By…my name is Andy…Andy Symmonds
Film reviews are not a regular staple of Zine, so we thought we would start with a British classic packed with British elements and head for Spectre, the latest James Bond movies. It might be relevant to point out at this stage that I am a life long fan of the Bond series from Dr. No onwards, but it is only in recent years that the on screen iteration has matched the character originally penned by Ian Fleming. Daniel Craig has brought a much harder and arguably even more cynical edge to this perennial British secret agent with the 00 license to kill and is now viewed by many as matching Sean Connery when the ‘who is the best Bond’ discussion starts.
There are the faintest echoes of Live and Let Die with the scenes from the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations in Mexico City, but this is where the similarities end. The new James Bond is low on gadgets and even lower in terms of the louche behaviour portrayed by Roger Moore, but the action is relentless even if you can pretty much predict the outcome from the start. Live and Let Die certainly had an opening song with a lot more drama than the Sam Smith tune that opens Spectre but at least the opening credits are almost worth watching for a change.
I’m happy to report that some of the Bond regulars continue to appear with the shaken, not stirred Martini, and the achingly delicious Aston Martin DB10 that more than held its own against the Roman backdrop. The use of the prototypes built during the ill-fated development of the Jaguar C-X75 as the chase car was inspired, so we have two British beauties going head to head (or nose to tail if you prefer serious accuracy) through the centre of Rome in one of the better Bond chases.
As with any James Bond release, there are fights and glorious women galore all set against the backdrop of incredible locations and with the inevitable high octane plot that leaves very few moments for introspection. Daniel Craig manages to combine effortless cool with the ever lurking threat of violence, a blend that effectively underpins the entire Bond franchise. If you’re looking for real plot surprises or the chance to reflect upon the deeper issues of today then maybe the Bond genre is not for you, but if you find yourself looking for a good old fashioned action movie with chases, thrills and spills then book your cinema tickets now.