Well, I reckon I don't have to tell you how I love the double O seven movies since I was a child. It took me a while to understand why there were different Bonds, but by the time I reached my first 007 film on a movie theater, I already was versed on its dynamics. But nothing had prepared me for how much I enjoy the new series with Daniel Craig.
I was mesmerized in Casino Royale, 2006 (It has been almost ten years since then, unbelievable). The now famous parkour chasing first scene blew my mind. Quantum Solace, 2008, was not that good, but as Rodrigo reminded me yesterday, it is a sort of sequel. Skyfall, 2012, however, was absolutely over the charts, making me even like an Adele's song (no, I'm not a big fan). By the way, I'm hearing Skyfall right now, writing this post.
And why not listen to Writing's On the Wall, Sam Smith's theme for Spectre, today's movie and the last Bond on the theaters? Well again, because it sucks, actually. For real. I've read that it made UK chart history, becoming the first Bond theme on history to reach number onei in UK. Maybe I'm being contrary as ever, and you should be used to it by now. Yet, it didn't captivate as Bond themes use to do. And neither did the movie, for that effect. Of course, it is insanely good, and I love Craig's Bond - he's somber, intense, damaged.
But the thing is, I think that what this movie tried to do Casino Royale and skyfall already have done, and better. So much better. I was crushed by those two movies, really. They are a roller coaster of impressions about the character, in a way that was never done before for me. Bond falling in love for real, having to face up his origins only to lose everything... it's there already, crumbled on the character's feet.
Still, Sam Mendes and John Logan decided to present a new plot, not based on a Fleming's book or short story (although based on his writings and the general feeling of the character's story, of course). And I'm sad to say that I think they over forced their hand to create a sense of closure and redemption that didn't sound true. As I've said, it had been already done in the previous three films. Ideally, the events in this movie are perfect, however they look shallow in comparison to what we've seen before. And it doesn't help that the movie's trailer had already spoiled all the interesting aspects in here, spoiling even how strong a villain Christoph Waltz can be.
Womanizing Bond looked equally too much. That he will have mindless sex with a number of different women is a given. But the scene in which he is with Monica Bellucci is so forced (this word will make constant cameo here) that it reminded me a Friend's scene from an episode in which Joe and Chandler have free access to the porn channel. At some point, Chandler is surprised that the pizza girl didn't have sex with while delivering the food. He realizes then that they had enough porn for the time being. So, Bond hooking with Lucia came from nowhere, it was incredibly dreadful and it gave me one more sense of things being a bit unfit. One among many, I'm sad to say.
Monica Bellucci and Léa Sedoux are in fact amazing and unusual Bond girls. It's the plot around them that didn't work for me. The love scenes were weird, even the love story was lacking its more endearing and redemptive features. A total shame.
Ok, I'm saying this, but I must clarify that I loved this movie, really. I couldn't avert my eyes from the screen. The action is absolutely overwhelming, in the sense of a classic Bond, what brought a constant smile to my face. The title sequence is also classic 007, and I've read on imdb.com that it is the first Craig's traditional opening gun-barrel walk in the start of a 007 movie. The "shaken, not stirred" line is there (thanks, David, for telling me about it just last week, otherwise I wouldn't recognize its importance :), as the more cynical Bond's traits. It is visible how they tried to relate to this character as a whole.
The first chasing scene is sheer Bond too, in a crazy helicopter stunt. So good. Yet, I had this ongoing sense that something was in fact missing there. We wait and wait and wait, but the story never really ignites. it was like the producers urged the view to follow through a pavement that it is not finished. It was presented in the other movies, but not here. Still, it is worthy a visit to the biggest screen near you, for sure.