The Spectre Introspection: part 13: “I thought watching one of your movies was torture enough”…

 

…or “Brother where art thou” or “Cain and Able brothers in espionage” or “Bond Civil War, Brother against Brother” (I could go on all day but I’ll spare you)

If you recall, Craig was knocked unconscious at the end of the last scene. Cut to a bright light, a bright pink shape begins to come in to focus. Is that a ham? Three pounds of pastrami? A raw rump roast? No, it’s Craig’s face, in a rip off of the scene in Casino Royal where Craig regains consciousness in the very same way. Craig finds himself strapped to what appears to be a dentist’s chair with a Persian cat on his lap, FOOOORRRRRESHAAAAADDOOOOOWWING!!!!! Apparently the torture chair is kept in Mr. Whisker’s rumpus room.

Waltz seated on a dental hygienist’s chair, in front of a rolling laptop desk, wearing sock less loafers like Sonny Crockett, says he is “Going to get inside Craig’s head”. I say why bother, I’ll save you the trouble, all you’ll find is self-loathing, bad manners, and repressed homosexuality. Ober-Waltz-Blo-Bro-Hauser states, “This first probe will play with your sight, your, hearing, and your balance.” I’m going to cut to the chase here and say remarkably, it does none of those things. Why is that remarkable because the “probe” is a damn 1/8 inch drill bit and it drills directly in to his skull 3 inches deep! Before Waltz goes all drill baby drill, Craig tells him to “Get on with it, nothing can be as painful as listening to you talk.” You are absolutely right Mr. Craig! Except perhaps watching this movie!

Let me pump the brakes here, Waltz drills through Craig’s head not once, but as we’ll see TWICE! Waltz also makes all sorts of statements as to what bodily functions will be affected/destroyed by these incursions in to Craig’s brain. However none of these things occur! Say all you want about the unreality of the “Classic Bond Era”, where Bond can go through hell and come out the other side fresh as a daisy. They never drilled holes in his head! In the old days Bond would be threatened by a sinister device but use his cunning to escape, the level of suspense in the lead up is the point of the scene, you know he’ll get away, but how. Once again Mendes misses the point, there is no suspense here, just jam it on in, but hey its OK cuz there’s no harm done! If Mendes had directed Craig in Goldfinger the laser would have just zipped straight up Craig’s crotch to his navel, then he would spryly skip off the table, dust off the singed bits of his trousers, and go on about his business.

After the drill is removed without permanent effect, Swann asks, “Why are you doing this?” Waltz replies, “Perhaps you know, Jamessss lost his parents at an early age”. Oh brother (quite literally) here we go! He continues, “It was my father who helped him through this difficult time.” After a long pause, “Over the course of two winters he taught him how to ski, climb, and hunt.” (So worst case he spent 15 months with you, best case two 3 month visits, just checking.) “He soothed the wounds of the poor blue eyed little orphan.” “He asked me to treat him as a brother (says with disgust), my little brother.” (That Asshole!) “They formed quite an attachment.” Craig chimes in from across the room in the torture chair, where he just had his brains drilled through, “You killed him!” “Yessss, I did.” Waltz replied, I half expected him to say “No shit Sherlock”; they’ve only been dragging the audience along by the nose to this very conclusion since the beginning! Waltz continues, “Do you know what happens when a cuckoo hatches inside another bird’s nest?” It makes the world’s shittiest Bond film? Oh, apparently it forces the other eggs out. What is this, an episode of wild kingdom?! So that’s where that corny cuckoo line came from two bloody hours ago. How timely! Waltz goes on, “Well this cuckoo made me realize my father’s life had to end, and is responsible for the path my life has had to take, so thank you cuuckooo!”

Sooooo, that’s it? Craig spent at a maximum a year and a half with the Oberhausers and he drove Jr. to kill Sr.? No explanation of how Craig stole Franz’ prom date, or seduced his mother, or killed his goldfish? Just he showed up, daddy liked him, must kill daddy and found an international criminal organization?! Not even daddy loved you more, just daddy liked you period! “If I can’t have daddy all to myself nobody can! WHAAAAAAAAAAA!” I mean if that’s the case, why not just kill Craig! For crying out loud, Dr. Evil had an immensely more plausible and entertaining back story!

Look, if you’re going to piss all over Fleming’s work with this dreadful family drama B.S. the least you could do is make it dramatic! I mean give me a reason! It’s all so tacked on like everything else in this crap movie, there is no way it needed to happen, especially since EON was handed a gift in the form of the Sony hacks! Everywhere I turned the Brofeld angle was met with a deafening “Meh!” Nobody liked it and fortunately the leak happened with more than enough time to fix it, especially when you consider they were still rewriting the damn script at the eleventh hour! But of course EON can’t let an opportunity to remind us Bond was an orphan, or to drag some convoluted familial aspect in to the storyline go to waste!

Craig says, “Do you know any other birdcalls Franz?” Prompting Mr. Whiskers to jump back up on to Craig’s lap, Craig whispers “Hello Pussy”, why? Nobody knows. Franzy rushes up to Craig and says, “Franz Oberhauser died 20 years ago in an avalanche beside his father; my name is Earnst Stavro Blofeld!” The line delivered in one of those ominous echoes, lands with a thud. In no way were we leading up to a mysterious stranger named Blofeld, that name has no significance to anyone or anything in this movie other than we, the audience are supposed to know who he is, and since most Craig fans are twenty-somethings who’ve never heard of some bloke named Ian Fleming or some geezer called Blofeld, it has no significance to them either.

Let me back up here just a bit. Brofeld, I can safely call him that now, stated his true identity, along with his father, died 20 years ago, that would be in 1995. That would make Craig roughly 27 years old at the time. He spent 2 winters with the Oberhausers before they “died”, 27 is hardly the wide eyed little waif of an orphan depicted in that goofy photo! Nor is it an age where you go to live with a guardian after your parents pass. You can’t try to mend this by saying Franz killed his father sometime after Craig’s departure, because his motive falls completely apart! “Daddy!” “You were kind to that kid 15 years ago, and I’m still jealous!” “Now you must die, a decade and a half later so I can start an organization bent on world domination!” I mean sure there’s crazy but then there’s ridiculous!

By the way wasn’t it eluded to that Craig lived with Alfred, I mean Kincaid at Bond Manor after his parents passed, even if it wasn’t, why did he end up getting shipped off to some Bavarian benefactor? The world will never know, at least that is until “Bond 25” “You Only Live with Your Adoptive Parents Twice”.

Big Bro states the next drill will destroy Craig’s ability to recognize people, he won’t know who Swann is after this, and she’ll be “Just another passing face on his way to the grave.” Yeah, that’s precisely what she is now. He just met her a few days ago, until yesterday they couldn’t stand each other. Now she’s his soul mate? It would be a crime against nature if he forgets who she is? No, just more melodramatic grist for the mill.

Bro continues, “He dies not knowing who you are.” Who cares! He’ll be just as dead as if he did! “A shame, the daughter of an assassin, you’re the only person who could have understood him.” Huh? Is that why spoiler alert, he quits MI6 for the third time at the end, because she understands him? If he plans on quitting the service he could get along with the daughter of a gardener just as well! Come to think of it, a psychiatrist, whose father was a hitman, and she gets crazy when she drinks, that's crazy, murder and alcohol all rolled in to one, she’s the Craig era’s dream come true!

The drill begins its task, attacking his memory receptors, through all it, Crag manages to remove his watch; you know the one with the “loud” alarm. As the bit is removed Swann rushes over to ensure her most recent week long fling can still recognize her. She caresses his wet leathery head, and says “I love you.” So soon? My, my, she moves fast! Absolutely ridiculous! Craig slowly opens his eyes as Bro asks, “Do those blue eyes still recognize you?” Craig’s response, “I’d recognize you anywhere”, ugh!

Craig further whispers, “The watch”, as he sets the timer and hands it off to Swann. “One minute”, he whispers, “One minute”, I guess SPECTRE agents have exploding watches in their arsenal too, as she seems to know just what he’s getting at. As she backs away, the drills prepare to gouge in to Craig’s eyes. Craig whispers “Tempus Fuget”. Bro asks, “Did you say something” Craig repeats it, cuz Latin's classy and shit, before further saying “Doesn’t time fly”, prompting Swann to slide the watch under Bro’s chair, exploding, and blowing him back across the room.

The explosion destroys the torture control panel, causing Craig’s restraints to fly open, freeing him. Maybe it’s just me but having your restraints fail in the open position seems like a bit of a design flaw. I mean prisons don’t design their cell doors to pop open when power is lost. It seems a bit dangerous to have an enemy strapped to your torture chair when any little power surge could potentially set them free, a very real possibility when you consider this is all going on in a desolate desert location that produces its own power with, as we'll soon see, very delicate plumbing.

Craig now free, spryly gets to his feet, caresses Swann’s face then charges head long down a hallway, in to the door leading out, which a guard was conveniently about to open, the force of Craig’s impact sends the man flying, allowing Craig to pick up his rifle. Need I remind you this man just had two, count them two holes drilled in to his head!

 

Craig quickly dispatches two more guards in the yard with the rifle and makes his way across the desert terrain, shooting over his shoulder at three more guards who appear several hundred feet away; of course Craig kills one of them! Through the gun fire, several of the various pipes and tanks around Craig and Swann are hit by enemy gunfire. Craig picks up a new weapon and takes cover in a doorway while several more guards advance; he pops out and instantly kills two more. Through all this he has time to take a longing look at Swann, then pop out of cover shooting one of the pipes they just passed, you know the ones which were riddled by the guard’s gunfire, except when Craig does it the pipe bursts in to flame cutting off the enemy advance! Suddenly a gate in a WIRE fence opens where a guard is standing, a guard who had perfect position on Craig, and could have killed him easily, if he understood that his bullets can travel through the holes between the wires in the fence. Craig kills him easily! A quad cycle pulls up, two more baddies jump off; Craig wielding the rifle one handed blows them away as well! Two more are coming down the stairs from the helipad; Craig extends the butt stock of the gun (See realism!) so he can expertly take aim and take them out! This whole sequence comes off as some bad video game, placed on the super easy setting, especially the gate bit, where once the player proceeds to the next battle field, more enemies spawn. The duo stroll, yes I said stroll and I mean stroll, because that is precisely what they do, up the stairs to the waiting helicopter, where Craig turns to Swann and breathlessly says, “Let’s go home”, just as… Wait for it… the whole damn base blows up! What the hell! Well at least that’s over! Now I can get out of here and… Craig to Swann: “It’s not over yet!” Oh bloody hell!…

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