Sunday, December 6, 2015

Spectre (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway


Mexico City. The day is scalding and bright yellow. There is the sound of raucaus latin drums. But wait. Who is that ominous masked man in full skeletal regalia during a Day of the Dead celebration? One might think it could be a death reveler, a tourist or a shady stranger. The percussions build as the man moves through the gyrating crowd along with a masked woman. Entering a hotel room, the man removes his mask. Voila! It is James Bond (Daniel Craig) the most well-known spy in film and literature.

The lady invites him to a fleshy siesta, but James has no time for play. Our playboy operator heads to the rooftops with a machine gun ala Jason Bourne.

Tan, slick and fish-eyed, James gets his man. Is there ever any doubt?

Once played by Sean Connery to unreachable perfection with dry humor, machismo and a sly bravado, this millennial agent is well suited for the cyber age. Craig's Bond is sleek, smooth and machine like with little need for libertine romps from 20,000 feet or otherwise.

This spy has eyes like crocodiles that dream of the ice and he rules with intimidation.

Once more, under the limber direction of Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) the actor hits all the right punches with his interpretation of Bond who is half of a laconic man of leisure and half a British bruiser with no need for words. Although there are no outright surprises (especially for lifetime Bond fans) the story is tightly wound with action that is never heavy on the eyes.

There is even a fearsome henchman, one Mr. Hinx, (Dave Bautista) who resembles the legendary Oddjob from the flawless Bond film "Goldfinger."

The actor Christoph Waltz is the everything old is new again villain Blofield, clad in a famed Nehru jacket. Waltz is sarcastic, snide and quite evil and Lea Sedoux is the troubled and fetching femme fatale.

The story-line of this latest Bond adventure borrows a bit from "The Dark Knight/ Batman" franchise, insofar as it deals with our hero being stripped of his credentials, cast out and forced to be a kind of vigilante by a league of insidious super-criminals.

Great credit should be given to Waltz, who has just the right amount of poison along with crooked charisma and a hint of some disarming pensivity. It all works in making this notorius baddie, known as Franz Oberhauser dispense a fresh fear.

And though the compelling start of "Spectre" showing an anonymous man floating through a huge skull-topped crowd, may not be matched throughout, there is some poignant anti-gun commentary to be found especially in light of the recent shootings that we have sadly experienced, both at home and internationally. In one scene when James tosses a gun aside like chaff, we get the hint. In the end, violence makes a short stick.

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