This was a multi part dissection of SPECTRE which I did over the course of many weeks, it’s long but it may be the most comprehensive deconstruction of the film on the net. I hope you enjoy.
Ah the PTS (Pre-Titles Sequence) that once enjoyable tradition of getting a sneak peek at Bond before the film begins in earnest. It used to consist of a small fun little vignette that had little to do with the plot but provided a nice little outlet for some over the top stunts or a bit of action the producers felt would be fun to watch but had no place in the film proper. Not so since the re-boot and this one is no different.
One thing the critics and sycophants are in agreement on is that this is one of, if not the best parts of the movie. That isn’t saying much. The whole thing came off more masturbatory than masterful. You can tell Sammy Mendez really wanted this bit to stand out and I think this is where he put most of his energy and blew the bulk of the budget. I can picture the auteur seated behind the camera muttering to himself as he violently pats his own back:
“Awe man this is great, zoom in on the skeleton float!” “Yeah pan down to street level, this’ll knock their socks off!” “The man dressed in white walking against the street traffic, how expositional!” “OK pan over to the couple dressed in costumes, and cue them to walk, the audience will never know what hit them!”
It continues like that as skeleton masked Craig and his companion enter a hotel and step aboard an elevator. She whispers in his ear on the way up. Only steps from the room and she begins giving him the sweet nothing treatment? How does that work? “Hey come up to my room for some sex!” (as they reach the door) “I’m gonna give you sex!” Yeah that was the implied agreement of “Come back to my place”.
Now I’m guessing (only due to retrospect, because the film doesn’t make it clear) Craig sweet talked this gal to get access to her room, because a master spy can’t pick a 90 year old lock? Craig couldn’t take the stairs to the roof and save this poor creature the disappointment of watching him strip out of his perfectly tailored skeleton costume to reveal a suit reminiscent of a sausage casing beneath.
Any way Craig’s off to the roof to do his obligatory plot continuation, he reaches a low wall where he produces a small rifle fitted with a high power microphone (we later find out this mission is unauthorized, so how did he get this bit of high tech kit?) he over hears a plot to blow up a soccer (football, to the rest of the world) stadium, remember that, keep it fresh in your mind that this bomb is supposedly powerful enough to destroy an entire stadium. Craig being the capable and accomplished super spy that he is, gets spotted immediately, and so a fire fight ensues.
Craig’s whole purpose on that ledge is to kill the man he was tracking, and what does he do you ask? Why of course he swings the gun right and shoots the man standing next to his target! In the course of the gun battle Craig shoots the briefcase containing the STADIUM DESTROYING BOMB! Yes a bomb capable of felling an entire stadium fits in a standard businessman’s briefcase! What is this stadium? Some vacant lot where children kick the ball around? But wait! This isn’t even why I asked you to note the bomb’s intended purpose! No, it is this, the explosion simply blows out all the windows of the apartment and moments later the wall falls over destroying the roof Craig is standing on. Yup a super bomb does less damage than a wrecking ball! Craig slips, slides, and flails his way to the ground floor landing on a couch (wah-wah) where lo and behold Mr. Bad Guy exits the building! You know the building that just suffered a stadium destroying bomb blast. As the blast went off, old baddie couldn’t have been more than just down the hall when the concussion occurred. Yet here he is looking none the worse for wear!
So an earth shattering bomb has just destroyed a building, we hear a few sirens in the back ground but any sort of further response is quickly forgotten, as Craig chases the baddie down the street. That’s right no one noticed the loud boom, the copious amount of dust in the air, the concussive wave, or even the fact that 555 Poncho Villa Way isn’t there anymore! Oh well it is Mexico after all. The duo run head long through the parade we saw earlier while dozens of policemen stand stoically frozen on the side lines. So even if no one else heard, smelled or felt the explosion, the cops have radios! They would have heard the broadcast from dispatch and you know reacted! OK, the cops didn’t notice the blast and Mexico is too broke to afford radios, what about the fact two gringos are running right down the middle of the parade route?! If it’s that kind of party, where the audience is free to participate, why are there dozens of cops lining the street every 5 meters?!
A helicopter appears out of nowhere and swoops down to pick up Mr. Baddie. Somehow, someway the massive crowd parts to allow the chopper to land. As Mr. Baddie climbs aboard, Craig grabs him to declare his intention in joining him airborne. The two fight in that Bourne style shaky cam we’ve all come to know and love, mostly to hide the fact it’s a Craig masked stuntman doing all the action. While fighting Craig punches the pilot a few times just on general purpose I guess, throwing Mr. Baddie out in the process, but not before stealing his ring which comes off remarkably easy! Craig puts the pilot in a choke hold and the call backs, ah la Die Another Day hit full stride! The pilot shoots a flare at Craig causing the copter to emit red smoke just like the P.T.S. from A View To A Kill! The chopper goes to a climb straight up while lights; whistles and alarms go off very similar to the DC3 in Quantum Of Solace! Craig dumps the pilot much like For Your Eyes Only and takes control avoiding a crash just like the dreaded Die Another Day! (More on that film in later installments)
Craig flies away and the titles start…
*P.T.S.D. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.