Spectre ★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

If I live to (00)700 years old I will never understand why Sam Mendes et al. decided the right move after Skyfall, a film about whether James Bond deserves a place in the modern world, was to make Spectre, a film about ... whether James Bond deserves a place in the modern world. I’ve loved the Bond franchise my whole life, and Craig is a terrific 007 when he’s allowed to be. But at a certain point, if the creators of these movies feel so uncertain why this guy continues to exist — and in any other franchise the conclusion of this movie would essentially mean he doesn’t exist anymore — doesn’t that, like, say something?

Stray Thoughts:
-Building up Moneypenny into such an integral character in Skyfall only for her to serve such a minor, superfluous role here is so disappointing.

-I get that Blofeld being an absurdly welcoming host and then explaining his entire evil plan to Bond is a classic trope of this franchise. I just wish there was a little bit of zip or zing in his dialogue. Christoph Waltz is such perfect casting for a Bond villain, it almost seems like they didn’t conceptualize Blofeld or his performance any further than that.

-The notion of Bond and Blofeld as brothers is enormously silly, but a lot of good Bond movies are enormously silly. I think it’s an idea that probably could work if these men actually acted for even a single second like they had met before. They don’t share one moment where they seem to know each other or relate to each other as people with long histories would. They may as well be total strangers.

-The torture scene in this movie always confuses me. Blofeld’s like “I’m going to stick this into your cerebral blabbedy bloop and you won’t be able to walk!” and “Once I drill right here into your temporal flibberdy doob you won’t remember who Madeleine is!” and he drills into Bond’s skull a bunch of times, Bond escapes, and he’s totally fine and completely unchanged! It’s as if Goldfinger had actually zapped Sean Connery in the balls with his “I expect you to die!” laser and 007 just shrugged and walked it off.