Spectre pays homage to James Bond film, introduces fresh new take on long-running franchise

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 10, 2015

The dialogue has always been part of the allure of any James Bond movie. More often than not, however, the dialogue involves sexual innuendo since seduction and charisma are part of the portfolio of skill sets that 007 cultivates.

It’s rare to find a James Bond movie that attempts to reach out directly to the audience and the real world. Yet, Spectre, the latest in the 007 films, executes a fine fourth-wall breaking scene when M, now played by Ralph Fiennes, tells the agents in the Double-0 program that they could be phased out in favor of wire-tapping, drones and other technological advancements.

007 himself will not agree that spies are ready to be obsolete, because nothing beats being there, face-to-face with the villain and being at the right place to remove the threat. It is this kind of personal conflict that defines Spectre and it is the source of tension between the characters.

Apparently, the movie itself is addressing and questioning 007’s continued relevance in today’s world after several decades in the big screen. Spectre embodies all that people are now asking about the franchise.

The movie introduces the character C, played by actor Andrew Scott. C is now heading the Joint Intelligence Service, which wants to create an international surveillance outfit that shares resources and technology. Along the way, the consortium will eliminate the need for spies.

C thinks spies are anachronistic, which reflects the views of modern moviegoers towards the otherwise successful spy film franchise. Despite the aged nature of the franchise, Spectre does bring some fresh new elements into the series.

Clearly, everyone has gone the extra mile to make Spectre special, especially as the franchise seems to be suffering from repetitive concepts and performances. Daniel Craig continues to perform his own take on 007 while still trying to preserve the smoothness made popular by his predecessors.

Opposite him is Christopher Waltz doing an equally exceptional performance as Oberhausen. The two characters are joined by Monica Belucci and Lea Seydoux, the Bond Girls for this new film.

To top the experience off, Spectre’s filmmakers has put in a delicious “salad” of unforgettable action sequences – Craig’s Bond battles an enemy aboard a helicopter with another helicopter over Mexico City.

He takes the fight to Rome in a car chase. All the while, the story revolves around Bond’s efforts to defeat Spectre and C’s plotting to take down the premiere Double-O agent. All of these make Spectre a good capstone for the Bond movies that Craig has headlined in.

There’s also considerable effort here to pay homage to everything that has made the 24-film Bond franchise what it is today. Fiennes’ M references an old James Bond movie when he rationalizes the decision to replace spies with electronics, stating that having a license to kill also means one has permission not to kill if he chooses to.

Bond himself complains about his drinking problem, a reference to the heavy-drinking nature of earlier Bond actors. Perhaps the best reference or fourth-wall breaking that Spectre has in store for viewers is when Ben Whishaw’s Q gives Bond a watch.

Q tells him that the watch is meant to tell the user the time, an anachronistic device when an iPhone could do the same function.

Somehow, the watch is symbolic of James Bond – the franchise is aware of its decreasing relevance in the eyes of today’s generation, but it knows that it’s not yet time to throw in the towel.

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