“Spectre”: Restoring the Common Bond

Spectre!

“How hard would it be to change our Tomatometer rating to 105%?”

In one of the precious few MCC movie reviews ever to draw non-positive responses, I called Skyfall my favorite James Bond film of all time, based on having seen maybe ten or eleven of them in all. Even as a kid I never got excited about the concept of a globetrotting sophisticate who’s more into booze and hook-ups than he is into crimefighting. At least Batman confines his vices and his expensive suits to his off-duty civilian hours. If Bond were an Inside Out character, the simplistic emotions ruling his head would be Sex, Suaveness, Sarcasm, and Slaughter.

After the welcome reboot of Casino Royale and the redundant vendetta of Quantum of Solace, Skyfall struck me as the apex of Daniel Craig’s 21st-century take, which built to a genuine emotional arc for the usually one-note character, supported by stunts genuinely thrilling without resorting to renamed sci-fi Bat-gadgetry, by updated camerawork, and with none of the nonsense of the last two Pierce Brosnan farces. It was a film designed to reach beyond the typical fan base, and for me it worked.

Spectre, in contrast, is less about director Sam Mendes deepening the impact he made on the aging series last time, and more of the intellectual property’s longtime producers giving Bond Classic fans more of what they want. Lucky them, I suppose.

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