What a run this Daniel Craig guy is on! Spectre‘s plot ties all of the previous Bond films he has starred in so far together, making Quantum of Solace completely worth sitting through.
The most difficult part with writing these reviews for Craig Bond is to not spoil anything. With the early films, you knew what you were getting: popcorn fun where we all know that Bond will be victorious and the fun is in seeing HOW he takes down the villain. Craig Bond does not break this tradition, but the plots are by far more intricate with some twists and surprises.
This is the advantage you have with Bond that is more human and less a comic book hero. It isn’t a complete switch. More like 65% human and 35% Tony Stark. But this style does come at a cost. So, I wasn’t shocked to see it barely got a pass from the critics and the casual audience over at Rotten Tomatoes.
Spectre has a problem. It isn’t exclusive to it as many other Hollywood blockbusters from this era have a similar issue. That is, how it can’t stand on its own. The Bond films used to be a series of movies with the thinnest of narrative to tie them together. The advantage of this is you could, for the most part, watch the films in any order you wish.
Since Casino Royale, the Bond films have become a serial. Not only are you required to have seen the previous films, but have them fresh in your memory as well. In fact, I recall not enjoying Spectre when I first watched it in 2015 as it expected me to be familiar with details from Casino Royale, a film that I last watched 9 years prior in 2006.
Going into Spectre this time with all of the previous Craig Bond films fresh in my mind, it was a joy to watch. I like how this Bond legit falls in love, but not in every picture. For the previous two films he was still on the rebound after losing Vesper in Casino Royale. He takes his time before allowing himself to do it again in Spectre, this time with Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux).
Bond’s team, “Q” (Ben Wishaw), “M” (Ralph Fiennes), and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) are now full on sidekicks who are integral to the plot. I like Bond having a consistent team that he has deeper relationships with beyond needing them for professional and superficial reasons.
But, none of these characters are given much of an introduction as the film expects you to be acquainted with Bond lore. Previous villains Le Chiffre, Mr. White, and Raoul Silva are regularly referenced too and you had better remember Judi Dench or you are hosed. I pity anyone who made this their first Bond film.
One character who did get a proper introduction is Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx. What a great heavy he makes for this film. He is the right amount of mean, ruthlessness, and toughness. Since you don’t need to know more than he is bad and wants to kill Bond for his own personal gain, they only give him one word of dialogue. It is a great moment when he finally says it.
Now for the final (?) competition with my wife, Sarah, to guess how long it would take Bond to first get laid during each of these films. It was Sarah’s turn to the dice and yet another *five* was rolled first! I think this might be the forth or fifth time in a row. Bizarre! Her second roll was a *two* which meant I had to choose if Bond would get laid over or under 52 minutes. I went with before.
Craig Bond, didn’t disappoint by scoring with a lady 29 minutes in! Yet another point goes to The Mars Man!
Sarah – 11
Mars – 9
I’m impressed with getting within two points to victory considering how poorly I started during the Connery years. Now, close observers may have noticed how I put a (?) after the word final. Although Spector is the last film in my James Bond boxset, Sarah has agreed to continue the competition beyond it! Next week we will be watching the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again starring official Bond Sean Connery. Then, we are set to watch the new Craig Bond film No Time To Die whenever it is released. We still have a possibility of a tie! Keep your eyes glued to BuriedOnMars.com to find out what will happen!
It sucks how Spector requires you to do the homework. You need to watch three other films to enjoy it, but you’ll be rewarded well if you do. I didn’t even get to the exciting bits of the film. I really enjoyed the car chase between Bond and Hinx in the streets of Tangier. Those stunt guys really made those cars drift! Fun to watch. Then, the scene where the bad guy (Identity withheld for spoiler reasons) began drilling into Bond’s head. Oof.
I couldn’t help but to think of Ghostbusters…
Get more Bond in you!
From Russia With Love
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Diamonds Are Forever
Live and Let Die
The Man With the Golden Gun
The Spy Who Loved Me
For Your Eyes Only
A View To A Kill
The Living Daylights
Licence To Kill
Tomorrow Never Dies
The World Is Not Enough
Die Another Day
Quantum of Solace
Never Say Never Again