I’ve been reading the lot of different scalding takes on James Bond since I was able to see a private Ellensburg screening of “Spectre” with 12 of my closest Ellensburg friends (some of which were able to point out quite verbally that the Star Wars trailer was indeed for the new Star Wars movie).
A lot of these takes include phrases like “How this shit killed Bond” or “Why 007 is dead” or “The Legacy of James, why you should click my shitty thought-piece about how these Bond movies are kind of like other movies that are out this generation. Ya know? I made connections to different pieces of pop culture in a similar era. I’m a good writer, see?!”
The thing is, it doesn’t fucking matter. Yes, this is the first time a James Bond plot has intertwined throughout multiple movies. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Like the man in the Rolling Stone so eloquently put it, Bond adapts to the times. Whether it was Moonraker in space, Brosnan driving through a fucking city with a tank or Craig bringing his grittier persona to character, the point is, Bond is fluid. It has to be. Bond would not have survived this long if it wasn’t.
Now I am a canon junkie. I’m a franchise guy, I like big universes and I like references back to things. It’s gratifying to me. That’s why I can apologize for this movie. The main plot of “Spectre” to me served a similar role to “The Dark Knight Rises.” An unnecessary, but fun and satisfying conclusion to a series of films. Do people that say this movie “KILLS BOND” wish they hadn’t made “Spectre”? I don’t get it.
But besides the sort of contrived link to the past decade of films, which admittedly I’m a sucker for, I understand if people didn’t like it. But on it’s own, I thought it still offered a lot. Besides all the sweet helicopter action, as someone who has seen all the movies, and as a huge Bond fan, seeing Blofeld on screen for the first time since 1983 (and canonically for the first time since 1981), was FUCKING AWESOME. I feel like people don’t understand how iconic of a character he is. Just like Bond, he’s been portrayed by half a dozen actors, he has probably one of the most recognizable parody portrayals and I thought Christoph Waltz did a great job.
I did think the whole adoptive brother thing was kind of dumb and felt pretty forced, but I loved the torture scene. The cat was perfect, the watch explosion and the escape was sweet, and when Blofeld comes back with the scar, I lost my damn mind. Blofeld rules, and the fact that they brought him back for this movie, to me, makes up for a lot of the weaker, forced shadow organization stuff. Again, Blofeld rules. He’s got that cat, remember? Dr. Evil? Does no one remember?
I also really feel like Daniel Craig has quietly gone full circle from being everyone’s least favorite, to favorite Bond, back to being THE MAN THAT KILLED BOND. Please relax. In my humble opinion, he has been one of my favorite Bonds. Maybe it’s just because he’s the Bond whom I’ve grown my fandom through, but I definitely cared about him more than I did any other portray-er, and maybe that’s a result of the films being connected. Craig is great, and I hope he never comes back. (Unless he comes back for one in like 2043 that’s unofficial).
These were Bond films for the multiverse era, and that is OK. There is nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with people not liking it. Soon there will be a new Bond for a new era, and I’m excited and afraid, like I should be. I’m sure every generation’s Bond critics have declared the death of the franchise. Hell, who thought he could come back from the diamond man’s ice palace?
All in all, Spectre was a good, not great Bond movie. Probably ranks third for me in the Craig era behind “Skyfall” and “Casino Royale.” People just need to understand, not every movie will be the best movie ever, and just because you think something is kind of done, doesn’t mean it’s dead.
James Bond Will Return. He has to, cuz like, they make a lot of money, and stuff.