SPOILERS BELOW! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
I will say from the off that I enjoyed SPECTRE, really enjoyed it. It grabbed me by the balls and hardly released it’s grip at all. I saw it twice over two days following the release and both times I left the cinema beaming.
Having had time now to digest it fully there are a few things that have been troubling me. Not enough to spoil the experience but they have been playing on my mind. What follows is going to sound overtly negative but that is unavoidable and does not represent my feelings as a whole. I will finish with what I would love to see happen at the start of Bond 25 which I think would excite some Bond fans.
First of these problems is the Blofeld reveal. The film is almost hamstrung by this revelation, what should have been a fantastic return of a classic villain is resigned to a twist that the world has known about for a long time. The producers would have been better served just admitting upfront that Waltz was Blofeld. The sub-plot involving Bond’s adaptive father and step-brother is so undercooked that it feels superfluous. Had the return of Blofeld not been so obvious then this may have added a nice air of mystery to the film but as Blofeld was the worst kept secret in Hollywood history the pay off has no impact at all.
Secondly, some of the action scenes were a little flat, particularly the car chase through Rome. There were some nice moments but as a whole it felt like an advert rather than an impromptu chase between two people wanting to harm each other. The cameras are positioned to show the cars in their best light but the cars should not be the focus here, Bond’s driving should. The older films featured some great chases involving cars that would not necessarily be associated with Bond; A View to a Kill and Octopussy spring to mind. The chase felt a bit sterile as a result. We should have seen one of these cars destroyed and both at least heavily damage.
Thirdly, Mr. Hinx was severely underused. Despite his all to brief appearance, Dave Bautista has created a memorable henchman but I really wanted a final showdown with him at the end of the film. The fight on the train is up there with the best fights in the series for me but to kill him off here was almost criminal. Just as we are getting to see how much of a beast this guy is he gets punked and killed off, albeit in a rather amusing way. Imagine though as Bond is given the countdown to the destruction of the old HQ not only does he have time against him, Mr. Hinx is also pursuing and trying to stop him. Missed opportunity there.
Lastly, the ending. Although it is not definite, the ending strongly hints that this version of Bond is done and the implication that Daniel Craig will not return was pretty strong. If that is the case why then do you set up Blofeld’s return here? They bring back this classic villain and go as far as to keep him alive at the end of the film, surely this implies that he will return. To do this and immediately follow it by waving Daniel Craig off into the sunset was a little jarring. If this is Craig’s last then that ending will be deeply unsatisfying in years to come, perhaps on a par with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
However, it could be a genius ending if the following happens in the Bond 25 Pre-title sequence:
Bond 25 opens a few months after the events of SPECTRE with Bond and Madeleine Swann marrying (you know where this is going don’t you?!). They drive off to start a new life together, a few miles down the road their car is ambushed and Madeleine is killed. Bond is injured but makes out Blofeld and an unknown woman driving away. Cue credits.
In closing I’d just like to say that I absolutely adore SPECTRE, it currently sits at number 3 in my list of Bond films in order of preference. Time will tell whether it stays there but one thing is for sure, James Bond Will Return.