James Bond is James Bond Again
That's not entirely a good thing.
I had been asked for my reaction to the latest Bond movie on Periscope ('Spectre' for those reading five + years from this being written) and the first thought I had was how Periscope isn't really that helpful. My second thought was how much I was being reminded that I'm watching a Bond movie in this Bond movie, silly I know; this isn't a good thing and I want to nitpick this to hell, but I have set myself 500 words to write this review.
Where to begin?
They certainly do have the formula worked out now, but I felt the formula was adhered too closely to the usual Bond outings. This film seems to me to have undone the work of the previous Daniel Craig movies.
Yes I understand it's a return to what made Bond a cultural icon before it started going off the rails, but the spy genre itself has moved on. I found myself anticipating how things would unfold in the plot rather than just enjoying the ride like I did with say Casino Royale. The acts in Spectre were predictable (though oddly the trailers were so wonderfully done). We were denied so many aspects of the Bond character in Casino Royale, that's what made it refreshing.
It's not so refreshing with this fourth instalment of 'new Bond', Blofeld wasn't that interesting either, no sense of real danger.
In Spectre there was some self awareness of trying to add a little twist to thing and call out to it, like the beautiful DB7 having no ammo in a pivotal chase scene, Bond never getting his signature drink or the logical understanding of how the henchmen could actually find Bond as he went around the world, but they're just tiny additions to the revived Bond franchise.
I knew Bond was in no real danger, I knew he was going to save the day and get the woman, (with the very last woman probably not dying) and of course the last Bond lady sets up the ridiculous, climatic scenario.
Without ruining it too much, what would Blofeld have done if the love interest made the opposite choice? It's an obvious flaw and emphases the predictable structure of a Bond movie. Please don't suggest it's some kind of fan service. I'm certainly not nostalgic for it. Push the boundaries a bit more please.
Casino Royale and QoS were interesting because of the differences with the plot and in the direction and would have liked some more of what they offered.
The predictability towards the middle and later half a of the film inherently diminishes the effort of the fine practical efforts like location settings and stunt work, both of which are beautiful and brutal respectively. Of course Daniel Craig is impeccable, I just wished the story tried as much as he did and I hope it's not his last.