Spectre — My review


Last night we went to see Spectre.  As the lights dimmed Mr B handed me a can of Pimms and said “I don’t think I have ever been to see a film this early before”.   As I opened my mouth to say “have you never been to a matinee?  7.30pm is hardly early”.   He then qualified the point with “I mean, it only came out yesterday”.     Normally we are not one for hype and don’t bother until people have stopped banging on about a film, or it comes out on DVD because I have an issue with paying £11 a ticket to hear somebody behind me eating a whole bag of sweets.  Or a tub of popcorn that is bigger than their head but then I have talked about that before: “Why I hate cinemas” .

I also realised that whilst in the cinema you can’t pause the action or rewind it when some idiot comes crashing in, half an hour into the film and tells a whole row they are in his family’s seats before skulking off with not so much as an apology when he realises he is in the wrong screen, or wrong date.

But on to Bond.   I must admit when the video came on to accompany Sam Smith’s high pitched warbling I did wonder if we had gone back a few years and were actually watching a rehash of Octopussy since the logo is one, and there is a huge one in the video.    But no, this is all about Spectre, and what or who that is, well you will have to watch the film.   I don’t want to give away any spoilers because I want you to go and see it.  Yes really.

There have been lots of reviews since the previews last week that have said it was “all right”.   Maybe a bit too long, maybe a few too many product placements etc and that generally it only got a 7 out of ten.     I went with an open mind as I am not a huge fan of Bond so didn’t really have too many preconceived ideas, or much to compare it too.   I have only seen two Bond films all the way through: Skyfall, Quantum of Solace so I can’t really say whether Craig is the best Bond ever or whether his films are better or worse than any others.   Maybe that is why I liked it so much.

It has all the things you would expect of a Bond film (that even I know about).  It is pure Bond.  It has to be epic, Skyfall was the largest grossing British film of all time and made a huge amount of money.  Huge.   So this one had to be even hugerer.  And there is only so much you can do to make it that huge, so of course it is going to be cliched, but that is what Bond films are about aren’t they?  We don’t want in jokes, or innuendo, or to have to think too much.   We want this to be on the TV in three years at Christmas and to be able to watch it with our grannies and not cringe at crude language or simulated sex scenes whilst we contemplate digesting another mince pie.

So what of it:

Buildings being blown up.  Check.   In the first ten minutes

Classic one liners.  Check.  We get the “Bond, James Bond” in about fifteen minutes.  Plus all the others you all know and love appear at some point.

High speed car chases.  Check check.

Gadgets. Half a check.    Not a huge amount, it has to be said, but then back in the day when nobody had gadgets it was probably easier for Q to come up with “state of the art wow gizmos”.   Now we have computers on our wrists and can switch our kettles on from our beds and our central heating on from the bus, Q has his work cut out a bit more.

Bond girls   Check.   Though why the hype about Monica Belluci I don’t know.  She is only in it for five minutes.    Lea Seydoux is who we should all be talking about.  She was superb.  And stunning.    Though how she can look glamorous in all white whilst being battered by wind in a desert and not look like a sweaty, dusty, humid frump is beyond me.

Planes, trains, more automobiles.   Checkedy check check

Foreign baddies.  Oh more checks than a checked thing.   Lots.  And some you may recognise.

Initials as names.  Check.   M, Q and new guy C.   And new girl T.   (I might have made that last one up) but using an initial is totally a new thing.

Tense.  Will he or won’t he scenes.   More checks

Climatic ending or one that makes you go “oh for heaven’s sake”.   Well I can’t tell you that, can I?  You need to go and make up your own mind.

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  • Marvellous!
    All these Bond jobs are superb escapism, safety valves which release us from hum-drum existence. We know it will never happen to us or to anyone we know but we can always dream? Chance would be a fine thing – not half.
    OK, they all contain the same elements; different batting order; changed garb or background; but who cares?
    Not I, for one.
    Carry on Bonding [sorry] say I

    • Exactly. Bond is formulaic We know roughly what we are going to get with Bond and that is why we love it. This was great. It is hard for me to sit still for nearly three hours without falling asleep and any film that can keep me awake or not fidgeting for that length of time gets my vote