The Spectre Introspection: part 9: “On Her Majesties Suffocative Service”


We find Craig winging his way to Piz Gloria, err I mean the Hoffler clinic. Now begins the On Her Majesties Secret Service (OHMSS) rip-off in earnest. Craig still sporting the ridiculous knit cap and tight snow suit, trods up to the front doors of the clinic with a large overnight bag. He makes his way in to the office of Dr. Madeline Swann. To be brutally honest (I know me brutally honest, hard to imagine right!) this whole scene is incredibly boring! If you don’t mind, I’ll just briefly muddle through it. First imagine the “word association” scene in Skyfall but with an attractive woman playing the part of the psychologist, now also imagine a lot more paperwork involved.

She asks Craig if he consumes alcohol and he replies “Too much”. EON keeps pushing this Bond as alcoholic narrative. There was a study that purported to show the literary Bond’s alcoholism, but I really don’t see the cinematic Bond as having a problem, he takes a drink or two sure, but is consuming 3-4 drinks during the course of a film alcoholism? Remember a film takes place over a period of days or weeks they aren’t in real time.

She continues asking personal questions, we go into his parent’s death, orphan, blah, blah, blah, wha, wha, wha, then he starts asking her questions. Craig spills the beans that he “kills people” (see my sidebar in the last rant) she automatically assumes her father is dead and he sent Craig, rather than say the organization who wanted him dead. I thought she was a psychiatrist not a psychic! She asks if Craig killed him and Craig tells her White did it himself. Take note that Craig told her exactly what happened and exactly how it happened, its important later in the film when they go to Blofeld’s lair and he shows them the tape Hinx took earlier.

Craig tells her she’s in danger (why? she poses no threat to the organization and her father is dead, so she has no extortion value), he’s there to protect her and he needs to find L’American, she of course responds by throwing him out. Craig sulks at the juice bar where he tries to drown his sorrows with a martini, but is informed that there is no alcohol at the clinic, wah-wah!

Q inexplicably turns up and orders Craig a “digestive enzyme shake”. They go back and forth about the car being “parked at the bottom of the Tiber”. Q then states that Franz Oberhauser is “dead and buried” and Craig needs to come back with him now. Whoa, whoa, whoa, how the bloody hell does Q know about Oberhauser? Even if Moneypenny told him, he knows way more detail than even she had!

Craig gives Q Gollum’s ring and asks him to find out what he can about it. The bartender returns with the digestive shake and Craig tells him to pour it directly down the toilet, HA! Craig is being led out by the crack, sweater clad security team when he notices Swann getting led away by Mr. Hinx, dun, dun, duuuuun. Guess those security officers were too busy politely asking Craig to leave to notice a staff member getting accosted. Craig punches a guard and tells the other to “SStAAAy” (wink to Octopussy), then runs off to save the day. On a side note why is SPECTRE kidnapping Swann? As I said she has no value to their organization, if it’s to nab Craig why not just cut out the middle woman and grab him right then and there? I know why, cause we said so!

Craig has time to put on his kick ass shades as he makes his way outside, where a henchman appears out of nowhere and Craig handily dispatches him. Craig sees them drive off in their Range Rover™, and we cut to Q getting on a cable car (OHMSS anyone?) with a rather salty, surly looking gent. Q and the surly gent eyeball each other while Q analyzes the DNA on the ring, which he just so happens to have an analyzer for!

Cut back to Hinx and crew who are now in convoy with two other Land Rovers™. They come out of a tunnel and suddenly… an airplane soars overhead! Swann grabs the hypodermic needle clumsy goon #348 was going to use to knock her out and jams it in to his chest, nighty night clumsy goon. Hinx responds by pointing his ridiculous double pistol at Swann who now placidly leans back in her chair. The plane pulls up alongside the convoy, it’s Craig! Apparently he pulled an aircraft out of his rear and hopped inside, then knew exactly where to find them. Obviously Craig stole it from the little airport down the hill from the clinic, my thought is, why didn’t we see that instead of Q getting on a ski lift? It’s like they’re showing us the boring bits on purpose, so they can include “The Team”. This is an ongoing theme throughout this film as we’ll see.

Craig who is now handling a Walther P99™, starts to indiscriminately fire at the SUV, which is traveling along near the edge of a steep mountain highway, I guess he just wants to get Swann back; it doesn’t matter if she’s dead or alive. Hinx fires back with his clown pistol, which despite being constructed by simply gluing two colt 1911 .45 caliber pistols together, has the firepower of a mini howitzer punching fist sized holes in Craig’s aircraft. Craig turns tail and we cut back to Q.

Q’s laptop shows the DNA belonging to the last three villains and little Oberhauser is still all over that ring, despite the fact Craig has been passing it around to everyone he meets, not to mention he’s been wearing the bloody thing since he found it. Q closes the laptop and prepares to disembark, when another surly character sporting a goatee and dressed in full stereotypical Gestapo regalia meets him at the door, he and salty dude #1 smirk at Q when suddenly a group of teens come pushing on to the car, curses foiled again! WTF is going on here? The first stooge is twice the size of Q, he didn’t need Heir Goatee who is comically half Q’s size to help him over power their intended victim and accomplish whatever sinister task they were supposed to commit. Not to mention Stooge #1 had Q all to himself, no witnesses, if they intend to kill Q, he could have just shot him or even broken his neck with ease and tossed the body out the window of the cable car leaving the evidence to lay undiscovered, at least until the next thaw. Q takes a seat and the two surly brothers sit opposite Q, while the teens giggle and cackle between them.

Back to the alpine chase and the convoy turns off the main road to a clearing just large enough for Craig’s plane to play chicken with the line of trucks. Of course this ridiculous gambit meets with success, sending one of the trucks careening into a fuel shed which appears out of nowhere! Apparently the blast can be heard as far away as the ski lift because everyone looks up in shock! It just so happens this occurs riiiiiiight as the cable car reaches the platform. Q uses the distraction to leap from the car and in to the crowd. Surly #1 and #2 give chase but are just slow enough to miss the fact Q ducks in to a side door, and that brings Q’s little adventure to a close. What was the point? It didn’t add any suspense to, nor further the story, and in fact all it did was distract from the plane/truck action scene, absolutely worthless.

Back to the two remaining trucks now driving back down the perfectly sized clearing in which Craig played chicken a moment ago, this time Craig comes up from behind, when suddenly the trees narrow and clip his wings, literally. Of course rather than coming to a fiery end, Craig sets the craft down on its belly and is now driving a large air ski. Craig using his throttles and tail fin narrowly misses a stand of trees while screaming “Come on!” Funny once again, Craig and I find ourselves in agreement, as I was screaming the exact same thing while watching it. As Craig turns a corner the tail falls off and he’s heading headlong in to a barn. So naturally he guns the engine and smashes through it! He lands on the other side none the worse for wear except his engines have now stopped running, no matter, as he immediately and expertly crashes into the lead truck which fortunately was not the one carrying Swann. The one that is, crashes lightly in to the truck he hit, sending Hinx through the window in a comical over exaggerated fashion. Craig pops out of his craft just as spry as an imp and rushes to the wrecked vehicle. He shoots dead the incapacitated driver, glances at Hinx without giving him a second thought and removes the remarkably unscathed Swann from the rear; see kids always wear your seat belt! (Despite the fact she wasn’t wearing hers)

She shows her appreciation by pushing Craig away and telling him to “Get away from me!” To be fair she probably though he was a yeti. She continues telling him off, “Did it cross your mind that you lead them to me!” Again why, why would they trail him, to get to her, so they could get to him? Craig’s response is to stare at her slack jawed and reply “I don’t have time for this you have to tell me all you know about L’ American!” She replies “Go to Hell!” I reply “I’m already there!” and they go on about trust and her daddy issues.

Cut to Q’s hotel room where Craig and Swann are just arriving, I guess she decided she could trust him after all (lord knows why, as they never establish that). Q explains what he’s found, that all the previous baddies in the Craig era are connected by the one ring. He has even gone so far as to concoct an organizational chart with Fransy at the top. Now all Q should have proved is these guys have touched that ring at some point, how do you know who out ranks whom? By how tightly they gripped it? Q and Craig scratch their heads about what this sinister cabal could be called when Swann chimes in “SPECTRE”. So that’s why they named the film that! Q flips on CNN™, literally, I think they must have a partnership or something and we see South Africa ablaze from a terrorist attack! Q says Craig must find L’American, Craig agrees because much like Obi Wan Kenobi, he’s their only hope. Swann says “it’s not a person”, WHAAAAT?

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