Despite rampant misogyny and violence, I love a Bond movie. Always have — and by “always,” I mean since 2008, when I took a student-taught class in college about Bond movies — and always will. When I picture James Bond from the past in my head, I see Pierce Brosnan. When I picture him in the future, I see Idris Elba. And now you know how old I am.
Moving on to Spectre. It is so very, incredibly clearly Daniel Craig’s final run as 007 that it actually hurts a little. I’ll miss him, but I don’t blame the guy for wanting to get out. James Bond is not someone we should be idolizing. He’s an alcoholic, womanizing, egotistical liar — and actually, the great thing about Spectre is that all of those horrific qualities are exposed. Of course, they’re always exposed, it’s just that in this particular installment, there’s emphasis on the fact that the qualities are indeed horrific. What a concept! Admitting to imperfection! Times are changing.
And yet despite being a female and a feminist, and in theory being disgusted by how slow entertainment is to embrace the basic concepts of feminism, I absolutely love this shit. Craig is, as usual, mesmerizing. Even when he’s seducing an older lady to get to her rich evil husband. Even when he’s seducing a much younger one to get to her rich evil father. Even when he’s disobeying M (Ralph Fiennes, ever dreamy) and putting Q (Ben Whishaw, ever dreamier) in harm’s way. He’s the slickest of the slick, and he’ll always wear a suit better than any other Bond.
I’d reiterate the plot to you, but honestly, I don’t remember too much of it. The story was incredibly convoluted. It’s not important. There was the mandatory hiking-in-snow shot, the non-sensical girl-falling-in-love shot, several chases, a Bond’s-gone-MIA scene… and there were also nice additions, like the much younger lady, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) actually getting to shoot a gun/save Bond; Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) actually getting laid/having her own life; and Bond sleeping with someone age-appropriate (the aforementioned “older lady,” played by Monica Bellucci). And the movie, in its wrap-uppiness, inserted a lot of Past Craig-as-Bond Imagery, including footage of Judi Dench! Points for cohesion.
There was also a cool throwback to Bond days of yore, with Christoph Waltz reprising Blofeld. Only problem is, his character was completely, totally not scary. Not even a little. Considering how wonderful Waltz can be, he was a real yawn. If he returns in the next film, I hope they at least give him a stupid haircut.
One last thing: The intro was so, so terrible. Some of it contained that aforementioned Craig-as-Bond Imagery, but some of it contained Craig being enveloped by ladies and octopus tentacles. What the holy sweet shit? Poor Sam Smith’s so-so song didn’t help, either. It’s hard to top Adele. Or Tina, for that matter.
But, whatever. I had fun. Bring on the next one!