Here’s the kind of secret that you only admit to strangers on the internet – I’ve never seen a James Bond movie. It’s one of the great franchises that I missed out on as a child, but it’s one that I recently started to do something about.
So I went along and saw Spectre – which, admittedly, wasn’t the greatest introductory Bond film, since it references the previous ones a lot – and, in seeing it, I learnt three things about the Bond franchise:
One – James Bond kills a lot of people, and doesn’t seem to care, which is badass. It’s also not glorified, which makes it classier.
Two – James Bond loves three things: cars, guns, and women. All three are readily available to Bond in the film, and I can’t believe it took me this long to realise the huge role they play in the film.
And three – The James Bond franchise is heavy with tradition and class, and even through just watching the film you get a sense that it is part of something bigger, and that it is a piece of history.
In Spectre, James Bond goes on a mission to uncover a secret organisation that is mysteriously linked to his past, whilst M must deal with an MI6 in turmoil. In this latest instalment, you can tell that Bond has been through a great deal, and that his past is catching up with him. Amidst the rumours that this is Daniel Craig’s last Bond film, Spectre ends quite snugly, leaving many (even me, with my short Bond experience) curious as to what is next for the series.
It’s a long film, but the action in most of it doesn’t compare to the first ten minutes – the opening scene, set at a Day of the Dead festival in Mexico City, is enthralling, beautiful and thrilling and larger than life. It is here that Sam Mendes’ direction shines the most. However, after this the action becomes more predictable and familiar, with less suspense and spectacle. Instead the film becomes more of an interesting character study on James Bond and where he is in his life, and it is interesting to see Daniel Craig’s steely Bond grow older and wearier over the life he leads. If this is Craig’s last Bond film, then he has done the character justice. Ralph Fiennes has also done well in taking over the helm as M (yes, I do know what happened to the last M *sob*), though Andrew Scott as C wasn’t quite as threatening or fearsome as he could have been.
Though I am new to the Bond scene, the significance of the films is not lost on me. From the signature song to the creative villains, James Bond has an important place in the history of fine filmmaking, one which Spectre has positively contributed to. It may not be the best, but it brought me into the world of James Bond, and it will certainly not be my last.
And, since I clearly need to watch more James Bond movies, here’s my list of the ones I’d like to watch next:
- Casino Royale
- Dr. No