I enjoy "fine dining", presenting programs on radios 4MBS, MBS Light and 4RPH and going to drama and music at Brisbane theatres.
Published November 11th 2015
Bond as he should be
As a contender for the most expensive movie ever made, the winner of a Guinness Book of Records spot for the largest explosion ever filmed, and as the film which knocked Harry Potter off its perch for opening week-end earnings, Spectre needs to be taken seriously.
Or does it. This is a Bond film which gets the knife edge balance perfectly between spectacular non-stop action and awareness that it is a cult movie in the making.
The props are there -- $40 million of cars are trashed, and once again we have an allegedly secret agent driving a vehicle designed to draw every eye.
It is a very well made film – even managing a social commentary on how governments use the internet to spy on all of us.
And it mixes the usual ingredients – spectacular scenery, pyrotechnics, car chases, beautiful women and dark and dazzling dastardly plots.
Just what we expect in a Bond film.
An extra element is the nostalgia : references to some of the other couple of dozen Bond films. A fight on a train (From Russia with Love). Nehru jackets (from Dr No). A medical clinic in snowy mountains, with a chase down the slopes (On Her Majesty's Secret Service). A voodoo opening (Live and Let Die). A helicopter sequence (For Your Eyes Only). A mute henchman (Goldfinger). Judie Dench in a cameo role as "M" delivering a posthumous message to Bond. And there is more – I'm sure I've seen a plane lose its wings and keep in the chase before, but I can't remember in which film.
Which is not to suggest that what we have is heated-up recycled Bond. Everything is taken to a new level, and with a plot twist which links many of Bond's previous dark moments and gives them a sinister patina of revenge.
Right from the beginning, with a superbly filmed sequence of the Day of the Dead in Mexico City, we are engaged in non-stop action, which places us in a helicopter meandering crazily over a terrified crowd, while Bond tangles with the villains. From there to the snow, to a train, to a booby-trapped concrete jungle the action and the tension does not flag.
As always, there is heated debate as to where the film ranks in the Bond oeuvre.
I side with those who see it as among the best Bond films.
As Bond drives off (once more in a uniquely iconic car) I want him to come back, and I want him to be Daniel Craig.