First introduced in Dr. No more than 50 years ago, and not heard from since the pre-credit sequence of For Your Eyes Only, SPECTRE represented a global terrorist organization focused on achieving their own goals. The rebooted Bond films, which began with Casino Royale, finally get around to reintroducing us to the classic villains and their leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) in the fourth movie of the series appropriately enough entitled Spectre.
I’ve never quite warmed to the rebooted Bond which stripped away several important pieces of the Bond films in rebranding our hero as more thug than spy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed large parts of both Casino Royale and Skyfall but they’re middling entries to franchise that don’t compare to the best of Connery or Moore. And if Spectre has a major flaw its that while attempting homages to previous entrants to the franchise it constantly reminds the audience of aspects of better films we’d rather be watching. Everything from Blofeld’s new secret lair to the close-quarters fight aboard a moving train against an evil henchman (Dave Bautista) hearkens back to better moments from better films.
Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. True, she might not grab the starring role, but she finds a way to make an immediate and lasting impression whether in only a single scene we can’t quite forget where she effortlessly steals the spotlight before fading back into anonymity or popping up in movies and television over the years here and there, almost always reminding us that we have seen her before even if we can’t quite remember where. Even if we can’t quite think her name we immediately recognize her face and search furiously through our brains to remember where we have seen “that girl” before.
The final episode of the mini-series brings an end to the war, and Ian Fleming‘s (Dominic Cooper) time with Naval Intelligence, but not before Fleming makes it into the field for his only real action and begins inventing the final piece of the puzzle in the various gadgets used by the spy the world would come to know as James Bond.
The four-part series showcasing the less glamorous real-life spy work of the man who would go on to create the most famous of fictional spies of all time continues as Ian Fleming (Dominic Cooper) returns from America and his short stint learning from the the group organizing America’s new Central Intelligence Agency to put together his own team of guerrilla spies and saboteurs to collect intelligence and generally cause trouble for the Axis.
Opening in Jamaica during Ian Fleming‘s (Dominic Cooper) honeymoon where the man has just finished his first James Bond novel, BBC’s new four-part mini-series takes a look back and the series of events that led the womanizing failed stockbroker to that moment and the real-life adventures the crafted James Bond. After the brief intro the first episode jumps back to England on the eve of WWII and Fleming’s recruitment by Naval Intelligence whose connections, reckless disregard for orders, and imaginations might help them win the war.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Quantum of Solace which I felt stayed far too focused on the fallout of the first movie in the reboot James Bond franchise without moving our new version of British Secret Agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) forward. Skyfall certainly isn’t a perfect Bond film, in fact it may be the first of the franchise that I’ve enjoyed without liking its choice of villain. However, it does make a concerted effort to blend in elements of the classic Bond franchise with the new version making it feel, really for the first time, that James Bond is truly back.
The film borrows heavily from themes, elements, and even specific props from previous Bond movies. Some of these callbacks include the Aston Martin from Goldfinger, a signature gun (which we saw before in Licence to Kill), an assassin’s with signature bullets (a major plot point used in The Man with the Golden Gun), and even the recreation of M’s classic office. The movie also begins incorporating Bond’s original supporting cast including finally delivering a new Q (Ben Whishaw).