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Old 08-26-2021, 02:34 AM   #1
zen007 zen007 is offline
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Default SPECTRE (2015), the lowest point in the Bond franchise?

I like all Bond films as each film has something in it for the fans. However, since there are 24 EON films (so far), all of them are not equal ... When I think about the top-rated films, the following names usually flash: From Russia with Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, Casino Royale, and so on ... Similarly for low-rated films, the names of Moonraker, Die Another Day, Quantum of Solace, and SPECTRE light up in the brightest neon. Interestingly, all of these films have made big bucks at the box office. At the time of release, Bond films appear to work well.

But which one is the worst (relative to other Bond films)? Surprisingly, the name of a film that I saw at least 5 times in the theatres begins to flash in rainbow colors. The vivid bright flashing letters spell -> SPECTRE (2015).

The film was supposed to have many things going for it including a) a budget of $250M-S275M (with that kind of budget you could make Lawrence of Arabia like it was made in the 60s), b) following up on the success of Skyfall, c) the return of Sam Mendes as the director, d) the homecoming of Blofeld (legalities with his character settled), e) e for etcetera. What could possibly go wrong?

First, the plot. The film's pre-title sequence is based on Bond receiving a posthumous message from the previous M, signaling that relative simplicity would take a back seat. I thought that Ralph Fiennes' M and Bond developed a positive relationship at the end of Skyfall where Fiennes even supported the new Q and Tanner with their unofficial project to help Bond, but here an unnecessary confrontation is set up straightaway. Besides the mission assigned by the previous M, there is a distracting parallel storyline involving C who wants the current M out. For some fans, there is also the mystery surrounding who Moneypenny was dating. Was it C? Add to that, Blofeld and Bond being related!

Second, the execution. In this genre, if the execution is right, the plot issues can be overlooked. However, a lot of dull moments are bundled in SPECTRE. To illustrate, let's talk about chases:
  • The car chase in Rome. I am not sure if I have ever encountered a more boring chase sequence in Bond films. During the chase Bond takes the time to call Moneypenny.
  • The chase in Austria. Here Bond is following a bunch of vehicles in a plane (a Britten-Norman Islander?). Bond is able to checkmate the villains by using the plane as a bowling ball to hit the vehicles like pins. On top of that, the background score during this chase gave me a headache.
  • The final segment in London. Bond in a boat follows Blofeld in a helicopter. The chase ends meekly with Bond shooting the helicopter off.

Third, extensive cherry-picking. Many elements are cherry-picked from other Bond films (though not unusual). Below are a few examples:
  • In the pre-title sequence (PTS), the "Day of the Dead" reminds you of Thunderball's Junkanoo Parade, Bond walking out through the window of Diamonds Are Forever's where Bond steps out to ride the elevator, and Bond hanging on to the helicopter of For Your Eyes Only where Bond climbs out to take the pilot's seat.
  • Blofeld's intro of the legendary SPECTRE meeting in Paris in Thunderball.
  • Bond in the plane chasing the villains and Madeline glancing back, a la GoldenEye Tank chase.
  • Bond talking to a rat is like Bond talking to a rat in a pipeline in Diamonds Are Forever.
  • Blofeld guessing about the meteor is similar to Dr. No guessing Bond thinking about the cost.
  • In many segments, the score appears to be reused from Skyfall.


Positives: Monica Bellucci, Q in the field (last time we saw that was in Octopussy and Licence to Kill), Bond-Hinx fight on the train, Bond-Madeline being driven to Blofeld's lair in a vintage RR, Blofeld's cat (always interesting), and Bond's torture at the hands of Blofeld (the needles )


Many Bond films are mixed bags. However, for most of them, the pros outweigh the cons. One example is You Only Live Twice where there are a few "moments" but the good parts are very good to compensate for the shortcomings.

In general, we get a relatively serious Bond film followed by a relatively escapist Bond film, followed by a relatively serious film, the cycle continues. Die Another Day has many dumb moments but can be seen as a escapist film following The World is Not Enough, a relatively serious Bond film considering Brosnan's tenure.


SPECTRE is neither relatively serious nor relatively escapist. Its cons outweigh its pros relatively speaking to make it the lowest point in the Bond franchise despite its highest budget.
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Old 08-26-2021, 02:39 AM   #2
Rodney-2187 Rodney-2187 is offline
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Moonraker and The Man with the Golden Gun are my least favorites.
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Old 08-26-2021, 02:43 AM   #3
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Nah, Spectre is awesome. The only Craig one other than Casino Royale that I liked. (Here's hoping No Time To Die is as good as those two.)

Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Live and Let Die are my least-favorite Bonds.
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Old 08-26-2021, 03:00 AM   #4
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Everything post Dalton.
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Old 08-26-2021, 03:08 AM   #5
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Old 08-26-2021, 03:12 AM   #6
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I like Spectre
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Old 08-26-2021, 03:15 AM   #7
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There's so many things about this movie I dislike, starting with the colors. After the beautiful colors in Skyfall, this movie was just shades of brown, tan, beige, ick. The fact that Craig injured his knee during filming is distracting to me because I just notice how much of the movie he spends sitting. And finally, the editing is just off. I like the opening sequence until the helicopter, but then I could really tell something was wrong. I looked it up and it wasn't Stuart Baird,who edited Casino Royale and Skyfall, my two favorite Bonds. Spectre is definitely my least favorite Bond. Wasted Waltz, wasted Bautista, could've been so much better. Monica Belluci was the best part of the movie.
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Old 08-26-2021, 04:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vesper33 View Post
There's so many things about this movie I dislike, starting with the colors. After the beautiful colors in Skyfall, this movie was just shades of brown, tan, beige, ick. The fact that Craig injured his knee during filming is distracting to me because I just notice how much of the movie he spends sitting. And finally, the editing is just off. I like the opening sequence until the helicopter, but then I could really tell something was wrong. I looked it up and it wasn't Stuart Baird,who edited Casino Royale and Skyfall, my two favorite Bonds. Spectre is definitely my least favorite Bond. Wasted Waltz, wasted Bautista, could've been so much better. Monica Belluci was the best part of the movie.
Many folks were even put off by the yellow tint:

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Old 08-26-2021, 04:09 AM   #9
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Nope, not when Diamonds Are Forever still exists.
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Old 08-26-2021, 04:10 AM   #10
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It's not even the worst of Craig's; that distinction goes to QUANTUM OF SOLACE. However, it DOES have the worst Bond theme song of all time, blasting Madonna's out of the "all-time worst" ranking.

As far as the movies go, I have to say either DIE ANOTHER DAY or MOONRAKER are the ones that scrape the absolute bottom of the barrel. And that's despite me having a huge crush on Rosamund Pike.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:31 AM   #11
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Spectre is far from perfect but I have a hard time understanding how can someone find it worse than Diamonds Are Forever, Die Another Day or A View to a Kill.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:47 AM   #12
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Nope. Better than Skyfall.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:48 AM   #13
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I think Quantum of Solace is way better than Spectre.
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:04 AM   #14
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Always good to see wry satire at work, which the OP most certainly be. "Spectre" is easily the best of the Craig outings, and the only one where he is believable in the part he plays.

The real nadir of the series is the abysmal "Live and Let Die' that except for a mostly wasted appearance by Jane Seymour is a write-off, a poorly written pathetic attempt at blaxploitation. I haven't had any desire to watch again since 1973 but I doubt it has aged very well.
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:17 AM   #15
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Not a huge fan of Spectre, but in some ways it felt a lot like classic Bond which was missing from Craig's other movies. I find it more watchable than Diamonds are Forever, OHMSS and A View to a Kill.
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:24 AM   #16
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Spectre is mediocre, which still puts it miles ahead of Die Another Day, A View to a Kill, The World is Not Enough, Octopussy, and the JW Pepper 2-fer of Live and Let Die and Man with the Golden Gun.
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:25 AM   #17
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Die Another Day was so godawful, it literally killed a 4-decade-old (at the time) franchise to the point it needed a reboot.
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:36 AM   #18
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Craig's weakest Bond movie, but far from the weakest entry in the franchise.
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Old 08-26-2021, 10:42 AM   #19
CreasyBear CreasyBear is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gacivory View Post
I like Spectre
Me too. Certainly better than Skyfall by a wide margin. The only thing I really was disappointed in was Blofeld. Waltz is a great actor and a perfect choice for Blofeld, but he still needs to be written well and I felt they dropped the ball not giving Waltz something really meaty to chew on.
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Old 08-26-2021, 10:49 AM   #20
Aclea Aclea is online now
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It's let down by the botched torture machine scene after giving Blofeld such a great intro and Andrew Scott is atrocious, but other than that it's a pretty impressive outing. I also appreciated the return to shooting on 35mm after being unimpressed by the bland digital photography on Skyfall (I know Deakins is regarded as a god who must never be criticised, but his digital work never fails to disappoint me - those nighttime Scottish sequences look especially poor with little detail or nuance amid the blobby blackness).

Last edited by Aclea; 08-26-2021 at 10:55 AM.
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