Here we are, at the 24th James Bond film in the franchise, and I am excited. Mostly because after this recap, I am done with my self-imposed exile into James Bond Land and can move onto another project, but also because I am completely Bond-ed out at this point. Look: I love the franchise, I love the character, and I’m especially enjoying the newer movies, but this madness has to end at some point. And it is. Here. Now. I’m also kind of checked out at this point so I’m going to probably skim over some stuff in this recap.
I’m sure the 10 of you regular readers will be disappointed, but unless I let this last domino fall in my OCD-like obsession with completing this series, I will never truly be free. I was thinking of skipping this one entirely to start something new, but duty calls: for King and Country and all that (even though I’m American and have no King: take that, King George the Third!).
We open on…a quote? “The dead are alive.” And we’re in Mexico City during their Day of the Dead celebrations, which looks fun/chaotic. Is this a callback to Live and Let Die or am I delirious at this point? Anywhoo, some fancy gent in skellington gear walks down the road with a Mexican babe against parade traffic and the music’s suitably funky. They go into a building with Mariachi music playing the same kind of tune as was being played outside and into an elevator. Up an elevator these two whisper sweet sex into each others’ ears and go back to her room because nothing’s sexier than a skellington. Into the room they go and off come the masks and top hats and of course our skellington is James Bond, who goes into make-out mode because that’s what he knows best.
The man looks better in a Halloween costume than I do in a brand-new suit.
But nope! Bond tosses off the costume and is dressed immaculately underneath and walks down the ledge of a building like he does this every damn day of his life. He gets a gun out and puts himself into position for whatever assassination he’s got planned for the day. Through a window across the way are some dudes doing something shady and Bond looks at them with a look of whaa? on his face. They’re gonna blow up some stadium and mention The Pale King, but I don’t think they’re referencing David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel. Anyway, Bond shoots them all and then for some reason their room blows up.
Bond knows that wasn’t his doing, but nuts to that because the building collapses into the one he’s standing on top of. It crushes the roof but Bond slides down the collapsed edifice like whee and then lands on a sofa because fun. Back on the street, Bond sees one of the main baddies, who starts running away from him, so you know, he runs after him. Typical Bond move, doing the whole “better get my job done so I can get back to sex and drinking,” AKA what all Western men do literally almost every day. But nope! He’s lost this fella among the celebration of death on the streets and I’m really digging the music; it’s this rhythmic jungle-style hollow xylophone sound that’s pretty neat.
“Where’s that awesome music coming from?”
Helicopters are swirling in the air and a massive crowd is there while a helicopter zooms above our bad guy Bond’s chasing. In the piazza (is it a piazza even if it’s not in Italy? Send in your answer so I can spit at it) and the bad guy gets into the helicopter. But Bond says nuts to that noise and jumps in, killing the helicopter pilot, causing the helicopter to spin out of control over the crowd as they all shriek like they’re all of the people on Earth in the opening scenes of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Bond and the guy spin out of the helicopter but hold onto straps and again, I love seeing dangerous, insane practical effects in these movies. Bond just punches this guy’s face into face-shreds (I don’t know) and the helicopter spins around and around like it’s Arnie Pie piloting it. Finally Bond kicks the bad guy out of the helicopter to his death and he starts in on the remaining pilot because why not?
The helicopter flying is making me nervous just watching it because it’s going in orientations helicopters aren’t meant to fly in and sure enough, it goes into free-fall. But this doesn’t stop Bond from being a literal death machine that kicks the pilot out of the plane and takes over the controls. He regains control just before he kills everyone below and has a look on his face as if he knows how awesome he truly is. Flying over Mexico City, Bond is heading towards a nice evening featuring a cocktail and a babe, I’m sure, and he looks at the ring that he ripped off the finger of that asshole he kicked out of the plane, which features an octopus.
And then we go into the opening credits. It features a naked Daniel Craig, which I guess is good for the ladies in the audience, and Lea Seydoux is in this movie, which is a nice plus. And Monica Bellucci! Good job in the Bond Girl casting this time around, Bond franchise! Anyway, I don’t like the song very much and I’m waiting to see who sang it. Is it John Legend? Sounds too deep to be Legend, but it also sounds kind of auto-tuned, so who knows? The visuals are kind of blah. Lots of octopus stuff and octopus ladies and octopus, octopus, octopus. Octopii? WHO SANG THE GODDAMN SONG? Oh, it’s Sam Smith, who puts out incredibly depressing songs that I hear in grocery stores that make me want to kill myself. Good for him? Anyway, it’s finally over, which is nice because we can get back to the movie. Hey! Sam Mendes directed this one, too!
Back with M, 007 is getting his ass chewed out (metaphorically) and they’re giving him shit about whatever, not doing his job right, who cares? Blah blah blah, problems with the MI6, Bond’s grounded by M like a dick, Bond says fuck you Magoo, and he walks out. But some dick named Denby walks in like a chump and they call him C to fuck with him and that’s that.
Walking out of this chump bucket, Moneypenny runs up to him with a box that has personal effects from Skyfall and he says meet me at my place, 9 PM. CUT TO that time where she shows up. His apartment looks like a serial killer’s den but then again, he is a serial killer so that’s how it goes. She asks what the fuck’s up, James? People are saying you’re dunzo. He says I don’t know man, just drink and who cares, life’s useless. Bond pops on the TV, which has Old Dead M on there giving him a message to find some dude name Marco Skiara (sp? who cares) and he should go kill him, so I guess the Macguffin’s in place for this movie.
Bond says I’m going to the funeral for this fuckface in three days and M’s no help so do me some favors, yes? Find me The Pale King–no, not the DFW novel. He says I trust you Moneypenny; after all, we’ve been having canonical adventures for decades together up to this point. After she hightails it out of there, Bond opens up the personal effects from Skyfall and finds some shit about temporary guardianship from his childhood to some old dick that we’ve never seen before and Bond lays back for a moment like oh yeah, forgot about that dude.
“Oh yeah…I went on a bike ride and never went back home. Whoops.”
Cut to: C on a powerboat going down the Themes, where he eyes the new Center for National Security, and blah blah shit about the end of the 00 program, who cares? This dude C is bad news, end of story. They go under a bridge and into the new secret HQ for Q’s new crazy lab. And there’s New Q, who’s the wackiest 12-year-old from an 80’s movie I’ve ever seen. He goes through the crazy new gadgets, which includes a nanotech thingy that allows them to track Bond’s movements in the field along with vital signs. Then they show off the new Bond Car, which is a piece of sex known as the Aston Martin DB10. But Bond doesn’t get that: he gets a watch. An exploding watch, but still: fuck you, Bond! Bond also spots the shell of a classic 1963 Aston Martin, but that shit’s wrecked. Bond says hey Q, let me disappear, dig? Q says fuck off but Bond’s like grow a pair. So Q lets slip that if you get out in 48 hours I can cover, dig?
CUT TO: some orchids for Moneypenny from Bond, who also leaves her a phone in a package at her office and then Q getting into the office, but the door’s already been opened and of course Bond’s stolen the cool new DB10 because fuck you, Q! And he drives down the roads of Rome because he doesn’t travel in economy class, after all. Outside the funeral of that guy mentioned earlier, Bond observes from across the road like a creep. Bond strolls up to the widow, played by Bellucci, and it’s a rare age-appropriate Bond Girl for Bond. They exchange raw flirtation about how she’s full of shit about that guy being dead. harming, Bond. Arriving back home, Bellucci’s character turns on the lights in the mansion she lives in and pours a drink for herself. Opera music plays and goons hang out in the shadows while she walks through this palatial estate. Goons follow her outside with guns drawn because she knows what’s about to happen, after all, and is expecting it, but two silenced shots ring out and Bond kills them both before walking up to her.
She says that’s great that you saved my life but you just bought me like five minutes. Bond says great: let’s have a drink. She says hey, you killed my husband, but he says yeah, but he was an assassin so tough breaks. They do some insanely hard flirting that leads to her calling him crazy but that just makes him even hotter for it because he’s, you know, crazy. She warns him about how dangerous the people are they’re going up against but Bond’s still looking for that DFW novel. Bond asks where they meet and why, and she tells him while he takes off her clothes. They get to sexing, and then…
“Could you move your head a bit? I can’t quite see myself.”
CUT TO Bond taking some information and says he’s going to get her out of there safely. She asks him not to go to that place, but Bond’s like this is what I eat for breakfast. CUT TO him heading towards breakfast. He goes up to some giant damn place and some goon asks who he is. Bond says “I’m Mickey Mouse,” which is something I thought I’d never hear him say, and he flashes the octopus ring.
There’s some Eyes Wide Shut-esque meeting going on around the biggest table I’ve ever seen and Bond just kind of slinks around trying to figure out what this fudging thing is. I’m guessing it’s SPECTRE, since I’ve seen every damn Bond movie up to this point. They talk about their horrifying human trafficking business and then some bigwig walks in. They all stand and wait for him to speak and I’m guessing this is New Blofeld. Everyone sits back down and continues their business. One dude’s like, bad news bub: our terror attacks keep getting interrupted by some handsome stranger. Blofeld doesn’t like this answer so some hulking mass walks in and literally thumbs a dude’s eyes in and it’s wildly unpleasant to watch. Then he takes the dude’s chair at the table because that guy’s not going to need it anymore.
Blofeld calls out James and hey! Blofeld’s Christoph Waltz. Anyway, James is like whoopsie doodles and throws a goon over the balcony onto the giant table. He then dives through a window while people shoot at him and then jumps like 20 feet without dying because, as we know, he’s nigh indestructible. Then a car chase transpires. If you’ve ever read one of these recaps before, you know I don’t recap car chases and I’m certainly not starting now on the last recap.
Bond gets on the horn to Moneypenny to tell her that all of the terror attacks are interconnected and she does some investigating for him on her laptop. It’s all linked to Quantum and Mr. White and other stuff that happened a few movies ago. Oh, and the car chase is still happening. I will comment here that director Sam Mendes does action surprisingly well for a guy mostly known for his dramatic work. He has a very polished aesthetic that brings something fresh to the action genre. At the end of the chase, Bond ejects from the car, which is pretty neat, and the car goes into a river while Bond just parachutes onto the street like he’s fucking God.
Meanwhile, C is in Tokyo pitching his surveillance program in which the whole world would come together to pool their resources. Everyone votes on it but blah blah South Africa says no. M gets a text wondering if 007 is in London and he calls Q to ask where Bond is. Q goddamn lies his face off to M about Bond being in Chelsea when really that murderous maniac is in Austria. CUT TO that place, where Bond is on a boat looking more serial killer-y then usual headed towards a chateau of some sort. Hey, whatever happened to that lady he slept with earlier? Is she safe or dead or what?
He was a psychotic man who fished alone in a skiff on Lake Altausseer and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
Bond has his gun drawn and opens the door to this crazy house and it looks like a recluse lives there. He sneaks around in the dark and a bunch of crows fly at him because this is scene is a horror B-movie from the 1950s. Bond finds a secret passageway that leads to some nutso subterranean lair where that awful Mr. White is. Bond says get upstairs, you cur. Upstairs, White blah blahs about death or who cares and they have a little chat about that octopus ring. White says evil is all well and good but human trafficking’s not my bag, man. This dude is totes all over the place. And White has a daughter that he’s protecting and Bond says hey, I love chicks, lemme go protect her and not sleep with her, pinky swear. So Bond plays a trust game with White by giving White his gun, who tells Bond where his daughter can be found. Then White blows his brains out and Bond rifles through his pockets, finding a picture of his daughter. Yikes.
Back in London, M and C jib-jab about the new building they’re going to work in and how great it’s going to be when they run everything in the world. C trashes the 00 program and M says did you ever kill anybody, you fucking pussy? M says the smooth line, “A license to kill is also a license not to kill,” but C says nuts to that, I’m just going to throw you under the bus and also I watch you MI6 agents because I’m a bad guy, get it? Back at now-dead White’s house, that giant monster-man from before looks around and then we move on from there because Bond’s in a plane looking at a clinic on a mountaintop, just like from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. These later movies really love their allusions and callbacks to the franchise’s earlier entries.
Anyway, inside the clinic, Bond immediately finds White’s daughter and it’s Lea Seydoux, who’s a dish. Bond brings himself in as a potential client at this clinic and she questions him. He pushes off her psychological questions and goes right into letting her know that he knows who she is but she goes back to her work. He also lets it drop that he’s a killer and her father’s dead but I totes didn’t kill him; in fact, I made a deal to protect you with him. I’m looking for that bad dude we’re looking for so let’s just do that, yes? She reacts poorly to this in that she tosses him out of her office and says she’s going to call security if he doesn’t leave in 10 minutes.
CUT TO Bond just hanging out by the bar because fuck it and he tries to order a vodka martini but nope, they don’t serve booze here. Also, Q’s now there! He says to Bond hey dude, that Franz Overhauser is dead and you gotta come back or else I’m fucked, bro bro. Bond says shut it, Q: I just saw the guy and now I’m trying to goddamn figure this garbage out. Q says come back in or else, so Bond gives him the octopus ring while we see White’s daughter get surrounded by a bunch of bad dudes in her office. Bond’s escorted by security but Bond spots the woman being kidnapped so he goes outside and starts killing everybody.
Bond’s in one of those thingies that goes up a mountain (I don’t know) and then an obvious bad guy gets into gondola (duh, gondola) with him while he starts looking up what that ring’s all about. Meanwhile, the woman (didn’t catch a name; classic me not catching names in these recaps) is getting shanghaied in a car convoy so Bond flies up next to them and starts firing his gun while flying a plane. Back in the gondola, Q is checking out the ring and there are bad guys starting to surround him so he wants to get up and GTFO of there but nope, snowboarders block his path. Somehow, Bond is keeping on top of this convoy while flying a plane, which flies much faster than cars drive but whatever, movie, that’s what editing’s for. Bond buzzes one of the cars and it crashes and explodes and I’m guessing this kind of stuff is for the video game. Meanwhile, Q gets out of the gondola and runs away from the goons.
Bond crashes the plane but also smashes the nose into one of the car’s bumper. But whoops! Bond has no more wings now and he’s headed straight for the woods. Instead the goddamn plane crashes a bunch of other ways instead, he somehow he keeps on top of the convoy by crashing through a barn, which looks pretty cool, and smashing into one of the vars. He shoots and kills the driver of the car Lea Seydoux is in and saves her, but she’s not too happy about any of this. Oh! Her name is Dr. Swann. OK, so I’ll call her Swann. Meanwhile, that giant dude is still somehow alive despite flying through a windshield.
And then they posed for a picture together and had a good laugh about it.
At Q’s pad, Bond and Swann show up and Q says hey Bond, shit’s fucked. Q says all of these bad dudes are part of one organization that goes back to Overhauser, who’s the chief of it, and (even though they haven’t gotten to it yet) he’s now Blofeld. They also name-drop SPECTRE for the first time in the movie. And Swann says that guy you think you’re looking for? It’s not a person, it’s a place. So CUT TO Tangier and man, they are just smashing together as many old Bond tropes as they can in this one. It’s like a postmodern Bond film. I paused the movie for a moment here to take a breath and see I have over an hour left. This movie is almost 2½ hours long. Good gravy!
So we’re in Tangier. Whoopy-doo. They’re at the place they gotta be and that’s all well and good. Lea Seydoux has a sleepy-eye look that I find very attractive. Kind or running out of things to talk about in this section, but it’s amusing that Bond rips apart a bookcase just to find a bottle of booze in the wall. Bond catches a slightly drunk Swann and this is usually when the sexing starts but she says fuck off, dude I just met, I’m going to bed. She mutters herself to sleep and Bond just kind of sits there like a murderous owl.
Bond wakes up and sees a mouse on the ground and he aims his pistol at it but that mouse looks at him like, what’d I do, pal? Bond kind of amusingly interrogates the mouse, who runs back to its mouse hole, but Bond sees a crooked picture on the wall and his spy-dy senses start tingling (oof, that pun). Bond punches through the wall and finds a secret room. It’s a veritable spy den of its own and Swann looks around surprised and confused when she sees a poster board filled with pictures of her and her. I guess this was her dad’s office. Bond finds a tape of Vesper Lynd’s interrogation in the stacks of crazy spy stuff, but he tosses it away because this dude does not face his problems. Swann finds a list of coordinates and Bond finds the ancient computer that was used to find a satellite phone to find the big bad. Bond’s been sent to finish the job and Swann says I’m in too, dig? Bond says no but then yes because who cares? We all live to die.
CUT TO MI6 and M and Moneypenny go up to C who says hey! We got the votes we wanted for the big crazy spy system! Also, you’re fucking fired, M and the 00 program is closed immediately. Then CUT TO a train out of Tangier and of course Bond has a swanky cabin of his own and now we’re into The Spy Who Loved Me territory. Bond and Swann play “let’s teach you how to use a gun in a train car” and she says nah, I’ll pass. But he gets her to pick up the durned thing eventually and she shows that she already knows how to use a gun. I mean, her dad’s an assassin, you know? Doy, Bond.
Back in London, Q and Moneypenny go up to M and give him the skinny about what’s up with that wacky homicidal maniac Bond. M says stop trying to help him since everything we do is letting C know where he is so delete all the smart blood files and whatever; Bond’s out in the cold on this caper. Later that night on the train, Bond is dressed in a white tux in the dining car and Swann comes in wearing a silk dress and looks as attractive as Lea Seydoux looks wearing a nice dress. They order drinks and flirt and it’s all very typical Bond. This could literally just be a scene from The Spy Who Loved Me.
“This nice drink and dining car kind of makes you forget that we’re in constant danger, doesn’t it?” “No, not really.” “Shhh…”
And then the quiet is broken by that giant maniac from before who kicks their table over and he and Bond have a wildly violent hand-to-hand fight that smashes up damn near everything on the train. This guy goes for his trademark “let’s thumb this guy’s eyes in” but that doesn’t work. It’s just a feast of knuckle sandwiches with extra smash on the side. Bond eventually gets punched through the entire train while this guy opens a sidecar door and tries to toss Bond out, but fortunately Swann gets back in the game and shoots this monster in the arm. He responds to this by trying to strangle him to death so Bond gets up and ties a rope around his neck. Kegs are falling out the side of the open door and Bond ties this dude’s rope to them and he flies out. Hey! That’s literally exactly what happens in The Spy Who Loved Me! So after almost dying, Swann and Bond go back to his room and get it on. Because that’s how these movies work, after all.
Then they’re dropped off in the middle of nowhere. It’s like that stupid scene at the beginning of the third Matrix where Neo is stuck in an infinite loop subway station. They see a car driving up and Bond identifies it as a 1948 Rolls Royce, complete with a racist stereotype driver from 1948. He opens the door and asks them to get in and–for whatever reason–they do so instead of Bond killing the driver and driving the car themselves.
They’re driven into an oasis hidden in the middle of a…I’m not sure what the geological structure is…mountain valley? Anyway. They’re being housed into a swanky abode and Bond is disarmed. And now this reminds me of Dr. No! It feels like they just mashed 10 different Bond movies together. I’m not complaining, but it kind of is just like that. Oh, and for extra-personal fucked upness, Blofeld has placed photos of Bond and Swann’s families in their rooms. You know, all of those dead people in their lives.
Or they found Galt’s Gulch.
They’re escorted to what looks like a planetarium with a meteorite on a pedestal in the middle of the room. It’s the meteorite that made the crater he lives in (duh me, it’s a crater). Christoph Waltz is a major creep as usual and makes for a good Bond villain. He says he was looking forward to this reunion and they go look around his big crazy abode. Bond says that he came there to kill you, and he says hey that’s funny, I thought you came here to die. Also, dig this: and they walk through a giant information network that shows a feed of the inside of M16. They watch M give his farewell speech inside the office and this looks pretty bad for Bond. Lea Seydoux looks great in the dress she’s wearing. Sorry, I’m getting distracted. Anyway, we figure out that C is working for Waltz/Blofeld. He lets Bond know that while Bond’s been killing his guys, he’s been killing all of the women in his life, as well. Just to fuck with everyone here a little more, Waltz/Blofeld puts on the video for Swann to watch of her father blowing his brains out. And then Bond gets cold-cocked because why not?
Waking up some time later, Bond finds himself strapped down and Blofeld chatting with Swann about some insanity. So this crazy contraption is some madness Blofeld put together to completely fuck with Bond’s mind. This contraption is by far the craziest thing I’ve seen in these modern Bond movies as a drill starts going into the side of Bond’s head. Swann reasonably asks why Blofeld is doing this, to which he replies that it was because his daddy helped Bond after his parents died and wanted Blofeld to treat Bond like a brother. Wait, so did the crap Austin Powers series actually predict this plot turn in the third movie? What the fudge? Anyway, he says that because of Bond taking his daddy’s attention away he realized he had to kill his father and turn evil. And there’s even a white cat here! And he drops the name Blofeld for the first time, too. His movie is a crazy mish-mash of the complete Bond mythos. He torments Bond about erasing his ability to remember anything and goes about doing just that.
But fuck that: Bond gets the explosive watch to Swann and she blows Blofeld up. They run and Bond starts shooting everything in sight, as is his MO. He shoots the fuel tanks that make a big boom and just starts shooting and shooting and yep, now everyone’s dead. They get to da choppa while Blofeld’s stupid planetarium compound explodes. They take off and get to going….to London! Where Bond has to stop the madness. M, Q, and some other dude check into a safehouse and Bond’s there already with Swann. Bond says that nutbar head of Spectre Blofeld is dead and C is about to hand over control of the whole shebang to these evil bastards. So let’s do this thing and save the world! Swann says I can’t do this, guy, so I’m gonna split forever. Byee!
While Q hacks into the mainframe like it’s a 1990s movie, Bond and M keep driving but are rammed by a van, and some goons kidnaps Bond. M disappeared, however, and Moneypenny, Q, and that other dude (Tanner? Let’s say Tanner) reverse while getting shot at because none of them are field agents, after all. M slips away while Bond is tied and absconded with. The team pick up M and Bond is shoved out of the van, but nope, Bond just kills these two dudes pretty handily even while tied up and with a bag over his head.
Turns out they were bringing him to the old MI6 headquarters that’s all busted up. But why? Stay tuned and we’ll find out! There are arrows pointing Bond which way to go and I’m wondering what the big reveal is. Meanwhile, M, Moneypenny, Q, and Tanner go about their mission while C sounds like a whiny little baby wondering where M is. And hey! M’s right there! They’re shutting down this crazy system and C says well you’re both fired, so….and M says no way, pally: you’re the one who’s screwed. Bond follows the maze leading to the cheese and we see some familiar sites like the underground waterway and I’m just wondering where this is all headed.
“Hunh. I don’t remember writing my name here. Saaaaay….”
Back at HQ, C monologues a bit about how this shit needs to be done and M says whatevs, cuz, C picks up a gun and tries to shoot M, but nope! M took the bullets out, you dummy. He gets a good line in here, too: “Now we know what C stands for….careless.” Down at old HQ, Bond goes through the firing range where all of the targets have Bond’s face on them. This is a rather complex setup just to screw with Bond a bit.
Down in the basement of old HQ, there are pictures up of all the people Bond had gotten killed over the past three movies and hey, there’s Blofeld! Only he’s behind bulletproof glass. Blofeld now has the characteristic scar across his face and a whitened out eye. While Blofeld wants to mess with him, Bond asks why are we here? Blofeld lets Bond know that Swann is now in mortal danger and again, it’s all your fault, Bond. He’s going to blow the building up with Swann in it in 3 minutes, so Bond has just that amount of time to find and save her or save himself. Anyway, Blofeld’s evil, of course, and that’s the way it goes.
Back at New HQ, Q finally gets the darn system shut down and on the other side of town Blofeld takes off in a helicopter. C continues to mess with M but nope, Blofeld’s helicopter buzzes the building and distracts M. C falls over a railing and he’s dead as dead. Meanwhile, Bond continues to run through the building to find Swann and time is ticking. Blofeld’s helicopter hangs out in the sky to enjoy the destruction of Bond and sure enough, Bond hears something. It’s Swann, locked in a closet and tied to a bunch of stuff. With only 50 seconds to go, Bond picks her up and they jump through a cavernous hole where fortunately a net is at the bottom. Yikers. As the team gets out of the new building, the old HQ explodes. The building collapses like it’s a demolished hotel in Las Vegas and Bond and Swann are in a power boat zipping across the water and chasing after Blofeld’s helicopter.
Bond shoots at the helicopter, and actually hits it a few times, which is impressive since he’s so damn far away and only has a handgun. And holy smokes, he actually hits the engine from a speeding boat firing upwards at a goddamn helicopter. Million-to-one shot, kid! Blofeld’s stupid helicopter begins going down and they crash on a bridge. That’s nutty. Blofeld crawls from the wreckage but nope, Bond’s on his feet and running towards this dildo. Walking up to this putz, Bond has his gun drawn and it looks like it’s the end for ol’ Blofeld. M stands in the distance watching how this plays out and so does Swann. Bond stands there with the gun and rethinks it, unloading his magazine and deciding to take Blofeld in instead of shooting his fucking face off like usual. He blows Blofeld off because he’s got a dame while Blofeld has literally nothing left.
“Sorry. I gotta go see about a girl.”
M walks up to Blofeld and places him under arrest so fuck you, Blofeld. Bond walks hand-in-hand away with Swann and that’s a nice ending for our favorite spy. CUT TO: some time later. London seems quiet. Q is hanging out in a giant, weird subterranean lair and the elevator doors open. It’s Bond! Q asks what he’s doing there. Bond said that he just needs one more thing: that goddamn kickass 1963 Aston Martin. We see him and Swann in the car and they take off down the street while the classic “James Bond Theme” kicks up. HEY! THAT’S A NICE ENDING!
- This was a long damn movie! 2 hours 23 minutes! Kind of got fatigued near the end there.
- Oberhauser was Blofeld’s character’s original surname. Whatever, I’m not going back to fix it now.
- The logic of a lot of things that happen in this movie begin to strain credulity: why would Blofeld send his assassin to kill Bond on the train if he wanted Bond at his lair later the next day, anyway? What was up with the needle torture device–did Blofeld build that exclusively to torture Bond, or was that something he was workshopping? Why didn’t they take Bond’s explosive watch away before strapping him down? And Bond and Blofeld were foster brothers? What? Anyway.
- Lots of callbacks and allusions to earlier Bond films in this one, including Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Dr. No, and The Spy Who Loved Me. It really does come across like a mish-mash of four different Bond films rolled into one.
- It’s nice they gave Bond a happy ending, considering how every ending to Craig’s films have been very dark up until this one. Also, this is the last Craig film in the franchise, so they put a good button on his arc.
This was a fun Bond film. Not as good as Casino Royale or Skyfall, but better than Quantum. Taken as a whole, Craig’s Bond era could be seen as a quadrilogy, and as such the movies run relatively seamlessly into each other to create a satisfying whole. These are by far the slickest-looking Bond films in the franchise (such are the benefits of hi-def cameras, gigantic budgets, and in general the shiny tech of the 21st century), and although they eschewed heavily away from the most fantastic elements of Bond films, even these things started slipping back into the franchise by this movie.
Delving into Bond’s personal life and emotions was a smart move for the Craig era to tackle; too often has Bond come across as a relatively shallow man who didn’t seemed too tormented or bothered by all of the killing and mayhem that he’s caused throughout his career. Craig seemed to really absorb the pain, both emotional and physical, of being James Bond, and it went a long way to humanizing a character that just a few decades ago was being mocked as just another indestructible action figure.
Not to say that they still didn’t portray Bond in these modern films as nigh indestructible: Craig bounces back from injuries that would normally take months of recovery like he bumped into a doorway. But without that conceit, I suppose these movies would just be endless visits to the hospital and physical therapy.
I’m not good at concluding this film because now the entire Craig era is blurring together. I will say that I liked Lea Seydoux as a Bond Girl and one that can match Bond in a lot of ways. I was disappointed that Monica Bellucci didn’t have more to do in this film, however. Or that we didn’t see Felix Leiter. But the ensemble was nice, watching Q, Moneypenny, and M get into the mix at the end was fun, and Christoph Waltz made for a good Blofeld. A solid Bond outing and an even better conclusion to the Craig era.
Now that I’m done with the Bond series, please check out my Bond Recap, wherein I summarize the entirety of the franchise. It’ll be up shortly after this recap posts and will include links to all of the other recaps in one page. I’ll also discuss where this blog is headed next (hint: recapping and discussing things that are much shorter than your average Bond flick).
Flashy, action-packed, and although a little sloppy with the plot (re: not it making much sense overall), was still another solid Bond outing. Three and a half out of four Bonds.