Spectre ★½

There's a moment in this film that sums up to me why it's trash pretty well. It's when Bond and Madeline Swan are on the train at dinner. Their chemistry is nil and underdeveloped, because they haven't had that much developed banter and their interactions have to this point been driven to serve the plot or info-dump. There is a hint of trying to unpack a new theme in this conversation. What is James Bond didn't have to be a professional killer? What is his nature. Then, Dave Buatista comes in and kicks their table over in a quick cut. This is unforshadowed and has the timing of a comic jump cut. This moment is tailor made to be a meme. You can just see and hear the studio notes.

Spectre is bad because it represents the "Marvelization" of this franchize and movies/tv in general in the mid-2010s. Everything has to be inter-connected and meant to worldbuild (in other words to create monetizable entities). Nothing can stand on its own. Everything can be retconned. Nothing has stakes everything to serve the fans! Spectre is a movie meant to generate twitter discourse rather than entertain the audience in the act of watching it. With each passing year, online fans are more and more the tail that wags the dog, and 007 is not here to save us from the corporations or ourselves. Putrid.

I'm not even going to bother to spoiler tag this because I'm doing you a public service if you haven't seen it- the decision to make Blofeld Bond's long lost brother infuriates me. Why? What is accomplished here? Nothing. There was no reason for this other to generate twitter hot takes and start flame wars, thus generating clicks and therefore advertisement revenue.

On a more personal note, the experience of watching the above described horror in theater, plus not one month later having to sit through a remake of Star Wars: A New Hope instead of a promised new Star Wars film, just about broke me. Those were the two franchises most dear to young Morak99's heart. Donald Trump was president a year later. Watching this movie makes me think about humanity dying and civilization collapse and global warming and bad stuff.

I will give it some credit for its action sequences, which mostly are tight and thrilling. Beyond that though, blech. This is a bad movie. There are a large segment of the population that will only pay to see "Marvelized" movies and will watch 100 of these similar experiences. For them, I am sad, in the same way I am sad a blind person will never see a Van Gough or a deaf person will never hear Mozart.

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