I know what you’re thinking, after 14 chapters over several months what more do you have to say about this film? Well plenty, some random thoughts, and some things that I couldn’t really include earlier because it would have upset the flow of the narrative.
At times, as I was writing I felt a little guilty, I mean was I being too hard on this film? After all I could just as easily dissect any of the 20 classic films in the same way. However the “classic” films were made as fun, escapist entertainment not to be taken so seriously, sure Spectre attempted to capture this vibe, but the dower subject matter quite literally murdered any good will achieved. Furthermore no sooner would I feel that guilt, when another catastrophic example of poor film making would occur, poor dialogue, poor direction, poor production, it would slap me in the face and literally dare me to keep going. Take the DB10 as one example of many, that cheap gage cluster that looked as if an 8 year old knocked it together in his grandfather’s shed out of old spares he found in a drawer. Made worse when you think back to 1964 then prop masters were able to create gadgets that appeared as if they belonged there. Also remember the DB10 was a bespoke model made specifically for the film by Aston Martin and were not destined for the sales lot as the DB5s were, that’s right Aston wanted the Golffinger cars back to put up for sale, not as Bond collectibles, but as standard road cars! Those gadgets and controls had to be completely removed when EON was done, whereas the DB10s if they were not destroyed, were to be museum pieces or collector items, where the cache of gadgets would only add to the vehicles collectability. Consider as well the budgets of the films; even adjusting for inflation Goldfinger was made at a mere fraction of Spectre. Also think about the cute labeling of the switches “Air”, “Atmosphere”, “Exhaust”, and “Backfire” why would you do that with switches that are just tacked on to the dashboard? They’re obviously not stock, so they are not surreptitious in nature. If you’re going with the cute labeling, the prop department could have just relabeled the standard climate controls, which would have been a much more professional route to take.
As I have said before the only sin greater than making Blofeld in to Brofeld was that it was all for naught! There was no drama behind it, the story line just fizzled and fell flat. It was pointless, just tacked on to add some existential B.S. exposition then forgotten. When Craig spots the familiar egg shaped head of brother Frans at the funeral he responds with a shrug. When Bro confirms his resurrection at the Spectre meeting there is no look of shock or surprise, more of a “huh that's peculiar!” Finally when the two have their face to face show down the opportunity to play to the dichotomy and struggle between the two “brothers” is wasted, there's no introspection, no exploration of the zeitgeist of the two men. Just, “ugh, brothers are so annoying am I right?” Brofeld was so non-essential to the plot the character could have been made strictly Oberhauser or Blofeld at any time of the production right down to the editing! A snip of dialogue here, a scene trim there and Bro is separated from feld. Brother Oberhauser could have been the number 2 man or head of Quantum working for Blofeld who, considering the voyeuristic theme of the film, could have been watching the proceedings via video camera and seen only over the shoulder as in the old days. Or drop the brother aspect altogether as it’s excessive, unnecessary and ridiculous.
Finally, Michael G. Wilson’s son has said in interviews concerning the pre-production of “Bond 25”, that when writing, “EON always looks at what the world is frightened of now”. So according to this film, the world is afraid of security cameras first and terrorism as an afterthought? Look I get it, the revelations of how the NSA here in the states collect information is a bit unsettling, but the possibility that the government knows how many times a day I ask my wife what we’re having for dinner is waaaaaaay down the list of stuff that scares me compared to random explosions and shootings conducted by men who hate the western world on a literally biblical level. And let’s be real EON never made their films based on fear, quite the opposite in fact. Sure EON rode the wave of pop culture and current events (space race, etc.), but never played on fear, for example they made SPECTRE the villain in the early films rather than the USSR, going so far as to delete the soviets entirely from some of Fleming’s work, and started teaming up with them in the later films.
So there you have it, all tied up. Spectre laid bare and dissected like a frog in science class.