I love James Bond movies and I really love Daniel Craig. Notably, two of the best things about Spectre are female characters. With the painfully beautiful Monica Belluci as the first middle-aged Bond woman (and why shouldn’t there be more! LOOK AT HER) and the impossibly flawless/fierce Léa Seydoux as Dr. Swann, Bond has a reason to end the film the way he did. The musical score was sweeping, and Sam Mendes’ budget was clearly through the roof. I was entertained, but the more I think about it, the more disappointed I am by Craig’s last Bond film. It’s no secret that Craig is over playing the infamous spy, as his frequent flippant remarks about the role signal. Though worth the big screen viewing, don’t expect anything more than a stunning spectacle from Spectre. Here are the most disappointing aspects of the new Bond installment.
1. The opening montage of Bond v. Bad Guy. I am all about the opening fight scenes where Bond usually makes a mess of some foreign metropolis, but this one felt forced and I didn’t understand the motivation. I heard the tall Bad Guy say he was going to blow up a stadium but… ok. It was weird, not to mention the seeming suit advertisement with Craig just walking across the roof for a good three minutes.
2. Monica Belluci lives. How am I supposed to believe that Bond leaves and she just miraculously lives? When there were two hit-men in her house immediately when she got home? And that Bond’s response is for her to “call the embassy.” Now you’ve gone too far. Since when does Bond defect to an embassy and it goes well?
3. Dr. Swann starts out wanting nothing to do with Bond, telling him she’ll kill him. And SHOCKINGLY after she saves his life, she ends up in love with him. Alright… he IS a babe, but come on. That was not difficult at all. Can she have a little more integrity for a little longer? We don’t even meet her until about halfway through the film.
4. Christoph Waltz as Oberhauser is not that evil or that much of a surprise. My favorite/least favorite part was when Oberhauser tells Bond “I’m going to hit this nerve and you won’t remember anything or anyone!” And then it doesn’t work and nothing gets said about it. The brother connection just didn’t seem that viable or that interesting.
5. Andrew Scott, AKA Jim Moriarty, as C. I suppose there are about ten people out there in the world who will see Spectre that haven’t seen BBC’s Sherlock and will be surprised that the guy who is all for surveillance is WHAT, EVIL? Obviously Moriarty is going to be bad. Another disappointing, easily concluded plot point.
6. Swann says she can’t live this life (womp) and leaves Bond (womp). He watches her walk away into a dark London alley (womp) and she gets kidnapped by Oberhauser who is not in fact dead (WOMP).
7. Bond and Dr. Swann walk off into the sunset after BOND DOES NOT KILL his evil brother. In what world is Bond not going to shoot that villain? And may I remind you that we are supposed to credit Bond’s current character traits as being a product of what happened when he tried to do this exact same thing with Vesper? I accept that Bond is a dynamic character and can change, but the lack of development and/or convincing reasoning, especially when he was happy to let Swann walk away mere moments beforehand, is not compelling… and not very Bond.
8. The opening song. I love Sam Smith (A LOT) but that opening song was such a drag. I guess it’s hard to outdo Adele’s intro song for Skyfall. Or impossible.
I’ll take an opportunity to stare at Daniel Craig any day, but this was a poor closing chapter to one of the best Bond runs by any one actor. I weep to see Craig depart the role, but I can still watch Casino Royale whenever I want.