I had the privilege of watching the premiere of ‘Spectre‘, the new James Bond instalment (courtesy of my father-in-law, who won four tickets to watch it at GSC in One Utama. So I went with my husband, and both my in-laws). Daniel Craig returned as the troubled, rule-breaking Agent 007, with Ralph Fiennes as ‘M’, Ben Whishaw as ‘Q’, and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny. Other roles were Lea Seydoux as Austrian doctor and possibly Bond’s new love, Madeleine Swann, Christoph Waltz as Oberhauser a.k.a. Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Dave Bautista as the villain Hinx, and Andrew Scott as Max Denbigh. I only know three names, though: Monica Belluci (Lucia), Daniel Craig, and Ralph Fiennes. I have no idea who the rest are.
The plot dilutes a lot in this movie, with critics rating it less than three stars out of five (read the review here on USA Today). The only best performing Bond movie so far with Daniel Craig in it was Skyfall. The rest were quite soggy in terms of performance. IMDB.com kicked off the movie with:
“A cryptic message from the past sent James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia, the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh, the new head of the Centre of National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6 led by M. Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny and Q to help him seek out Madeleine Swann, the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White, who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of the assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks.”
My thoughts were centred only on one or two things. The first that got tangled in my brain was the opening credits. The song ‘Writing on the Wall’ is the movie soundtrack sung by Sam Smith, a crooner with a falsetto. I’m not sure that I’m able to associate a high-pitched song with the aggression and testosterone-fuelled movie like James Bond. After Adele performed for Skyfall, I expected a strong and steady theme for Spectre. I was wrong. What followed next was a resemblance of ‘tentacle porn’. I’m not trying to be gross here, but watching large octopus silhouttes curling its long, tendril-like arms around guns, women and the villains just reminded me of ‘tentacle porn’.
Then we have the plot. Treachery, treachery, and more treachery. Let’s throw in some backstabbing and betrayals into the treachery mix and voila, we’ve got ourselves a moody and miserable Bond, hellbent on righting the wrongs in his life and taking revenge. That’s what I’d say if anyone asked me for a spontaneous interview on what are my thoughts of the latest Bond movie. What do other Bond fans think about the movie? I don’t know. I only know that I don’t like Daniel Craig. So when the first three Craig-Bond movies came out (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall), I lost interest. Not that I loved Pierce Brosnan all that much but somehow, I felt Brosnan’s Bond connected with me more than Craig’s Bond. Heck, the first three movies were so insignificant to me that I can barely remember what happened in them, except for when ‘M’ died in Skyfall. I thought Craig looked a bit like a pasty-faced British goblin (much like the other pasty-faced British actor, Robert Pattinson. OMG I hope Pattinson doesn’t get to be Bond, because I’d really stop watching it altogether!).
What about the contents? Think, Michael Bay and Transformers. What do you get? Many series of explosions. Large-scale explosions. Slow-motion explosions. Smaller explosions that erupt into little mushroom clouds of black, dirty smoke before the final closure of a large-scale explosion that leaves nothing pleasant to the eye or ears. At the end of the day, all I can say is that ‘Spectre’ came across as a mix-breed of Transformers and Fast and Furious. The explosions left me jerking in my seat, cringing each time the two supercars zipped down the streets of Rome while dodging other cars along the way. I’m not sure if my husband enjoyed it though.