or there could have done wonders. Look at Tomorrow Never Dies…just ticks in at 2 hours and greatly benefits from it. Perhaps the last really great Bond movie

    You hit it on the head that it’s *about* Bond, not a Bond adventure. There’s space for a little bit of backstory, but I definitely don’t need so much.

    If Craig does one more [which I believe his contract calls for], maybe they will just do an adventure with none of the backstory. Hell, chase Blofeld again if you want. Just make it fun!

  5. phr3dly

    I have had the exact same complaint about the recent bond movies (and indeed, many “superhero” movies). The movies aren’t *starring* bond (or a superhero), they are *about* bond (or a superhero). The same seems to occur in most long-lived TV shows… X-files is a great example; the ‘monster of the week’ episodes were great. The Fox Mulder soap opera, not so much. This is one of the reasons that “Law & Order” stayed great for so long. They rarely ventured into soap opera territory.

    • kvndoom

      I agree with X-Files. The main plot episodes started off good and got stupid quickly (including that awful movie) but some of the MotW shows were definitely its best. Its overarching story was worse than “Lost” and that’s no small feat to accomplish.

  6. everybodyhatesscott

    I thought it was a fun action flick but your point about it not being ‘Bond’ is on. Also, the “I love you” after sleeping together once? From her, ok, but from Bond? And the taking down a helicopter with a .38?

    Casino Royale was pretty good. Quantum of Solace and Skyfall sucked.

    And if the next Bond is black, I probably won’t watch. If it was just Bond, I probably wouldn’t care but the ‘must replace white male with woman or minority’ is getting old. I’ll probably skip the new Star Wars too. Oh well.

      • everybodyhatesscott

        The new star wars protagonist are a black guy and a girl. Luke was a white guy.

        Check out this poster

        Check out this poster×0.jpg

        I’m not going to go on twitter and protest it, I’m not going to write endless articles about how mean it is to white guys, but I’m also not going to pay the 8 bucks to see it.

        • Kvndoom

          The story isn’t about Luke Skywalker. The actor might be black but the character isn’t. There is no “black” or “white” in the Star Wars universe, what with all the different planets and species, “humans” are just as alien as Ewoks.

          It’s incredible that there’s a vocal minority (a pun! ha!) that won’t go see the movie because the lead actor isn’t a white guy! THIS WORLD WILL NEVER GROW UP!!!

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I think, or at least I would LIKE to think, that most of the agitation isn’t because you have a black actor in the lead role. I think the agitation is because the cast appears to have been heavily rebalanced towards “diversity” and people are tired of EVERYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD having to pay tribute to “diversity”.

            With that said, I would rather that the whole movie be about a gang of black Stormtroopers who get together every weekend to gang-bang some white girl and blast on her face in slow motion in the final frames of the film than have Jake Lloyd or Hayden Christensen involved in ANY capacity including that of crowd extra.

          • everybodyhatesscott

            I think the agitation is because the cast appears to have been heavily rebalanced towards โ€œdiversityโ€ and people are tired of EVERYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD having to pay tribute to โ€œdiversityโ€.

            Yeah, this. I’d also love to see the reaction if they remade Shaft or Blade as a white guy and the explanation that it’s different when black people get mad when their characters are taken over because of intersectionality, historical oppression, or some other bullshit that doesn’t really make sense if you think about it. Because this always goes one way. Annie is black, Spiderman is black (in the comics), Johnny Storm is black. If it was a one off thing, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

          • kvndoom

            I’m sure there’s a porno for everything… even Star Wars gangbangs ๐Ÿ˜€

            But I still don’t see this as imposed diversity, any more than I felt Lando Calrissian or Mace Windu were. In the Star Wars universe these aren’t “black people,” just humans with darker skin.

            Now if the movie proves me wrong and the lead actor behaves in a blatantly ethnic matter, I would be very pissed off, because that’s forced imposition.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I agree with you that the SW Universe is fundamentally non-ethnic. This fellow is a British actor so I doubt there will be anything American-urban-black in the portrayal.

  7. Nicholas Gomez

    I used to dislike Dalton but in retrospect I think he’s OK. Spectre was OK for me, but the bad guy seemed a little unrealistic. I agree with you. Terrible origin story. I wouldn’t mind being able to bring down a helicopter with a couple of two-hundred-yard pistol shots though. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. kvndoom

    Daniel Craig films for me:

    Casino Royale: awesome. Only one I bought. I think it was the closest to the “classic” Bond films, with plot twists and intrigue. The humor was dry, the mood was dark, the villains were nasty.

    QoS: sucked. Never knew where it was going.

    Skyfall: good, but I really need to watch it again. I didn’t realize until the end that the entire movie’s purpose was to kill off one character.

    SPECTRE: WTF??? I enjoyed “Spy” better than this!

    SPECTRE didn’t take itself seriously. The villain wasn’t convincing at all, and Bond films, just like superhero films, are only as good as their villain. Too much camp, especially for a film following the very dark Skyfall.

    I grew up with Roger Moore as James Bond. I couldn’t tell you how many times I watched “Moonraker” when it would be ABC’s Sunday Movie of the Week. SPECTRE could have easily been a Roger Moore film. Ouch.

  9. Cptbkl

    Dalton could have been written by Fleming. I devoured every one of the books. Connery was just Connery…and that was all that was needed.

  10. DeadWeight

    Much like the U.K., or England, in particular, Bond lives on because of pure romanticism & nostalgia.

    The Jason Bourne trilogy (during Damon’s role as Bourne) illustrated, in theatrical terms, why The Queen (Old, ugly, vicious hag who, along with Royal Family Mockery stands opposite to all free, democratic, egalitarian notions) is Dead, and can’t be saved (sorry, Union Jack & Johnny WritteN.

    Much like England, which still survives psychologically by basking in the memories of its time as a superpower (back when the small – some may say pipsqueak now – island nation projected power by a relatively large navy and then by being in the lucky center at the inception of the industrial age), which has long since expired, Bond is romantic nod to a long expired era.

    Its movies often bring large crowds because everyone loves a good (or, more often, comically bad, unfortunately) action flick full of glorious set pieces, action, explosions, gadgets, and stiff upper lip Brit one liners from the likes of Daniel Craig or Judi Dench, no matter how illogical, fragmented, and silly the plot and stunts.

    The naive notion of England as anything remotely close to a relevant global power lives on in things like silly Bond films.

    • Mike

      DW – thankfully yours is a minority view. Extremely anti-British, did a British person drive over your dog in a Cadillac ATS (yes I read TTAC too).

      The Queen is certainly not an ugly, vicious hag. She is well liked (80% plus in the UK) and has been dutiful for 60+ years – longer than you have been alive.

      The UK was “lucky” to be at the centre of the industrial revolution. Luck had nothing to do with it. Inventiveness, creativity and scientific know how (still shown by a disproprotionate number of nobel prizes in sciences) are what made the UK lead the industrial revolution and be the top nation for >100 years.

      • Andy

        LOL at the UK being “lucky” to be at the centre of the industrial revolution. Is that like California being “lucky” to have the success of Silicon Valley? Of course not, it didn’t happen by accident. Both relied on having the right social culture and the right mix of talented and enterprising individuals.

    • DeadWeight

      England is a stale, dead relic, and the world is better off for it.

      They have values antithetical to those that allowed America to arise & thrive, and allowed a de facto caste system and an outsized financial/banking/real estate system, along with dynastic wealth, to doom their nation.

      Any rational person is able to directly & frankly see and call out the monarchy, symbolic though it may be, for what it is: silly.

      There have been many great Brits, but Britain has never been great.

  11. tifoso

    Good for you Jack in knocking down this tiresome and facile trope where Western civilization is the nexus for all that ails mankind.

        • VolandoBajo

          UH-uh, Ensign Benson!

          My ancestors are from Herefordshire.

          “You could look it up…”– Casey Stengel

          Better yet, one of the prominent members came over on the Mayflower. And had the good sense to make the voyage a round trip. The family stayed back in Herefordshire for a couple of hundred years after he returned there, coming back to the US again only in the nineteenth century.

          We think that it shows that he had more common sense than the voyagers who stayed here.

          But re: Bond-age. Craig is awful. Connery was the best, perhaps the only true Bond. I think you have to have missed him in original releases to be enthralled by Lazenby, Moore or Dalton.

          I heard on the backgammon circuit that the producer of the first many Bond films finally stopped hiring Connelly because Connelly kept winning as much or more money than his salary at the backgammon table with that producer, Cubby Broccoli, with the accent on the second sylabble, and not as in David Spade doing Elton John “Chopping Brocco-LEE”.

          Also read that one of the currrent producers thought Idries Elba was too ghetto, in spite of the fact that he is an accomplished Shakespearean actor, among other things. So Harris Wood’s agent wouldn’t even get a return call.

          Though the actor who played Omar (was up most of the night doing computer upgrades, so my memory is failing me at the moment) would be an interesting Bond. Certainly had the bold and indominatable spirit.

          Makes me also think that the old Greek coffee shop/luncheonette owner would make an interesting villain.

          But as to the central problems with the new Bond, your analysis is spot on.

          Best Bond films, IMNERHO, were Thunderball and You Only Live Twice.

          The Damon Bourne films were much more in the vein of a good bond movie than any of the later Bond films.

          The whole slew of recent films seem like they are just a hodge-podge of pandering to mass market perceived tastes of every variety, wth a strong emphasis on a limousine liberal’s birds-eye view of evil.

          And the torture scene in QoS looked like a DVR cover in the window of a Greenwich VIllage bookstore, a la the ones I passed by when in grad school. Looked like a cheap attempt at attracting a larger audience by giving the lads something for their taste, to offset the hetero fantasies of earlier Bond movies.

          Though I found it just off-putting and a waste of time to watch DC getting his nuts smashed, as in some English schoolboy fantasy. Not very PC of me, but if I was into that sort of thing, I’d just go to a XXX theater and get it full strength. But certainly far afield from a laser beam slowing moving closer to Bond’s fully-clothed junk in one of the early ones. If memory serves, which it very well may not, I think it was GF.

          The new stuff is neither true Bond, nor entertaining…it is just whiny and with a world view so tilted from the original that it is surprising that the film doesn’t just slide off the side of the screen.

          After QoS I swore I was done with Bond films until something occurred that would make them more like the early blockbuster productions, blockbuster as in a very large explosive event, not in blockbuster as yet another DVD on a video store shelf.

          I was surprised to note that you didn’t consider Fiennes as Bond…British enough, and a hell of an actor, who is capable of carrying and bearing his anguish nobly and mostly silently, except when emoting to a sympathetic member of the opposite sex. Think The English Patient.

          As a point of departure from this sad field that Bond has been reduced to, I will state that Bruce WIllis Die Hard films are bettter Bond-style movies than the last few in the Bond dossier.

          And yes, no more tortured tales of Bond’s lonely troubled childhood. I wonder where they got that whole kick from. Makes me think perhaps the Hitman franchise, only not as interesting a backstory in the new Bond films.

          Another candidate for Bond, perhaps even better than Fiennes: Jason Statham. I know it is fashionable to discount his acting talent, but he seems capable of making Bondian forays into enemy territory come off as plausibly something he could make happen.

          But if the series stays as insipid as it has been for the past few years, I would rather rent the Connery Bond films, and forget all about this bastardized collection of crappy adventure stories that are allegedly Bond stories. Your cataloging of the deficiencies of DC is an excellent summation of what is wrong with the lead. And the list of what is wrong with the plots perfectly nails just how vapid the whole mess had become.

  12. Domestic Hearse

    Bring back the Bond who gives us a wink and a playful turn of phrase just as he’s A) about to be sawn in half, or B) sliding his hand up a beautiful thigh. Bring back titles like Octopussy. Stop being so PC, Bond. Seriously, why so serious?

  13. Athos

    They have been running them all in local TV in “preparation” for the local premiere. So we have had 2 months+ of Bond movies, new and old. And we’re already in Star Wars cycle #2 and btw, what’s that garbage of showing “new” Anakin at the end of Return of the Jedi?

    It’s good to read this as it seems like the previous 2 (we watched Skyfall at the local drive in), this one is better off from the $2 automated kiosk.

    Casino Royale shows an inexperienced and frankly blunt Bond. Definitely not what you would expect from one of these movies.

  14. VolandoBajo

    PS Thanks for publicizing the water battle in Bolivia. That area is or at least was almost exclusively a large “pueblo” of mostly just indigenous Otavalo Indians, the majority of whom survive by a combination of subsistence farming and traveling the world bartering and trading. They are the ones that wear serapes and gray bowl-shaped hats, and can be seen occasionally in major US cities.

    The people there would have no practical way to earn money to pay for water. And it was not just Bechtel and their partner that are the villains…the World Bank, according to the story, made it a condition of gaining money to improve the water supply in Bolivia.

    Nothing more than a cold-hearted disregard for the traditional way of life of these people, very much akin to the way the US tried to force US native Americans to become “white”, and to abandon their traditional way of life.

    There are similar things going on today in parts of Mexico, according to my best friend, who lives there half of every year. I am not a bleeding heart liberal, demanding reparations for example. But I am solidly in favor of not forcing people like these to have to move to cities and to start looking for bottom of the barrel jobs in order to be able to afford even drinking water.

    Thanks for putting that information out there for the consideration of your followers.

  15. VolandoBajo

    One more alternate new Bond: Charley Hunnam, recently of Sons off Anarchy.

    Before you laugh that off, listen to him speak in his native British accent, It will make you forget about a Hell’s Angels style chapter president.

  16. Baconator

    Thanks for sharing the Bechtel story – did not know that was the original of Quantum of Solace.

    Ian Fleming already wrote an origin story both plausible and poignant: Bond is an orphan who had become a war hero because his suicidal recklessness was mistaken for bravery. The Secret Service had recognized him for what he really was, and decided that he was unhinged in just the right way to make for a good cog in its ethically-fuzzy machine. MI6 became Bond’s family, but a family that sends him out to be killed with abusive regularity. Bond’s very 1950’s ethic of “service to the job and the country above all else” with a side of “I need to drink to forget” made him a sort of everyman that audiences could identify with, despite his seemingly superhuman abilities in the fighting and f**king departments. Just a guy with massive sorrows, doing his best to do a dirty job well. What more origin story was necessary?

  17. hank chinaski

    Why is new Bond wearing a hairshirt and getting tortured, shot and otherwise derided?
    Because of all the shameless pussy slaying and asskicking in the Connery days. And that time he turned his dance partner to take a bullet for him and stuck his finger in the hole. For every henchman in yellowface that he punched or shot.

    The current SJ crowd can’t have that, so suffer he must and penance he serves. “Down with the imperialist cis white patriarchy!”

    I understand why the DisneySonymegacorpmedia has been diversifying their casts…it’s business marketing 101 to grab new audience demographics and it plays well globally. That said, it’s a real thumb in the eye to their pitifully loyal core audience. Star Wars and comics are the mythology of, and created by and for white male misfit incels. Taking this away from them is just….mean.

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  19. galactagog

    well I saw it tonight;

    I wanted to claw my eyes out, the second half was so bad

    -the whole Blofeld tie-in was stupid and totally unnecessary
    -the torture scene was dumb
    -the escape from the torture scene was dumb
    -the suspense music going ” dugga-dugga, dugga-dugga, dugga-dugga , dugga-dugga, dugga-dugga ” ad nauseum during the ETERNAL last scene, made me feel like I was trapped in a video game with the volume cranked, the PC/Console frozen & looping from Hell
    -Blofeld’s dollar-store halloween makeup scar was laughable. Not to mention it was across his eye, after the watch exploded in his nuts

    …enough….I give up, it’s a waste of time to criticize this sorry excuse of a movie any more. Too much to list!

    How the hell did they blow $250 million making this pile of crap, and not bother to write a decent script?

    It had potential. The first half wasn’t so bad: I am disappointed they didn’t go anywhere better with the story. Dumbest premise ever.


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