James Bond (Daniel Craig) is not going to get his deposit back in Spectre.

James Bond (Daniel Craig) is not going to get his deposit back in Spectre.

Reel Reviews: Bond is a ghost of his former self

Taylor and Howe say, “Spectre is a ghost of former Bonds.”

  • Nov. 13, 2015 9:00 a.m.

Secret Agent 007 James Bond (Daniel Craig) receives a recorded message from a now deceased, trusted counterpart that sends him on the trail of a secret and powerful organization called Spectre.

M (Ralph Fiennes) struggles to keep the 00 program from being absorbed into a new agency as Bond discovers Spectre’s tentacles extend into many nations’ intelligence communities.

From the shadows, the man at the head of the table emerges.

Blofeld (Christolph Waltz) is a man with whom Bond has a past. He isn’t going to be satisfied with mere world domination, not when he can also have his revenge.

We say, “Spectre is a ghost of former Bonds.”

TAYLOR: Remember when Bond movies were disposable, a bit cheesy, certainly cheeky, titillatingly silly action movies? Craig’s Bond seems to have been an exercise in humanizing the character over the years. A slightly more realistic tone has been adopted.

HOWE: Yet, in Spectre, they seemed to have slipped back into Moore’s version of 007. I agree that they steered away from the one liners but in this they seemed to pay tribute to the franchises of old. The movie is littered with cheesy jokes, mascots of old enemies and a few more gadgets than the last few movies.

I also think this is the first time we have seen Craig get it on with more than one Bond girl in the four movies he has done.

The action is the regular humdrum of any Bond movie and they seem to always film in the same locations, any African country, the snowy mountains of Europe and then end up running around Great Britain. The movie itself seems a little lighter and I don’t feel that is for the better.

TAYLOR: Throughout the humanization of Bond, the strongest moments in the Craig movies came from us seeing Bond act on behalf of his own desires. In Spectre, although Bond is working on his own, he’s still only doing his job. So we’re not personally invested in his actions, as we were in Skyfall. To top it off, this film is not nearly as pretty as Skyfall.

The colours and life are taken out of this one, replaced with desaturated shadows. It just feels like they’re going through the motions. It distracts from the direction the Bond films were being taken. The problem is it steers away from Bond himself.

HOWE: Talking about steering, what I wouldn’t give to slip into one of them Bond beauties, with their slender sleek curves, to get the heart racing and the blood pumping.

TAYLOR: Mr. Howe, this is a family newspaper!

HOWE: What are you talking about? I’m on about the Aston Martin DB10 and Jaguar’s C-X75. Really Mr. Taylor, what do you take me for?

– Taylor gives Spectre 2.5 white cats out of 5.

– Howe gives it 2.5 salamanders out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe review the latest films for The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.