Spectre – Exciting but not memorable

“Why, given every other possible option, does a man choose the life of a paid assassin?” Madeline Swann (Lea Seydoux) “Well, it was that or the priesthood.” James Bond (Daniel Craig) Such is the ironic staple of most by-the-numbers James Bond flicks. Sarcasm holds limited court in the 24th iteration, Spectre. I’m happy for that, but while I don’t want a return to the excessive smarm of Roger Moore, I would like more irony from Craig, just as depicted in the Heinekens commercial when Bond asks the babe if she’d like lunch after a harrowing boat incident.

Spectre movies

Spectre movies

In Spectre, Bond seeks out the head, Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), of a secret organization, Spectre, whose goal is to have dominion over information, a very smart contemporary quest. Although Waltz plays a little too reserved for my Bond taste, he does present a menace more terrifying because of his civilized veneer. Bond films have always been over the top for me, so underplaying is just not what I like best. Yet, Waltz is effectively villainous. The locales, from Rome to Tangier, are Bond beautiful as they fulfill the implicit bond between fans and the series to take the audience to exotic places with exotic women and exotic plots. As for the women, Madeline is way too sweet, harking back to Diana Rigg’s Tracy, who tames Bond in an uncharacteristic blip in his usually libertine life. As for the usually sexy, kittenish girls, Monica Bellucci as Lucia isn’t one; rather she is a sexy middle-aged woman who seems right for Bond. This lack of young cats and presence of a mature woman is a welcomed change. Madelaine best characterizes the Bond I love best: “Is this really what you want? Living in the shadows? Hunting, being hunted? Always alone?” To which I respond, “Hell, yes!” Spectre is boilerplate Bond, fun and improbable, only not enough of either for me. Craig brings a brooding to Bond to give the character nuance; if Craig should decide to leave the series, I would be happy with a hybrid of Connery and Moore to replace him. As the titles attest, “The dead are alive.” Let’s bring back dead Bonds.

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