Luke Quantrill reviews Spectre

I was hoping for Spectre to be set entirely in the Skyfall lodge. Albert Finney and Daniel Craig as Edith Bouvier Beale and Edie. The backstory reveals Skyfall was once a swinging Gatsby style summer residence - now long gone and replaced by bohemian squalor. Oh, it's a sea of leaves. If you lose something you can't find it again. It drops to the bottom. They'd be like Steptoe & Son. Who nicked the pink ones in my liquorice allsorts?
Ok, Spectre. Dia De Los Muertos. The Dead Are Alive. Stop it Mendes. You don't need any captions at the start of the film. It's not Koyaanisqatsi. We aren't going to open with dirt encrusted workers slaving away on the muddy slopes of the Serra Pelada gold mines or sample Hopi Indian cave-paintings to Philip Glass. We are leading up to a helicopter stunt. Seems like a conscious attempt to replicate that carnival atmosphere from some of the old Bond films. Thunderball. Sir Roger in Rio. It works to an extent but what is it with modern films and that washed out look? It's like someone drains the vividness out of everything. The long tracking shot at the start is done well but the PTS sniper guff feels like it was taken from Licence To Kill. It's very Naked Gun that the men in the room can't see him. Is it me or is Craig is starting to look like Tony Parsons as he gets older? Bond goes Buster Keaton/Spider-Man as the building explodes (or whatever happened). Landing on the sofa is supposed to be funny. It's a laugh riot this film.
The PTS is too long. They've got all this footage of the festival and they're going to use it if it kills them. Daniel deploys his 'I'm very determined' facial expression/grimace. Is anyone getting bored of this yet? The helicopter stunt feels like the start of For Your Eyes Only crossed with an episode of Airwolf. It's not very exciting. Did you ever watch that episode of Airwolf, the cheapo later series with Barry Van Dyke, where Dick Van Dyke played the villain? That was fantastic. I still wonder if that really happened or I ate too much cheese that night. Where was I? Daniel Kleinman's titles. One of the most disturbing things I have ever seen. I'd put it second to the Flycatcher episode of Tales of the Unexpected. Daniel Craig and alien looking tentacles. They throw shots of the previous Craig films in - OHMSS style. Ugh. That Sam Smith. He's having a laugh isn't he?
The film begins. We made it. The Moneypenny actress still can't act. She isn't relaxed at all. Wooden. Bingo tonight James? Bring the Tizer. Bond at home. It's not exactly Roger Moore unzipping Maddie Smith's dress. What a bore this man is. That monotone voice. I don't know about Craig being the best Bond since Connery. I'm amazed that anyone has managed to sit through one of his films and stay awake. Some terrible dialogue in this film. "You have a secret. You don't trust anyone." Tanner and Bond on a boat. Nine Eyes. "We'll have access to the intelligence streams of nine countries." "Including us." Yes, thank you Einstein. You know a script is bad when characters have to spell everything out for you. Q in the basement. Never Say Never Again. Actually, it's John Cleese in Die Another Day isn't it? Smart blood is something that sounds straight out of Die Another Day too. It's ironic that Bond doesn't find Q very funny because Ben Whishaw is much funnier than Daniel Craig.
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"Rome is simply marvelous. A kind of jungle - humid and beautiful, loud at times, peaceful at others. It's a place where you can hide behind the foliage..." How I wish I was watching La Dolce Vita. Mendes is trying to get a Godfather vibe going. I can't believe I just said vibe. The film is going very orange. "Life insurance." Is Daniel Craig still awake at this point? Have they replaced  him with a wax dummy? He's mauling Monica Bellucci. I'm going to vomit. "Do not go James. They'll show you no mercy. They don't even serve napkins with their spaghetti hoops." Secret SPECTRE meeting. They control everything. Drugs, prostitution, potato waffles. The car chase. Rome is empty of cars and people. It's like Bond is in a Hopper painting. The old fella in the car is Roger era Bond. Here's the difference: in the Roger era they'd have got a laugh out of this. Bond flips a switch and New York, New York starts playing. It's not funny. Who is writing the jokes for this film? Ejector seat. Goldfinger. Yawn.
Austria. It's Mr White. Who? I can't tell these Craig films apart let alone remember who Mr White is. "I was at a meeting recently and your n-aaaaame came up." Daniel Craig's acting school voice is malfunctioning. White is a goner apparently. They've put plutonium in his fish fingers. Blofeld is everywhere. "He's sitting at your desk, he's having supper with your family." He's putting toast in the toaster. He's bringing the kettle to the boil. He's everywhere godammit! Bond's hat and top is a tribute to Victor Tourjansky maybe. Back in London, Moriarty wants to replace the Double-O-Section with intelligence gathering, drones and Daleks. Mendes makes London during the day look like Stalingrad. He's such a romantic and visionary director. White's daughter Swann is in a mountain top clinic that seems empty. Looks like the mountain in the GoldenEye PTS. The sequence where Bond nabs a plane (from apparently nowhere in a matter of seconds) and destroys it chasing after the kidnapped Swann in the snow is really stupid. Feels like it was inspired by the tunnel sequence in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
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Let's remind ourselves of something at this point. SPECTRE links everything. It's all interconnected. Everything. They were behind Silva, whoever the villain in Quantum of Solace was, England losing on penalties in Euro 96, Chesney Hawkes, instant Mash potato, Christmas adverts in October. EVERYTHING. Gordon Bennett. Does this film ever end? I'm losing the will to live. Tangier. Craig is dressed like Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights. Earlier he had a black number that made him look like Pierce Brosnan in Die Another Day. I think someone in the fashion department has been watching old Bond films. Swann and Bond in the hotel or flat or wherever they are. A quieter scene. I'm falling asleep. I have no interest in these characters. Bond has found a secret room. Hey, maybe they'll find a screenplay in there!
The train fight should have ended with Bond saying: "No one beats me in the kitchen!" Not enough screen time for Dave Bautista. I'd forgotten he was even in the film before the train attack. The villain's lair. A crater in the desert. You'd think they'd avoid the desert after Quantum of Solace. Blofeld, sorry, Franzy, no, Blofeld. Oh, that twist. He's waffling on about meteorites. "It was all me James." M, Vesper. Do you remember when you had that really bad cold last year? The one that took a week to shake off and cost you a small fortune in Tunes, Lockets and Menthol Eculyptus? That was me too Mr Bond. I sneezed behind you on a bus. No, please. Not another Daniel Craig torture sequence. Anything but this. He seems to be in real pain. Maybe they are making him listen to Sam Smith's new album.
The Blofeld reveal lands with a thud. It doesn't help that we all knew this when Waltz was hired. The very title of this stupid film gives the game away doesn't it? Blofeld watches everything and knows everything. He knows about 00 agents and Bond and Q and M. Yet it never occurs to him that Bond's watch might be a gadget of some sort. Craig walks around with a machine gun shooting everyone. Don't the anoraks complain about Brosnan doing that? Bond never feels in any peril whatsoever in this film. His escape from Blofeld's crater lair is ridiculously easy. He shoots a pipe of some sort and the entire complex blows up. They introduce a villain's lair in a crater and then show us one poxy room before Bond escapes!
The last act in London is tedious. Feels like Man with the Golden Gun with the target range scene. More helicopter nonsense. Bond is in a boat shooting at a helicopter. Give the helicopters a rest for cripes sake. That seems to be the climax. How exciting. Did they run out of money after paying Daniel Craig's salary? Ok, that's that. The end credits at long last. Thank you. I've suffered enough. I'll see you in five years for the next Daniel Craig film. I can hardly wait!
- Luke Quantrill

c 2015 Alternative 007

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