The Spectre Introspection: part 6: A Meeting of the Mindless.

 

We find Craig winding his way towards the top secret meeting location of the reclusive Spectre organization. Where does this mysterious organization no one has ever heard of meet? A long abandoned subterranean cavern once used by the illuminati to plot the assassinations of Emperors? A secluded villa, far off the beaten path where Mafia Godfathers once wielded their power behind the throne? No! It’s the dead center of town, blocks from the Vatican. Sure SPECTRE H.Q. was only a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower in Thunderball, but at least it had the decency of being hidden behind a legitimate front, a refuge aid agency. This may as well be a rented Elks Lodge in St. Paul Minnesota, used on weekends by budget weary newlyweds to state their nuptials. But, unlike that Elks Lodge, the security is atrocious.

Craig, bandy legged as ever, approaches 4 surly looking old men straight out of Central Casting’s “Mafia Types” call book. I half expected to see James Gandolfini’s ghost whispering in Vincent Pastore’s ear in the background. The biggest, meatiest, most stereotypical guard approaches and says in subtitles, “Hey, asshole who are you, identify yourself”. Now those of you who read the script know where this is going, we’re about to hear a line that is sure to brand itself upon the Bond lexicon for decades! Craig responds… Wait for it… “I’m Mickey Mouse, who are you”. HA, HA, HA, oh give me a minute; let me wipe away the tears of mirth welling up on my cheeks! Oh, oh, OK, that’s better, ohhhh. Wow ha-ha that was ha-ha… AWFUL! But oh so apropos, from the Mickey Mouse writing, to the Mickey Mouse directing, to the Mickey Mouse acting, to the Mickey Mouse producing, this has been one hell of a Mickey Mouse production! Look if you’re going to go this far and include such a ridiculously poor gag in a Bond film at least have the decency to have him reply “Mouse, Mickey Mouse”!

Craig shows Meaty the one ring and like Gollum he shirks back in reverence kowtowing to allow Craig to pass. Meaty gives his toady a nod who quickly dials his cell phone. So I guess they already knew exactly who he was and what he was doing there, and they didn’t even need Miss Solitaire to tell them! Craig makes his way up several flights of stairs to the crowded balcony overlooking the large conference table below, where “gritty”, “dark”, and “realistic” versions of Austin Powers characters (Frau Farbissina is most definitely present!) are discussing financial schemes, including a certain “surveillance initiative” sure to have greater implications later on. Craig makes his way around the crowds of statuesque onlookers upon the balcony, with nary a second glance, despite everyone else literally frozen in place, the fact that Craig is bouncing from parapet to parapet to eavesdrop doesn’t even merit a shrug from the other participants. 

Suddenly everyone stops and rises to their feet, as finally the big man arrives, and I say that in jest as Waltz is by far the shortest thing in there, the conference table towers above him. He sits (in his high chair), everyone continues to stand, he looks back to one of his underlings, the minion lurches forth, Waltz whispers to him, the flunky moves a microphone closer to Waltz, an excruciatingly pregnant pause later and Waltz whispers in to the microphone “Don’t let me interrupt you” OH! Comedy gold where have you been all my life! After an unnecessary pause to allow all of the uncontrollable laughter in the audience die down, a different flunky explains Sciarra had one last outstanding duty to perform, the elimination of the “Pale King” oooooh very mysterious! And now the group needs to find a worthy ring bearer to climb mount Mordor to destroy him, oops wrong film. One man rises from the opposite end of the table to deliver a 3 paragraph masturbatory monolog full of self-congratulation entirely in Italian, requiring the viewer to read it all! It’s not just here, this film is loaded with subtitles. Nothing against literature, but if I wanted to ingest this much written word while enjoying James Bond, I’d pick up a Fleming novel!

As Signore Blabs-a-lot comes to his conclusion Spectre #2 asks if any would challenge for the coveted position of becoming the “Pale King’s” executioner. In walks “Mr. Hinx”, he saunters up to the table where he is asked to “state his credentials to succeed Sciarra” Hinx does so by slamming Blabby mouth’s head to the table and gouging out his eyes before breaking his neck. So I guess SPECTRE runs on “pirate king rules” which state if you kill the captain you become the captain. Which causes me to question how anyone is able to hold his/her position for very long, especially tiny little bulb headed Waltz who could be stepped on like cockroach by a 8 year old. Hinx uses silver tipped thumbnails to accomplish his gruesome task, I suppose this is some misguided nod to Odd Job’s hat, or Jaw’s teeth, however unlike those memorable genre defining devices these nails are never seen again until the train fight nearly an hour later (Yes folks we have more than an hour of film time left, and then we’ll have another 30 minutes after that!) when he brings them to within a yard of Craig’s face before getting distracted. On top of the fact this gimmick is hardly used, it’s pretty weak. I mean sharpened thumbnails? So now a bad manicure qualifies you for star henchman status?

Hinx wipes the blood from his thumbs and takes the dead man’s seat. Waltz effeminately hisses how “all that excitement in Mexico rang a distant bell, and now it all makes perfect sense, welllcome Jamesssss.” Waltz continues “it’s been a long time, but finally here we are, what took you so long?” OK, so we all know Waltz’s Oberhauser character is really Blofeld, we knew it long before the script was even leaked, furthermore we know Blofeld has been retconned into Bond’s foster brother, and as we’ll see later that relationship lasted little over a year. I state all that to ask, how the F does that ring any bells, distant or otherwise? Was Craig out subverting evil plots at 13 years old? Did he establish early on a particular penchant for crashing helicopters? What the hell lead you to believe the possibility that Craig was the one behind that incident? After this soliloquy Waltz looks up and intones “Cuckooooo!” directly at Craig. WTF!!!!!! IS THAT!!!! Yeah I must be cuckoo for watching this crap! The Producers, director, writers, and cast must be cuckoo for thinking any of this B.S. was a good idea for a film let alone a Bond film! 

With that Craig bursts out a large window jumps off a second story balcony and sprints to his car unscathed, just like in real life, since we’re being so realistic now, and so starts the “big chase scene”.

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