Words by Chris Flynn
(Review contains spoilers, because they’re annoying bits I want to talk about.)
Apart from the fact the octopus only has seven tentacles, making it a septopus, several things really bugged me about Spectrepussy on Her Majesty’s Secret Goldmember.
There’s a bit where misery guts Bond and his sourpuss French lady are escaping from the villain’s remote, enormous desert lair, and Bond notices a convenient outlet valve for the gigantic gas tanks that Christoph Waltz keeps lying around. I get it, natural gas is just so much cheaper, and that’s a big factor when you have a supervillain fortress to heat. The bills must be astronomical. Factor in the salaries for all those useless goons and man, no wonder Spectre has to sell knock-off pharmaceuticals to poor Africans to raise funds. Those guys need to do a Kickstarter.
So Bond shoots the valve and there’s a big explosion. A few minutes later the flames spread and there’s an even bigger series of explosions that decimate the entire complex, catering staff and all. How many innocent kitchen hands and pastry chefs has 007 killed over the years? If you didn’t like the pavlova, just go on Trip Advisor and vent, dude. No need to blow the place up and slaughter all the minimum wagers trying to earn a few measly pesetas to feed their families.
My question is this: why have that gas valve thingy sticking out like that? It’s like having an auto destruct button for your house next to the doorbell. I always thought this about the Death Star too. If you’re building the galaxy’s ultimate weapon, why incorporate an exhaust port that someone could lob a torpedo into that will bring down the whole joint? Wouldn’t you cover that shit up with a metal grille or something? Given it took the Rebels five minutes to spot this fatal weakness, you’d think the designers might have had a conversation about it. Or a meeting. At least an exchange of emails. Maybe they ran out of money, or the metal grille guy said he’d install it between 9am and 4pm and they waited all day but he didn’t turn up.
On their way to easily blowing up the baddies, the two blondes fight the pink guy from Guardians of the Galaxy on a train. He’s a tough bugger to put down but Bond eventually murders him. And immediately afterwards Léa Seydoux wants to bone. Even though she’s been pretty cold on old JB up until five minutes ago. So—she’s turned on by homicide? This guy was an asshole before but now I’ve seen him butcher a bunch of people I want him inside me? That’s messed up, and has happened way too many times in Bond movies for it not to be creepy. And even though he’s just had seven bells kicked out of him and almost died, Bond does her in the sleeper car (not a euphemism). No ‘give me a minute to reinflate my collapsed lung, love?’ No ‘mind if I have a doctor patch up these broken ribs first darling?’ Nope. Although to be fair, Dave Bautista slammed his head into the metal wall so many times he probably has a severe concussion and doesn’t know what planet he’s on. How is this guy not brain damaged?
The next scene has him standing in the desert with his Hermes luggage, his nifty Tom Ford sunnies and nary a black eye or snaggle tooth in sight. At least when Jason Bourne jumped onto that boat and hurt his leg, Matt Damon remembered to limp the rest of the movie. Which reminds me, notice how Bond always wears nice dress shoes with his suits, yet is able to sprint and leap off buildings without slipping and falling on his arse? You ever tried running in fancy brogues? I walked home from school once in my new shoes and had to wear Bandaids on my bloody ankles for a month. Rubbed raw, they were, rubbed raw.
Also, there’s the most tedious car chase ever filmed, during which Bond chats amiably with Moneypenny on the phone, an extended product placement for Omega watches, eye-rolling not-very-subtle references to every previous Bond film (this franchise is eating itself) and Daniel Craig doesn’t even take his shirt off. Why bother going to the gym all those months if you’re not going to show us the goods, Craig? Still, there’s a funny bit where Bond interrogates a mouse and the opening sequence at the Day of the Dead parade in Mexico is tops. Two and a half widgets for that, but the rest is all a bit Austin Powers, innit? Unless 007 and the mouse (let’s call him Double Oh Squeak) team up for the sequel to defeat a villain who’s buying up all the world’s cheese, I’m done with these movies.