Jason Keil

Jason Keil is a writer whose work has been published in the Phoenix New Times, AZCentral.com, Phoenix Magazine, and OnMilwaukee.com. He also co-hosts the podcast What The Fork.

"SPECTRE" My Eyes Out

The trailer for the 24th Bond movie SPECTRE came out last week.

Before we can continue, you need to know where I stand with the world of 007 films, my favorite movie franchise.

  • Connery (duh!), Craig, Moore, Dalton, Lazenby, and Brosnan. Sorry Pierce, you were born to play the role, but your scripts were the worst. Even Moore knew when to speak up when something was wrong. Sadly no one listened to Roger.
  • From Russia With Love, but I have a soft spot for On Her Majesty's Secret Service. It has kinetic visual style, best Bond girl, follows the source material the closest, and has the best soundtrack. "We Have All The Time In The World" was played at my wedding. No actor could have followed Connery. Lazenby would have failed regardless of his skill level as actor.
  • I own ALL the movies in HD, even the unofficial ones, as well as several books on the franchise.

Skyfall was the highest grossing of the then 23 films in the official franchise. Javier Bardem played the villain Silva with such scenery-chewIng relish that the audience overlooked that director Sam Mendes, after years of imitating the style of Billy Wilder, took the best yet poorly executed ideas from the Brosnan years and made them into a Christopher Nolan tribute film. He even allowed the screenwriters to steal Nolan's major plot device from The Dark Knight: the diabolical bad guy gets caught by the hero only to have him escape againThrow in some amazing visuals from accomplished cinematographer Roger Deakins and a killer theme song from Adele and you found lightning in a bottle. How could it not make money?

The SPECTRE trailer opens with a bombed out MI6 and Moneypenny giving Bond the remnants of a box found at Skyfall mansion, establishing that this is a direct continuation of the previous film. The box contains secrets, as boxes are wont to do. After some moody looking set pieces accompanied by the same deep horns that made the Inception trailer so annoying, we cut to Bond interrogating a haggard looking Mr. White, the character vengefully shot by 007 at the end of Casino Royale. He shows him a mysterious ring, which Bond fans will recognize as the SPECTRE logo. All White can do is wax poetic, telling Bond that he is "a kite dancing in a hurricane."

Next we see Bond walking into a meeting of a secret society as a gleefully evil voice coming from a shadowy figure at the end of a table says he's eager to see Bond again. It's obviously Christoph Waltz talking over a xylophone rendition of the Bond theme, but were not supposed to know that it's Christoph Waltz yet. Our appetites need to be whetted. Familiar horn music, cool logo, and "coming soon" quickly follow.

We've established Skyfall is the Bond equivalent of The Dark Knight, making Casino Royale the Batman Begins of the Craig franchise reboot. Does this mean SPECTRE is meant to be The Dark Knight Rises of the series? It appears so. This means we can expect a clumsy attempt to somehow bring all plot elements of the Craig films together, even the boring Quantum of Solace. Too many twists, too many villains, and a silly plot holding it all together. The Sony hack already revealed how execs thought the script was weak. The trailer only seems to confirm it.

Let's hope that I am wrong.