Monday, November 30, 2015

My Crime Beat Column: Seeing 'Spectre'

I saw the new James Bond film Spectre yesterday.

The film was not as bad as I thought it would be, or as bad as Skyfall, the previous Bond film.

But I thought the film was too long and had a thin and undramatic plot. I also didn't care much for the phony total surveillance versus 00 license to kill debate. And despite some fine action scenes, I thought the film's pacing was a bit slow. The film could have used the editing skills of the late Peter Hunt, who edited the early Bond films and directed On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

The film could have also used a better music soundtrack to provide the proper thriller atmosphere, like the late John Barry's Bond soundtracks. Thankfully, Barry's famous 007 theme was used prominently throughout the film.

The Bond film makers ought to end the endless homage to earlier Bond films and just go with a straight story. And call me traditional, but I think that M, Q and Moneypenny belong in the office setting of headquarters and should not be traipsing around in the field with 007. Who was running the rest of British intelligence?
Like most old-school Bond fans and Ian Fleming aficionados, I still have trouble accepting anyone other than the great Sean Connery as James Bond, but I have to admit that Daniel Craig did a good job under the circumstances.

Craig does not look anything like Ian Fleming's James Bond (Fleming thought Connery looked like his character), but I thought he carried himself throughout the film like Bond and he did the fight and the action scenes well.

Spectre is no Dr No, From Russia With Love or Goldfinger, the classic Bond films I grew up with, but if you are looking to be entertained by a well-made thriller with a good cast, then go see this film.

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