007 James Bond Spectre vs Skyfall (Spectre Swiss Pre-Premiere)
Spectre - Spoiler Alert!
I’m not a critic, but a critical fan.
I’ve watched all Bonds several times, I own them all.
Spectre was a disappointment but you should still watch it!
In fact, the Bond franchise should be a school standard if I’d call the shots.
I learned last night (if I didn’t already know), that Skyfall is the perfect Bond.
Basically for all the right reasons that were turned to all the wrongs in Spectre.
Spectre sports one of the best opening sequences in the 007 history.
Flattening half a city block inside 5 minutes among thousands of people celebrating the Day of the Dead is as breathtaking as you'd hope and photographed spectacularly, mostly by drone cameras.
I just don’t get the first girl Estrella as there is no history, no relation, no character, instead a vague hint of an erotic moment without any reason before 007 takes off to rid the world of Monica Bellucci’s hubby.
And this is where the trouble starts.
Almost all new characters are either not introduced at all or with such a rush that there is no time to fall for them.
As Bellucci appears, she’s got no anchor in the plot at all.
Bond humps her ten seconds after he meets her, pretty much at the same time as he saves her life in a (nicely choreographed) double flash kill - only to leave her in a rush (still normal Bond style) but without her re-appearing on the silver screen ever again.
Useless and flat.
She lends no character or mystery to the remainder of the story.
She’s just gone.
Retired I guess.
Léa Seydoux is given a tad more time to fill her character with life, but she fails by mostly staring scared or wondering at some (arguably) drastic scenes where I’d have wished a bit of emotion or soul shining in her ice cold eyes.
She’s got nice lips and wears the most stunning dress you’ll ever see in Cinema - but that’s pretty much it - too.
What a shame!
Right after I trembled in excitement when he educated the new C. about Bond’s Ying & Yang job profile (“He’s also got the license not to kill!”) M. turns down the best volley cross the writers could have penciled into the script for him:
Deciding to cut 007 off to safe what’s left of the mission and hope, I would have loved at least the idea of some sort of an inner struggle or an ice cold dark joke for that matter.
We all remember the old M. and how she was allowed to excel in such moments!
None of which was presented so I was left with a mailman who delivers the weekly TV mag by dumping it on the front lawn from a fast racing bicycle.
M. does have a couple of small witty scenes later however.
But nothing beyond normal expectation for his character.
And why did the writers rush Ms Moneypenny through the scenes with an alarming lack of reflective humor as we loved her for it in Skyfall so-so much?
She gets to show off a set of most unbelievably erotic underwear however, so I won’t complain too much but I still feel sad for Naomie Harris as an actress.
The number of sizable jokes seem to be halfed compared to Skyfall which proves a lack of bravery and, again: too many meaningless sidesteps that did not help to paint a bigger picture but stole valuable time out of the longest Bond ever, would you believe it.
Speaking of bigger picture: there are two.
And both of them are equally lame and shallow.
Threading a wild count of former Bond characters together as mini masterminds of their past assignments to lead to the uber mastermind who is introduced to have been behind it all from the outset, makes no sense whatsoever and seems nothing but desperately squeezed out of an uncreative screen wright.
To make matters worse: Christoph Waltz, who can scare the bejeezus out of the most evil monsters even if he has to play their pudding spoon, fails miserably in living up to that potential uber scare.
He’s got nothing behind a technical tick-off-the-boxes process that could remotely earn my respect in that character.
I understand that you can’t top off Bardem or even Waltz himself in the Basterds flick.
But when you have the audacity to tap into the franchise’s core moments with their blood freezing performances, you better make all of them look like lollipops in a Barney & Friends show candy store.
I guess someone just wanted to place the weakest line of monologue into the plot ("I am the cause of all your pain"). But if you really want to see a brotherly relation going brutally sour, turn to Dexter for crying out loud.
When Andrew Scott makes his appearance as C. you'd bet you are in for a treat when you enjoyed him in Sherlock of late.
Only: the half knitted and preposterous big data freak show that manages to only scratch on the surface of pretty much any tabloid shout-out about the matter, and the lame dialogues without any depth at all, fail his extraordinary capabilities to show utter evil in a weirdly lovable face.
Everything about his role is predictable and lacks depth and mystery.
Epic fail: the way he goes.
Everything seems to be as rushed and mindlessly, carelessly executed and designed as our common world and life styles nowadays under the pressure of same such topics that the writers try to address but fail to lead anywhere.
If there is a hidden sociatal criticism in this general impression: then kudos - but I doubt any intention. For the price of disappointment and utter boredom no less.
I could go on and on about the minor and bigger disappointments from last night’s Swiss pre-premier but I want to end on a positive note or two.
Thank you for Hinx and his brutal dumbness and yet creative evilness that accounted for some rare Bond-like entertainment highlights. He was the only character able to scare me and enjoy at the same time.
But what I enjoyed most of all was Q. of all people as he was already increasing charm, wit and a sense of loyal, humanistic nerdyness in Skyfall.
Only to exceed my expectations with a forced field trip (hilarious): he felt so incredibly uncomfortable at, that it hurt watching his every step outside his craft bunker and answering 007’s call for action with “I have a mortgage and two cats to attend to”.
Only to top it off with a genius word play in reflection of 007’s Aston Martin (Aaaaah, the M10!!!) treatment record (I won't spoil it here as it was my only moment of uncontrolled laughter in this movie).
A shiny moment in what I still consider a proper but disappointing Bond for they outperformed themselves with Skyfall - so, I know it’s hard to live up to.
To sum it up: none of the girls die in this Bond, nor would it make any sense to kill them off as there wouldn’t be anything to be angry or sad about.
Gone are the nights as you wept into your pillow upon Vesper's mystery and formidably designed tragic vanishing into heavy waters.
To me there were many lost opportunities and even more dull moments in both character and dialogues that we have seen many times ways better written and performed.