As Craig wafts to the ground and minces away, MP knocks out a quick Google search from her kitchen table, for Hannes and Franz Oberhauser. Ironically she finds this:
Rather than this:
Is it me or does Oberhauser Sr. look like a Photoshop creation, like a computer drawing of someone who never existed? If so, why? Did EON not want to pay royalties to an actor to use their likeness? And why is it the only photo of him appears to be a mugshot?
Cut to “C”, addressing what I called the “Pan-European Recognizance Video Eavesdropping Recording Tele-monitoring Symposium” (P.E.R.V.E.R.T.S.) in the unofficial novel thread on the forum. Somehow I feel the title still fits.
C’s droning on about the need for more surveillance, how critical “Nine Eyes” is and how imperative it is for them to join. In the midst of this dissertation, Tanner spots a news story about a “Street race gone wrong” featuring a photo of Craig’s DB10 being fished out of the river. (Chuckle!)
M leans over to Tanner and makes a catty remark about C’s pet project being an unelected body. C concludes his manifesto, and immediately the committee takes a vote, who says the wheels of democracy turn slowly! The panelists cast their supposedly secret ballot on large screen displays located on their desks, allowing M to spot in full Technicolor glory that South Africa is the lone dissenter in the required unanimous election.
The chairman announces the vote has failed which prompts M to whisper “Democracy”. Tanner sends him a text from across the table asking if he was sure Craig was in London.
Allow me to sidebar and take a moment to address the fact that South Africa was the lone voice of reason. Why was that? Was North Korea unwilling to meet EON’s price for endorsement? South Africa, that bastion of freedom and good will. A country that until very recently practiced rampant racial segregation. Self-loathing Americans love to point out our personal short comings in the arena of race relations, but we got nothing on South Africa! South Africa is a country where Africans are treated as second class citizens on their own continent! And these are the people being portrayed as champions of personal privacy?!
M jumps on the blower to Q, who is doing some late night tinkering in the lab (now there is a guy who needs to get a life!) Q lies for Craig saying he’s in Chelsea, when in fact according to the smart blood map, he’s in Austria looking for you know who!
Cut to a lone vehicle making it’s was up a twisty snow covered mountain road to the ominous sounds of the film’s score. “Austria” appears at the bottom of the screen, is that really necessary Sammy? We were JUST told Craig was in Austria do we really NEED to be told again what country he’s in, not to mention just minutes ago in the Aston Martin commercial, err I mean chase scene, the plot was advanced when Moneypenny told Craig where Mr. White, aka the Pale King, aka cheap plot devise was hiding, Austria! What is with Mendes’ incessant need to label every location?
Smash cut to a lone figure standing in a dingy crossing a fog covered lake, like Washington on the Delaware. It’s Craig looking ridiculous and craggy in a form fitting snow outfit complete with knit cap! Craig makes his way to a rustic yet opulent cabin on the bank of the lake. He’s such an accomplished “Bad Ass” he fumbles with his PPK before entering. The interior of the cabin is dark (of course it is, this is a Mendes film) abandoned and a shambles. Craig swipes his gloved hand across the arm of a chair and inspects the dust deposited upon his fingers. I don’t know Craig, I think the copious amount of cob webs and funk should have told you the cleaning lady was sacked long ago, the white glove test was quite unnecessary. Craig continues to the kitchen accompanied by creepy mood music when, BOO! Crows come flying around the corner! Boy, this film sure is taking me on an emotional roller coaster!
The crows leave in a crescendo of cackling laughter, probably directed at Craig’s hat. Craig spots a surveillance camera complete with red “on” light. He moves down the hall where Craig spots some light coming from the floor, under a mirror, classic hidden door giveaway; good thing MI6 training includes watching every Scooby Doo episode ever! Craig finds the secret latch and pops open the door, leading down a stairway to none other than the Pale King himself! He’s seated in front of a bank of T.V.s and camera monitors. White was unprepared to meet him, no weapon, not on his feet, or even facing the door, what’s the point of all the security if you’re not even bothered to defend yourself? White says “Make it quick” Craig replies “on your feet”.
Craig and White make their way to a table where the men sit opposite each other at a dusty chessboard, OH THE SYMBOLISM! White looking like he’s been lost on a desert isle for decades says “I always knew death would wear a familiar face, but not yours.” Which is ironic as Craig’s pasty, stark white pallor looks like the reaper incarnate. Craig informs White SPECTRE is looking to kill him, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to White, as he’s in such deep hiding for just that reason. White tells Craig he found “Thallium” in his phone (I assume this is some sort of radioactive substance), which is killing him. So SPECTRE is such a thorough organization, they poison a man by sabotaging his cell phone then send an assassin to find and murder him? Talk about belt and suspenders! Throughout this exchange the men slide the mystical SPECTRE ring back and forth across the dusty chessboard,just to sledge hammer the symbolic point home!
Craig asks what White did to incur the ire of Blowy, White says he disobeyed him; He “Followed him as far as he could, but he (Blofeld) changed”. He changed how? Did he go from an unhinged, psychotic, sociopath bent on world domination, to a slightly more unhinged, psychotic, sociopath bent on world domination? And I guess that was just a little too much for you eh, Whitey? Perhaps it was Blofeld’s newly found penchant for white Persian cats that drove him away, “He knew I was allergic, but he kept on petting Mr. Whiskers, right in front of me!”
Craig asks White where Blowers is and White tells him “He’s EVERYWHERE! Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating with your family!” How existential! So Craig’s trying to find Blofeld? Why not kill another one of his henchmen and attend the funeral? Call Felix and have the widow Sciarra tell you when the next meeting is, since she seems to know all this stuff? Craig comes to the realization White is protecting someone. How? I don’t know! Just because we said so!
Craig further deduces that someone is White’s daughter. White states “You won’t find her, she’s smarter than me, she’s cleaver, she knows how to hide!” we’ll see just what a laugh that statement is later. Craig gives his word to protect the daughter, to which White laughs “Your word, the word of an assassin?”
Let me sidebar here for a moment. Ever since Casino Royal EON has been pushing this “Bond is an assassin” B.S. I don’t know about you, but I never saw Bond as an “assassin”, he killed men in the line of duty sure, but never as a matter of course, his orders never were “Go kill Mr. X”. Bond has always been an investigator, CDR. Strangways goes missing Bond is sent to investigate, nuclear bombs are stolen Bond investigates, a submarine disappears Bond investigates, you get the picture. However since the reboot we’ve been constantly told Bond is some sort of cold calculating killer, he’s a governmental mafia type hitman, despite never getting orders to assassinate! In fact Craig has never gotten orders of any kind, as he’s always found an excuse to go rogue!
Back to the plodding plot advancement. Craig produces his pistol and slides it across the chessboard to White. Stating “That’s my word.” (Check?) White picks it up awkwardly cocks it with both hands (being an accomplished assassin he knows the best way to ready a PPK is with the middle of his two thumbs). (Counter Check?) White points the pistol at Craig in what is supposed to be a tense dramatic move, but falls well short of the mark. After an extremely pregnant pause White lowers the gun and says “L’American”, “She knows L’American, she can lead you to L’American”, “Try the Hoffler clinic”, and then delivers the line we’ve all been waiting for… “You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane Mr. Bond”, (Check Mate!) before shooting himself, I can sympathize, after watching that scene and hearing that corny line I wanted to shoot myself too. You’ll want to commit seppuku as well when I tell you we are one whole hour in and still have one and a half left to go, yes we have an entire Quantum Of Solace left in this movie!
Craig flinches when the shot is fired cuz he’s such a bad ass, cold blooded assassin, picks up the one ring and his pistol, while closing the dead man’s eyes, what an exposition of the character’s duality! He tosses his friend in a dumpster one movie, then gently closes the eyes of a terrorist in another. Craig rifles through White’s pockets looking for clues, to what I’m not sure, when he finds a poorly photo shopped, sepia tone picture of a little girl and a bearded man whom I assume is supposed to be White, the photo quality is that bad, I can’t tell who is supposed to be in it. (I’m starting to detect a theme here with the photographic special effects) Craig takes the photo and leaves, he takes the time to rifle through the man’s pockets, but doesn’t think to check the rest of the house, maybe that little command center where he found White in the first place? Maybe take the surveillance tapes? He’s going to wish he did a little later.
Cut to M and C in the new “Surveillance Center”, C telling M, how it’s all been funded by private “benefactors”, since when do private entities fund government espionage agencies? M and C share some stilted dialog about George Orwell and looking over everyone’s shoulder, before C plays a tape containing Moneypenny and Craig’s conversation which took place during the chase. Now correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t that conversation take place on the cell phone Craig gave Moneypenny before leaving, so this precise thing wouldn’t happen? Was Craig so stupid as to not get a burner phone for himself and instead call her on his own? C makes a comment about M’s inability to control his agents (Burn!), I in turn can’t control my gag reflex.
Cut back to Mr. White’s cabin in the woods, where a man is skulking around his body, which is being devoured by the crows from earlier. It’s Mr. Hinx, come to accomplish his task, but finds he’s been beaten to it. Hinx spots the security camera and unlike Craig he’s smart enough to check the tape…