Spectre

The truth about Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), the all-reaching villain of Spectre, is the truth about EVERYTHING in the Daniel Craig Bond-era. This is incalculably dumb. And yet somehow I love it. That is to say, I love it because of how dumb it is. It plays not too differently from the reveal in Austin Powers in Goldmember, which makes sense considering that this entry is the first that really allows Craig to be the wisecracking Bond of old. On a serious note, Spectre’s reflexivity does do a fine job of acknowledging how legitimately devastated Bond has been by the losses of Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd and Judi Dench’s M.

As Dr. Madeleine Swann, Léa Seydoux is engineered to be the (too-)perfect Bond girl. She simultaneously indulges in and responds to the worst excesses of James’ ladies. Seydoux may be 17 years younger than Daniel Craig, but Bond also hooks up with the more age-adjacent Monica Bellucci. She calls him out for being too aggressive, but then she decides that they in fact make an ideal match (and then she goes ahead and proves it).

Spectre tries to be everything for every Bond fan, which is incredibly foolish and prevents it from being a top-tier addition. But it makes for some dopey fun alongside the reliably well-staged action.

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