“Zo Mister Craig, show me on ze doll vhere ze bad producer touched you.”
No, no, no, not therapy for psychos, I’m talking about therapy by psychos! Both Satin Safin and Bro-feld probe the mental faculties of their conversation partners!
Let’s see, where were we, last time we witnessed the Craig-Bond, Moneypenny and the MI6 Quartermaster, who recently revealed he puts the “Q” in LGBTQ+, discuss the one person allowed to talk to the Craig-Bond’s lost foster brother Bro-feld who is, or should I say was, the head of an international crime syndicate. The Craig-Bond asked who this individual was, prompting the other two to awkwardly glance at each other. Jump to Madeline Swann, remember her? It’s been about an hour since we saw her in the flash forward in the flashback that was the pre-title sequence. She’s making her way along the high street to her office. Surely this is simply an interlude, you can’t seriously be telling me she is the one person allowed to speak to the man who controls the evil organization she is supposedly tied to?! I am serious and…
Swann makes her way to the lobby of her office building where she bumps into her receptionist. Apparently Ms. Swann has a private practice where she plies her psychoanalysis trade. The receptionist informs Swann a new patient is waiting for her in her office and that the gentleman is a bit weird. Swann chastises her employee for the comment because, “You can’t say that.” No, we mustn’t speak ill of genocidal maniacs shan’t we.
“I’m just a poor misunderstood artist.”
We find Rami Malek, viewing him from behind, seated at a table winding a blond hair around his finger and placing it into a handkerchief, nothing foreboding there. When we do see his face we find he has a sickly blue pallor, obviously too much blue dye number one in his diet.
My friend, Blueberry Jolly Ranchers are a treat not a lifestyle!
Swann has a seat opposite him and they begin an awkward and convoluted dialogue about poisonous plants, gardening and parental death. Satan says he saved a life once and in doing so bound that person to him. That goes over about as well as flatulence in church so he states, “I’m not good at talking about myself, so I brought a memory box.” He hands her a wooden box containing his noh mask from the beginning of the film (which feels like an eternity ago).
Remarkably well preserved for damaged cardboard 20 years on!
So you saved this thing, as what a souvenir? You trudged this thing back home through the frozen wasteland while avoiding the authorities, put it in a box and then held on to it, quietly biding your time for what must be at least two decades?
Swann is of course visibly shocked by this little memento, Satan Safin makes a comment about her eyes, how when she was under the ice she “needed him” and how she still “needs him.” Huh, how does she need him now? Well I have a theory on that but it’s a bit off topic and now is not the time.
The real villain of this film.
Satan says he needs a “favor” and that she “owes” him, when she states he murdered her mother he retorts that her father “murdered my entire family.” “I need you to visit someone wearing this,” he says, producing a perfume atomizer.
Germ warfare in an atomizer? Sounds familiar.
She asks why she should do anything for him and he replies, “Because I am willing to kill the person you love most.” She says he can not threaten her because she has already lost everyone she loves. He says that is very sad to hear, but not true.
We jump to the Craig-Bond making his way along the river Thames to meet with M. What? Is he not taking meetings in his office anymore? Everyone knows the best place to discuss sensitive information concerning arch criminals and worldwide destruction is out among the public!
Perfect, now everyone can hear what great peril the world is in!
The Craig-Bond questions M’s choice to allow a woman implicated in the organization Bro-feld controls to be his only contact. Let’s take a moment to run down the evidence against Ms. Swann. She convinced the Craig-Bond to visit his dead lover’s grave where, in her absence, an attempt was made on his life. While engaging his assailants one of them refers to her as a “Daughter of SPECTRE,” once he has reconvened with her she gets a message from none other than Bro-feld himself where he congratulates her on a job well done in setting the trap for the Craig-Bond and that her martyrdom will not be in vain. But lets put aside the convoluted foolishness of this film and look at some other exhibits, the reason she is referred to as a daughter of SPECTRE is because she is quite literally the daughter of one of Bro-feld’s top lieutenants! She grew up in this organization, she was also “kidnapped” by SPECTRE in the film of the same name, but for the life of me I can’t remember why, she supposedly had no useful information, it was simply because the Craig-Bond was going to speak with her, could that be a “false flag?” We’re told rather than shown she wants nothing to do with them, but what proof do we have?
How could you not trust that face?!
However M is about to hand wave all of those concerns away with a flourish because that was “five years ago” and “nothing came up since!” Nothing came up, what the bloody hell does that mean? I’m afraid this incarnation of MI6 haven’t been too deft in the background check department, if you’ll recall they allowed a compromised accountant to tag along in Montenegro¹, granny M’s personal bodyguard of 8 years was a Quantum/SPECTRE agent² and the man tapped to lead the new joint MI5-MI6 intelligence agency turned out to be a disciple of Bro-feld as well!³ But, even if that is true and you haven’t found anything since what about all the evidence in the paragraph above! I’m beginning to suspect the M.I. in MI6 doesn’t stand for Military Intelligence (some say an oxymoron in itself), but rather Massive Incompetence. From now on I’m going to take a page from the crummy little toady in SPECTRE and start referring to Ralph Fiennes’ M as M-oron.
“You know what M stands for? Moron.” The writers telling us what to expect in the following film.
They begin speaking about the Heracles project, which was meant to “save lives, a clear accurate shot every time,” as M-oron put it. So we’re back to the physical vs techno-spying debate again, first broached in Skyfall beat to the ground in SPECTRE and whipped like a deceased equine here. To top it off, in each film it was M-oron who championed the physical approach, defending granny M at the parliamentary hearing on espionage, battling “C” Bro-feld’s toady pictured above, over replacing the double 0 section with satellites and drone strikes, because, “knowing when not to pull a trigger is just as important as knowing when to.” And all the while he was developing this weapon which as we’ll see, once the trigger is pulled there’s no un-pulling it! Still confused as to what this weapon is? Here, let’s allow this mission briefing from 2016 video game Hitman tell us how it works:
Yes, they ripped off a plot from a mission in a three year old (at time the screenplay was written) video game!
Essentially it’s a deadly disease coded to a target’s DNA. Once you put that bio agent in the air there is no calling it back. Let’s say you have an obnoxious dictator who at the moment is giving you a headache, so you want him gone. You send Agent Typhoid Mary out to the capital to smear his palms with Heracles and shake as many hands as possible. Depending on the local customs and how secluded dear leader is it may take days, months or even in some cases years for the infectious compound to make it’s way to him. Now let’s say the old boy has a sudden change of heart, maybe he takes up yoga, converts to Buddhism, sees Jesus in a potato chip, whatever and now he’s exactly the guy you need in charge to stabilize the region. Oops! Can’t take it back now!
M-oron laments he doesn’t know what this new enemy wants and the Craig-Bond tells him he and his merry band consisting of the Quartermaster and M-oron’s executive secretary figured out what they want is Bro-feld.
They only destroyed Bro-feld’s entire organization, I’m sure they’ll stop there.
At this M-oron casually drops an F-bomb.
Muh favorite Wooooord!
What’s the purpose EON? This is the second maybe third time you’ve done this (I can’t recall if it was done in SPECTRE), why? Are you trying to replace all the sex and violence with strong language instead?
Aren’t we so edgy?!
M-oron asks the Craig-Bond what this new enemy wants after Bro-feld? The Craig-Bond retorts “world leaders, innocent civilians, freedom the usual thing.” I’m guessing there’s a crack at someone or something in there, I just can’t make out what it is, I mean what’s wrong with freedom? Unless you like living under a totalitarian techno state that can have you investigated for any thought outside the approved narrative.
That could never happen!
M-oron confirms Bro-feld was in communication with his agents via his bionic eye, which they have since confiscated.
“A false eye, now do come along Bond!”
M-oron states they need all the information they can gather, as their extremely sensitive meeting conducted in the public square comes to a close Chief of Staff Tanner comes running out to tell of a “development,” as the opening theme to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service begins swelling in the background. You people aren’t even trying to hide it anymore are you! How creatively bankrupt can one film company get?!
Back in M-oron’s office the rag tag team of Q and Moneypenny along with 007 come in to find the Craig-Bond there, Q begins feigning knowledge of his return in order to cover for their extracurricular investigations, M-oron tells Q to stop it as he knows the Craig-Bond has been staying with him.
As we discussed the Craig-Bond has been living a lavish lifestyle in retirement, which makes it bizarre everyone thinks him dead, spreading that much cash around should set off some bells. Anyway back to the point, can’t he afford to stay someplace else, he keeps a garage in London surely he also keeps a flat? Or he could at least afford a room at the Marriott.
Come on Bond, you can’t scrape together $50 bucks?
M-oron mentions the Craig-Bond has been reinstated as a double 0 and instantly 007 begins nervously asking “double 0 what?” As discussed, the code number 007 has no special connotation to anyone but the audience, so in effect her insecurity is a fourth wall break.
“This never happened to the other fella!”
Turns out the Heracles virus has been mutated so that it is now deadly to not just the programed victim but all who share genetic similarity like mothers, fathers, siblings, children even entire races of people (I’m sure all that won’t have any implication later on). They found this out because many of the attendees at a SPECTRE member’s funeral dropped dead later and 007 acquired blood samples from the victims. Glad to see they’re using their double 0 agents appropriately, I can imagine Connery’s Bond risking life and limb sneaking into a mortuary at night to swipe a urine sample!
Double 0 status confirmed!
What this really is about is giving the poor woman something to do, she’s just a cardboard cutout who could be dropped from the film all together, but then they wouldn’t have their cheap bit of stunt writing would they? We suddenly get a brief scene obviously inserted during post production declaring the weapon is in fact “nanobots” and not biological.
I can’t imagine why!
I’m mean you wouldn’t want to release a film focusing on a deadly virus in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, but one focusing on murderous “nanobots” that function just like a virus is perfectly fine!
M-oron green lights the Craig-Bond to visit Belmarsh prison and speak to his dear old foster brother, the Craig-Bond in turn tells 007 to look for the traitor hereby dubbed Logan Ash-hole. We cut to the interior of a woman’s restroom where Ms. Swann is applying her deadly aude de toilette. It is here at this point I must make a confession.
As I mentioned at the very start of this series I needed a bit of “liquid courage” to withstand this film, especially after the cheap On Her Majesty’s Secret (fan) Service began rolling in. I don’t know if it was the intoxicating effect of my “travel companion” the poor quality of the “theater” where I was watching this film, the “blink and you’ll miss it” nature of the scene itself or the fact even I didn’t think EON was dumb enough to include such foolishness, perhaps all of the above. The fact of the matter is I missed it and reported that it did not happen, unfortunately I’m sorry to report Lashana Lynch’s tampon does in fact make a cameo appearance in this film.
It’s a great day for intersectional zealots!
As we watch Swann through the bathroom mirror applying the viral scent to her wrist, we see 007 exit a toilet stall approach the sink next to Swann and as she does so she tosses something from her hand just off camera into a bin which lands (and I’m not making this up) with an audible squish! She washes her hands (I should hope so, dirty bird) and tells Swann to meet her out front when she’s done with her “important preparation.”
Where to begin?! Who is this for? Who wants to see scatological reference in film, especially a Bond film?!
This is what demographics are for, I can probably count on one hand the number of intersectional feminist zealots who not only saw this film but noticed the act. That’s the thing, it’s such a blink and you’ll miss it scene, if Lynch hadn’t made a big deal out of it two years ago you probably wouldn’t notice it.
“Well, if that’s the case why does it bother you so much?”
For the same reasons people prattle on about “double taking pigeons” and “slide whistles.” Also because it’s so weak, the only thing worse than a virtue signal is a cowardly one. Just like when Q “came out” in the previous scene (which didn’t bother me in the slightest), if you have something to say, say it, say it loud, say it proud! This tampon nonsense serves no purpose other than to allow Babz and Co. to discuss it at their Hollywood wine and cheese parties, talking about how they slipped one passed the audience. Akin to a group of juvenile delinquents sitting around the clubhouse bragging about the infractions they were able to commit under the noses of authorities.
“Bro, I was in the parking lot of the galleria the other day and this mall cop was like two lanes over, so I busted this fat brodie, like:”
“Then I was all like; how’d you like that doughnut pig! duh huh huh!”
This must be the only purpose for such a scene, as there is no other viable explanation.
“Um, this is a process of nature and is part of the gritty realism the Craig era is known for you bigot!”
Yes, so is urination and I have no interest in witnessing that either. Where was the reality in the earlier scene in the Jamaican bar where the Craig-Bond and Felix are sharing copious amounts of Red Stripe, one would surly turn to the other and state:
“Hang on old man, I’m dying for a piss!”
“You don’t buy it, only rent it!”
We cut to Q in his laboratory fiddling about with an object in his hand while images of traitor Logan Ash-hole flicker on a large screen in front of him, suddenly a computerized voice states, “Blofeld’s eyeball unlocked.” That is an actual line from this film!
“A false eye? Now do come along Bond!”
Smash cut to the Craig-Bond and MI6 Chief of Staff Tanner making their way through a hallway. Tanner explaining to the Craig-Bond that despite his history with Swann (you know the fact she was implicated with SPECTRE), he can rest assured because they have “been keeping an eye on her” and she has been “most compliant.”
“Oh thank heavens!”
You mean the same way you’ve been keeping an eye on Bro-feld? And generally double agents are the most compliant people on earth, so as to not raise suspicions and gain their target’s trust! We’ll see just how ridiculous this is in the next rant, but for now back to the idiocy of this one. Jump to 007 and Swann traversing a similar corridor when 007 says, “If Bond does anything weird in there you’d be doing me a huge favor, so don’t make it too easy on him.”
So much for the dedicated agent with her country’s best interests at heart? Instead we’re presented with a neurotic self absorbed bitch who’s willing to let the lives of millions of people hang in the balance in order to protect a code number that has no significant meaning to anyone other than the audience and only then because it belongs to Bond, the real one, not the one we’ve been presented these past 15 years.
The only reason anyone gives a damn about the numbers 0, 0 and 7.
Back to the Craig-Bond and Tanner the later admonishing the former not to lose control during interrogation. The Craig-Bond huffs, sighs and puffs that he will “not lose…” just as they turn a corner he is met with Swann and he finishes with an awkward whisper, “control.”
The foursome stride toward each other meeting in front of the interrogation room door, the Craig-Bond loudly proclaims, “DOCTOR SWANN, GOOD AFTERNOON,” while extending his hand. Apparently the Craig-Bond didn’t get the memo that such human contact is verboten nowadays.
“Where’s your anti nanobot mask?!”
Swann refuses to shake hands because she has read the World Health Organization’s guidelines on viral protocol, being infected herself. The awkward moment continues as they make their way into the interrogation room where the Craig-Bond says, “It must be nice to catch up with an old friend so regularly.” To which she replies, “We’re closer than ever.” I am so astonished the filmmakers in the form of MI6, wave away this righteous suspicion so nonchalantly, as if they’re talking to children with no commonsense.
“Don’t think about it kids, just trust me Madeline Swann is trustworthy.”
Back to Tanner and 007 in the control room, where she says,” That was awkward, does he have that effect on all women?” Tanner responds, “50/50 it’s unpredictable.”
We are taking about James Bond right, the James Bond, suave, sophisticated secret agent, man about town, bon vivant? That James Bond? Obviously not, more evidence that whatever Craig has been portraying this last decade and a half it wasn’t Bond.
Back to the Craig-Bond and Swann in the interrogation room, suddenly loud pulsing, thumping, ominous music starts blaring, like something out of Jurassic Park. A cage enters a corridor in front of them the music grows louder, Swann becomes nervous, distraught over the murder she is about to commit thanks to the liberal amount of
virus “nanobot” she applied in the restroom. What makes this scene hilarious, other than the over the top nature, while this is taking place we are afforded glimpses of tiny little Christoph Waltz seated in his cage. The juxtaposition of the minuscule actor and the deadly ominous nature of the scene’s ambiance it just too much to bear.
Apparently Swann feels it’s too much to bear also, as she demands to be let out of the room, the Craig-Bond grabs her wrist in the process and finally lets her leave. At this point I would like to address Satan Safin’s master plan. If not for the Craig-Bond’s handsy nature it would have failed. Why did he force her complicity in his plan? Surely this is a predictable outcome for someone who is not comfortable with killing? Wouldn’t it be far more reliable to spray his deadly toxin all over her office, paying particular attention to keyboards and pens, as he sat there alone waiting for her? Perhaps he could have smeared some on the “memory box” he handed her infecting her that way? But then again, why should I give this film’s plot anymore thought than those who wrote the damn thing?
As Swann runs off, the Craig-Bond asks, “Where are you going?” to which she replies, “Home.” That won’t have implications later would it? At this point the Craig-Bond and Bro-feld are face to face and the older brother hisses, “Jaaamessss.” While the younger answers, “Hello Blofeld.” I mentioned this in my SPECTRE review when at the end of that film the Craig-Bond started calling his long lost foster brother by his chosen name and that namely is why? Why are you going to start calling this clown Blofeld when all your life you knew him as Franz Oberhauser? You’d call him Franz if for no other reason than to piss him off! But here we are and such is the state of the Bond franchise.
The state of the series.
The Craig-Bond begins a speech, I won’t bore you with the details, where he offers to help protect Bro-feld by hunting the party responsible for destroying his organization and who is now in all probability after him. It seems Daniel enjoyed this bit of writing because you can visibly see he put far more effort into acting it out than anything he has in all his Bond career, save maybe the testicle torture in Casino Royale or the homoerotic tete-a-tete he has with Javier Bardem’s Silva in Skyfall.
Jump to Q reviewing footage from the Cuba SPECTRE party and we learn not only is Bro-feld’s eye linked to that of his henchman Popeye, but it also records! No word on whether it can be backed up to VHS, SPECTRE’S favorite storage media.
We suddenly see Logan Ash-hole pitch up and introduce himself to Popeye! Ash-hole states, “I’m sorry for your loss, I believe you know who I represent…” That places the meeting sometime after the crashed SPECTRE party. The balls on this guy! Who’s to say Popeye wouldn’t just blow him away right there?! This guy just admitted to being responsible for the destruction of Popeye’s entire reason for being, not to mention he’s Bro-feld’s right hand or should I say right eyed man, he has every reason in the world to kill this guy where he stands yet he’s not only willing to hear this chump out but take him up on his offer!
Q texts 007 this bit of info and she flies off, meanwhile the Craig-Bond and Bro-feld are still prattling on with stilted dialog obviously meant to sound “deep.” Bro-feld mentions how good Swann is at “hiding things,” pretty easy when those looking are complete idiots and at this point mentions the line in the trailers, “When her secret gets out it will be the death of you.” Further stating he would like to, “See the look on your face when you find out.” So it seems Bro-feld knows the two, spoiler alert, conceived a child, but nobody else eh? So much for MI6 keeping an eye on her!
Finally Bro-feld beckons the Craig-Bond closer and says, “It was me,” in a rehash of the “author of all your pain” nonsense from SPECTRE, he admits he orchestrated the attempt on the Craig-Bond’s life all those hours ago at the start of this film. As he does so he calls the Craig-Bond, “My little cuckoo” and adds “You were always so sensitive.”
Bro-feld rambles on some more about “breaking the Craig-Bond’s world” and how he left him with an “empty life,” the Craig-Bond now only inches away mutters, “Die.” Bro-feld replies, “hmm” and at this the Craig-Bond grabs his foster brother by the throat and with all the histrionics he can muster bellows, “DIE, BLOFELD, DIE!”
Now, I know what some of you pedantic idiots are going to say…
“Um, yeahhh, that line was taken directly from the novel You Only Live Twice!
You’re right it is, not withstanding the difference in context from the novel and this film, let’s just address the fact it was used at all. While I enjoy Ian Fleming’s work and believe reverence should be payed to his creation and what he stands for, that doesn’t mean everything in those novels are chunks of gold! Fleming also depicted Blofeld roaming his garden of death (something we will address later in the film) in full on Samurai armor decapitating the corpses of those who wandered in for the sweet release of death (as the Craig-Bond will do by the end of this film). Is such a scene worthy of recreating on film? How about the giant octopus in Dr. No or Fleming’s use of such terms as “neggress” to refer to women of African decent or “chiggro” when speaking of people of mixed Asian and African decent? As in those cases restraint should be used when mining the texts for content, something the half dozen or so scribes on this film didn’t exercise.
The only kind of restraint these writers are familiar with.
As the Craig-Bond is choking his brother, Tanner rushes to stop him. Tanner is pounding on the door imploring the Craig-Bond to let him in. Bit backwards having your interrogation room lock from the inside, what? At any rate the Craig-Bond relinquishes his grip and lets Tanner in. The two begin bickering about proper interrogation technique, when from off camera a thud is heard. Pan over to find Bro-feld slumped in his cage dead.
You waited 40 years to get the rights to this character returned to you and this is what you do with him? Bad enough you kill him off, but you do it off screen?
Back at Q’s lab the young tech wizard begins analyzing the Craig-Bond’s hands for “nanobots.” Tanner and Moneypenny bluster in and Tanner states, “He’s dead,” no kidding! Q states, “Good thing your not actually related, or you’d be dead too.” It seems old EON are trying to distance themselves from the relative angle they shoehorned into the Bond lore in the previous film, that or so much time has passed since that dumpster fire they needed to remind us of that fact for this one.
The Craig-Bond asks how do I get this off, referring to the virus, uh I mean “nanobots.” Q says, “You can’t,” in an obviously re-shot and inserted bit where he calls them “nanobot” rather than the original virus. I hope this fact doesn’t have sinister implications later!
Moneypenny states, Swann’s car was found abandoned and she hasn’t been home since she left the prison. Moneypenny asks the Craig-Bond if Swann is “one of them” and the Craig-Bond thickly responds, “I don’t know.” Moneypenny further asks, “Do you have any idea where she’s gone?” and the Craig-Bond replies, “No, I don’t know her at all.” Smash cut to the next scene which will have to wait until next time in:
Norway to Raise a Child!
²Quantum of Solace