Has any film series ever inspired a generation to yarn for a particular career path more than James Bond and the exotic, glamorous world of espionage? Has any other film series made a nation fall deeper in love with a particular car more than James Bond and the Aston Martin?
Smooth, aloof and with the undoubted ability to kill any man with his bare hands, ever since the first Ian Fleming book was adapted into a film, cinema has long been in absolute fascination with James Bond. With fast cars, beautiful woman and abs to wash your clothes on. I myself have been locked in a love affair with the perennial spy ever since I first saw Daniel Craig saunter onto screen with that perfect poise and those diamond cutting, shimmering blue eyes. With critically acclaimed highlight Casino Royale and Box Office Smashing Skyfall, it would be difficult to say that Craig’s rein as 007 hasn’t been successful. For most and myself included, he is by the far the best Bond that there has ever been. However, Spectre on other hand really doesn’t due either the actor, the series or the excellence of director Sam Mendez justice.
Throughout the past; a Rolex watch that can cut through metal, a flamethrower disguised as bagpipes and a mobile phone that can read fingerprints (oh yeah, I think that’s an actual thing now); after all these years Bonds claim to realism has never caused me to rarely agonise over. Because the truth is the eye widening, pulse raising excitement of James bond has always been enough to suspend my disbelief. But even for me some of the stunts, characters and scenes in Spectre where too much on the absurd, over the stop and too riddled with plot holes for my liking. The story goes like this: A posthumous cryptic message from M, sends Bond across the globe at a race against time to uncover the motives and truth behind a secret organisation called Spectre. Which ominously connects some of the most sadistic and infamous crime figures in Bonds past and could be blamed for a series of coordinated explosions across the globe.
Starting off with the positives, Spectre is filled with stunning locations that make you want to get your selfie stick out. Well-coordinated and executed fight scenes that almost leaving you ducking and diving to avoid every punch. Incredible Bond outfits that make you turn green with style envy and desperately searching catalogues for the same outfits in your size.
However none of the above were enough to paint over the Grand Canyon sized cracks; first in the convoluted storyline that lacked any real focus or compelling hook. Even the less beloved Quantum of Solace which was known for being boring, but at least it had a storyline with heavy intellect and a series of events that could actually occur in real life. While all Spectre consisted of was a long series of explosions that failed to coincide with any real purpose. Christopher Waltz was supposed to be the big bad villain and seeing his performance in Inglorious as an evil Nazi, seemed like the perfect match. Yet in the film he sunk back into the realms of evil villain caricatures that would have made Dr No. from Austin Powers seem menacing and credible. While the relationship between Bond and latest Bond girl Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) seemed extremely forced, to the point that Swan admitted to loving Bond within three days of knowing the guy. Thus weakening her character and further dampening my hopes that we will ever see a Bond girl with enough real substance to step away from Bonds shadow.
The accompanying song, Writing on the Wall by Sam Smith was also overshadow by the powerhouse of Adele’s Skyfall and thus it would surprise me if it achieved similar Oscar/Grammy winning glory. So now I have to come to the conclusion, after 24 Bond films and six incarnations of the MI5 spy spanning over 60 years, since Ian Flemings initial book Casino Royale. Has bond finally run out of steam? Well evidently from Spectre, possibly yes.