When I write my reviews of Doctor Who, I tend to bemoan the way it can be written more for the die hard fans rather than for everyone. Even though it’s not necessary to the plot, there will be references to old stories just to give long term fans a kick.
For me that’s ok, because I am a long term fan and I get the references, but I always thought that it must be frustrating for the casual viewer.
Having seen the new James Bond movie – Spectre – yesterday, I now know how those casual viewers feel.
Like I said in my review of Skyfall, I’m not a James Bond enthusiast by any means, but I think I’ve seen all the films at some point or other with the exception of Quantum of Solace. Of course it just so happens that a key character in this plot was someone from that particular film.
Beyond that there were countless references to old characters from the previous Daniel Craig Bonds and of course the shock reveal that the enemy is 60s Bond villain Blofeld, which seemed about as mundane as The Daleks showing up in Doctor Who yet again.
I just felt like I was out of the loop a little bit.
The other major issue – beyond the usual daft suspension of disbelief parts like how he managed to source a white tuxedo on that train – was that this was yet another Bond film with an underlying sub-plot of ‘This Is So Out Of Date’.
Last time around it was that Bond himself was a relic of the past who needed to be retired, and this time it was the entire Double O branch of the Secret Service coming under fire.
To me, that comes across as the writers and directors projecting their own insecurities and embarrassments about how the Bond franchise is no longer relevant in today’s society. But even if it’s not, who cares? And why draw attention to it? Bond is a cinema powerhouse that will always attract audiences. People like it for what it is, so be proud of it.
Anyway, beyond that, it’s a decent enough film for what it was, although it won’t come as a surprise that I thought it was too long, and just seemed to move from one set piece to the next. Of course, the effects and music were as grand, and the characterisation was exactly as you’d expect from a Bond movie.
Really, it just ticked the boxes and went through the usual Bond plot from start to finish. If you like that sort of thing, you’ll be happy and if you don’t you won’t.
Just don’t expect anything wildly different from what you’ve seen two dozen times before.
As for me, I just think it would have been better if he regenerated at the end, seeing as he’s obviously a Time Lord.
At least there’d be some tension.