Spectre: the fall of Octopus 

by Devina Gunawan

I left the theater feeling more exhausted and dizzy than excited. I’m not sure now whether this is a good thing or not, but Skyfall did the same: exhaust me.

And this was Spectre.

Daniel Craig, a fine man with no match at the moment as 007, delivered. He started out in New Mexico, joining the crowd in dia de los muertos, hunting down a man named Sciarra. The hunt ended up with blowing up a building and destroying a block, and finally, the death of Sciarra.

Bond took Sciarra’s ring, which had an octopus symbol, and left with a smile.

He was then scolded by M in London, and was grounded. Q was instructed to put a tracker in Bond’s blood stream so that the agency could track his location and watch over his movements. Why the tracking? Well, there was C, or Max, a guy who was in charge of the security and he wanted everyone to be followed.

Everyone questioned Bond’s motives. They didn’t understand what he was doing and why, particularly because there was no mission assigned to him and yet damages were already done.

As it turned out, Bond was working on something girl M told him to do. He had received a message, sent to his mailbox post the last M’s death, and the message instructed him to “kill Sciarra. And don’t miss the funeral.”

After stealing an amazing car designed for 009 from Q, Bond set out to Rome, where the said funeral took place.

There, he spotted a man who seemed familiar but only saw the back of his head. Audience got the hint that this might be the big bad guy.

Our hero also made a move on Sciarra’s widow, Lucia, whose life he saved by the thing he did best: murder her threats, and whose grief was taken care of by the other thing Bond was good at: bone a lady.

While pleasuring Lucia and himself, Bond learned that there would be an important meeting held at midnight. He went there, unaware that he was expected. The guy he spotted at the Sciarra’s funeral was the head of the octopus organization. Someone who was supposed to die 20 years ago, and his name was Franz (his current name sounded… well, I’ll let you judge yourself). After hearing that the organization holding the meeting was after a man named White, Bond had to run for his life, and audience was presented with fast and furious.

That was some good car chasing.

I fell in love with the 009 car and unfortunately, had to watch it drown. Thanks, Bond. I won’t forget that, mate.

Then Bond went to Austria, the home of the man everyone wanted to kill. He found out that this man, Mr. White, had a daughter to protect and made a deal to protect this unknown girl in exchange of some information. Bond and Mr. White wanted the same thing, to hunt the guy controlling the octopus organization. Or Franz, or whatever his new name was.

Mr. White then killed himself, and Bond went to find his daughter, Madeleine.

She turned out to be a badass, and insisted that they should work together to find Franz the octopus man.

Long story short, they both ended up at the factory of the octopus, or Spectre, and got a glimpse of the big bad guy.

Who was tiny by the way, especially when you put him next to Bond.

So Franz and Bond knew each other. A long time ago when Bond lost his parents, Franz’s father took care of Bond and preferred spending time with him than with his own son. Thus, jealousy turned the neglected son into an octopus man.

Bond was tortured left and right, literally, and with a bomb-watch Q had given him, exploded our bad guy. He and Madeline escaped, and the whole place burned down.

Obviously, that was not the ending. When he left with Madeline, Bond told her that it wasn’t over yet.

We knew that too, Craig. This is a Bond movie after all.

Spectre had a backup: a well funded program run by Max, or C, who shut down the 007 program and proposed a sleepless surveillance of the world. Thus, Bond joined forces with M, Q, and Moneypenny to take C down.

Meanwhile, octopus guy was still alive and out to kill Bond. But his fate was horribly sad, and he probably spent the rest of his life staring at thick, white walls with only one eye.

Spectre was the show that proved once again that Daniel Craig was made of metal. He could fall few stories off and walked away without a scratch. He could run in the middle of a shooting field and everyone firing at him would miss the target.

James Bond put Edward Cullen to shame.

There were some scenes in the movie that were misleading. For instance, Madeleine leaving Bond seemed like there was plot twist coming up; however, nothing. It was really nothing.

C’s presence reminded me so much of his character in Sherlock, Moriarty, and I kept on assuming that he got a bigger role in the movie. I thought it could be a plot twist, that C was the real head of Spectre. Nope, that wasn’t it either.

Conveniences in the movie were also insane. Bond landed on a couch when a building collapsed and he fell off few stories. There was a helicopter right outside the Spectre headquarter for Bond and Madeleine to take off with. C’s death due to several missed fires and lack of balance was too convenient. Or when Bond had only a minute left to save Madeleine and leave a building with a set bomb, and Madeleine happened to be few feet away from him when he spent few precious seconds staring at Franz. Oh, and in New Mexico, the roofs were so kind to pedestrians.

Women portrayal hurt me most. Women were as disposable as the cars and helicopters in the movie. The beginning of the movie we saw Bond fooling around with a lady, using her hotel room as a way to smoothly execute his plan. Then he banged a widow he just saved just to get an information. Afterwards, he flirted with Moneypenny. The moment he saw Madeleine, he was already flirting with her, and he kept on hitting on her until she eventually let him do her. Then even when she was a badass, she ended up being the damsel in distress during the last act of the movie. I simply hated this part of the movie.

Also, the intro was silhouette of Bond making love to women, with Sam Smith’s Writing’s on the Wall playing. The moment the intro was going, I was debating whether I would give Spectre a chance or not. But I ended up watching the whole thing without bathroom break or falling asleep.

Daniel Craig did a wonderful job. Again, he was believable as an assassin with a twisted moral compass and a pro ladies man. I don’t know what to make out of Cristoph Waltz. His role as Franz tickled me. I neither liked nor hated him. He was disposable.

Andrew Scott brought so much Moriarty into this role that in an instance, I knew he was bad news. I was hoping he could be more subtle, or that he could pretend to be good or innocent before a big finale of “Hey, I’m with Spectre. Bazinga.”

Ben Whishaw could always win my heart by playing a geek. I have always loved Q, and I admire Whishaw’s talents. I believed him as a murderer in Perfume, and I believed him as the geeky sidekick in 007 movies.

Lea Seydoux was stunning, as she always is in every movie she stars. Yet I wished her character did not bang Bond. Apologies, I’m not a big fan of letting a strong female character turn into a damsel in distress and sexual partner that easily.

All in all, this was an enjoyable movie, and I liked it. I do have tons of questions and see a lot of holes, but I’m sure Cinema Sins will cover them soon.

I give Spectre 7 out of 10. If I’d ignored the whole female character thing, I’d probably give it an 8, and if I focused on the female portrayal, I’d give it a 6. However, found a middle ground and gave it a 7.

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