Film review: “Spectre”: Are we dancers?


We had bought our seats too late, found ourselves millimetres from the screen. Action films are never the best sitting close up: people falling out of windows threatening to land in your lap.

Ten minutes in, my friend and I glanced at each other, located two sofas at the very back, and, dodging the tutts, made a dash for it. This was probably the most exciting thing that happened over those two and a half hours.

As is often the case with mega flicks, the acting was solid. Something substantial, though, seemed to be missing.

I had arrived what I thought was early to buy the ill-fated tickets. The place was packed, I bumped into a former colleague, we got chatting about books. She said she was reading DH Lawrence, Women in Love.

‘It’s very much in the mind,’ she said. This made me curious. Was that a good thing or a bad thing in a novel?  Perhaps she wanted more visuals, context, things or rooms. Some action maybe.

‘No, no,’ she said. ‘I quite like it. It’s just well. Slow.’

Over the next 150 minutes, as the characters of Spectre were pushed out of helicopters, injected, electrocuted, and the glamour of cars and watches, cityscapes and champagne flutes supplanted anything close to an inner life for our celluloid heroes, her words crossed like a flick book through my thoughts.

Bond, I know, isn’t about staring into sunsets, becoming acquainted with one’s inner children or drinking triple shakes the colour of broccoli but I think it’s at least meant to seduce the audience into forgetting for a moment about the deeper sides of life.

This film didn’t quite do it.

I have never read Fleming’s novels but there was something about its commitment to sensation and glamour that somehow robbed it of any kind of sex appeal.

For those 150 minutes, I struggled mainly with boredom because I didn’t care about any of the film’s stylish folk. Without the flash of a back story or inner world, they were cardboard cut outs. Beautiful ones, but dancers. Cartoons getting bopped on the head. Minnie and Mickey with their hearts occasionally popping out at each other when the arc of the story required it.

The locations were lovely but when watching a film, its nice to feel as well as see.

The only time it was hard to look – and this is a spoiler, so look away now if you’re still tempted to give up a fifth of your waking day for this confection – was when Bond was being injected, fighting to escape the ‘evil’ brother, without laughing at the tired out old cliché of it all.

Not shaken, I’m afraid, not even stirred, just slightly alarmed that so many dollars went into producing something so prettily pedestrian.


Have you seen it? What did you think? As always your comments are welcome 🙂


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