SPECTRE: What would you have done differently?

1151617181921»

Comments

  • Posts: 250
    Getafix wrote: »
    Seydoux was just bad casting, that's the main problem. I haven't seen her in anything else apart from MI to say if she's any good but her chemistry with Craig was close to zero

    I don't see how you can get to that point, since Eva Green would have yielded the same result with that script combined with Craig's choice to lean in a slightly Roger direction for this performance. The script gives her no banter with Bond at all and doesn't effective develop or unpackage her character. And then it makes her self-contradictory by shoving her into a damsel role. There's a very small list of actresses who could make that interesting, and aint none of them getting cast as Bond girls.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 6,110
    Well, Green is a goddess who can do wonders with even bad scripts. Look at half the stuff she's done with Tim Burton. She's always the most watchable person on screen.
  • Posts: 7,006
    echo wrote: »
    Well, Green is a goddess who can do wonders with even bad scripts. Look at half the stuff she's done with Tim Burton. She's always the most watchable person on screen.

    If you've ever seen The Dreamers, even more so!
  • Posts: 7,653
    Birdleson wrote: »
    She was great in that.

    A bit more work form costume department would have been nice. ;)
  • Posts: 7,006
    SaintMark wrote: »
    Birdleson wrote: »
    She was great in that.

    A bit more work form costume department would have been nice. ;)

    I always liked the long black gloves!
  • Posts: 250
    echo wrote: »
    Well, Green is a goddess who can do wonders with even bad scripts. Look at half the stuff she's done with Tim Burton. She's always the most watchable person on screen.

    Granted I suppose.

    I still think she would have battled with Madeleine as written. The effort to make her a person in her first scene falls apart completely thereafter.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,985
    FourDot wrote: »
    There are a few interesting "what ifs" with SPECTRE and I think this kind of exercise only works if you have some intention of retaining as much as possible and still making a satisfying and entertaining film. A few thoughts on both a script and production level:

    1) The set-pieces and the film overall feel oddly cocooned, with no sense of a broader world or community to speak of. This becomes quite literal when everyone disappears for the Rome chase, the snow chase, the London climax, etc. This is an important point because it makes the action feel fake, feel staged. Even in Mexico the extras are only cosmetic, there is no impact to speak of. Contrast this with the drama of the marketplace in Istanbul in Skyfall, or the chaos at the Dowar Inquiry, or the simple difficulty of finding Silva among a crowd in the Underground. This difference anchors what we are seeing in a kind of reality, instead of the eerie and empty chamber piece we get in the final film.

    2) The replication of much of Skyfall's plot structure and presentation is a critical error. In Skyfall, it's important that we don't have the villain's perspective at all because he and his actions should remain a surprise. That generates suspense in this context because his objective is actually rather simple: destroy M at all costs. The dramatic power of that on a character level is great but there is nothing beyond that, excepting perhaps taking every chance to embarrass and prove his superiority over his replacement, 007.

    With Spectre however, the "active" component of the villain's plot is abstract, or trivial as presented in the film. There are vague references to international attacks, but no active effort from MI6 to investigate or counter them for some reason - there is an absence of an actual mission for 007, which has only applied to LtK previously for good reason. With LtK we are already entrenched within the dramatic construct of Felix vs Sanchez so an actual mission doesn't matter. In Spectre we are hitting the marks of "classic Bond" but the immediate post-credits scene is actually setting up M's subplot rather than Bond's plot. This is not satisfying.

    Nor is the villain's plot at large. Having access to surveillance internationally simply isn't a visceral, dramatic threat, not when the villain's organisation has previously been shown to be omnipotent anyway, and again in this film before the plan goes through. There is a "so what?" to the villain's gambit. I would change this to something more tactile, for instance: the Nine Eyes system allows C to impersonate directives from all intelligence chiefs internationally. And then we can have some kind of actual danger from C, and we can actually begin to fix the third act by having something as simple as the other 00s turned on Bond let's say. You could have this happen earlier on in the film and actually double-down on something suggested in QoS, and instead of Hinx Bond is beset by his opposite numbers from other countries, let's say. This could provide much-needed shape to the set pieces and link the threats to Bond to the actual plot.

    3) To return to an earlier point, you do need the villain's perspective, or a villain's perspective. If you're bringing back SPECTRE, use it. We don't need Bond at the SPECTRE meeting at all - this is a stupid scene and a stupid reveal for Waltz that doesn't inform or advance the plot at all beyond Bond discovering the Oberhauser thing. But even that doesn't propel anything in the plot! We discover the nature of the organisation when Bond gives the ring to Q - could have happened in London. We discover that the organisation want to kill someone called The Pale King... but we knew this in Mexico! Cut Rome entirely and you have a better film right off the bat. Have Bond extract the location of The Pale King from Sciarra during their confrontation before killing him. Then when he returns to London to check in, as in the finished film, have the Judi video reveal that The Pale King is Mr. White, and that she has continued investigating Quantum for four years or whatever. Maybe we can find out he has a daughter here too, anything to get Madeleine into the plot earlier. But critically we can have an obscured Blofeld talking with SPECTRE henchmen, including Denbigh if needs be. We don't need to withhold this for Bond's perspective because the villain isn't going to function in a way that requires that.

    4) If you're going to take the effort to establish Madeleine as her father's daughter, maybe put that into play for something more than a brief moment of pointing a gun at Bautista. In the finished film there is a hackneyed attempt to tap into a theme of Bond finding a life beyond being a spy, but Madeleine for some reason takes the symbolic role of that normal life despite... not being that at all and being "the only person who could understand him". Shades of QoS I know, but maybe have Madeleine prove to be combat ally, maybe have them actually try to attack the crater base. Instead of the QoS nonsense of backing a car into the villain's base to blow it up, have Bond plan an infiltration like the GE PTS, and he and Madeleine get partway through it but are suddenly thwarted at every turn because unbeknownst to Bond at this point, the villain knows him like a brother. And so Bond's efficacy as a secret agent is suddenly completely useless against this opponent who is supremely intelligent and knows exactly how Bond personally thinks. He's the anti-Bond, the antithesis rather than the fractured mirror image of Silva. Suddenly you have some grounding and function at least for the Brofeld bullshit. But Madeleine doesn't get captured, and she saves him let's say. A strong, competent female character like Pam Bouvier, who can be more effective than Bond in this context because maybe Mr. White has secretly trained her to be Blofeld's kryptonite, I dunno. But I think that would be more engaging than what we wind up with.

    Really good points and sensible suggestions.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 3,157
    echo wrote: »
    Well, Green is a goddess who can do wonders with even bad scripts. Look at half the stuff she's done with Tim Burton. She's always the most watchable person on screen.

    She's amazing in Penny Dreadful.
  • As I recently rewatched the movie, I wanted to offer my take on the story. In short, I wanted to use as many set pieces from the film as possible, while arranging them differently. I also wanted to end similarly to the actual movie. My ambition was to give Madeleine Swann a greater presence, introducing her earlier into the plot, while removing Franz Oberhauser and the brother subplot. Also, in this context, the character of Denbigh would benefit from being played by a more menacing actor (Benedict Cumberbatch maybe?). Last thing, since this is only a general summary, if the idea was to end with Bond's resignation from MI6, then additional dialogues would have been needed, showing that Bond realizes that he is getting old, that as long as he is a spy he will be lonely, and that Madeleine, who is as isolated as he is, may be his last chance to not die alone.


    ACT I

    On the Day of the Dead, Bond is in Mexico City to investigate the origin of encrypted signals sent to MI6 by an unknown sender called the Pale King. His trail leads him to an abandoned bordello where he discovers a dying Mr. White who explains being hunted for years. By emitting these signals, the dying man knows he revealed his position to those who want him dead; nevertheless he wanted to see Bond. With little time left, he asks his former foe to protect his daughter who will become the next target of his pursuers. He assures him that she will be useful to the British Secret Service. Satisfied with Bond's acceptance, White commits suicide. Leaving, Bond comes face to face with an assassin sent to eliminate White. After a brutal fight, during which he inadvertently takes his ring emblazoned with a stylized octopus, Bond kills the man.

    In London, Bond learns from M that the man he killed has been identified as Marco Sciarra; his funeral will take place next week in Rome. Recently, MI6 has been merged with MI5 to form a Joint Intelligence Service that its director, Denbigh, aspires to privatize. Not trusting his new superior who wants the Mexico operation to be forgotten, M gives Bond a two weeks leave, allowing him to off the record find Mr. White’s daughter and attend Sciarra’s funeral. Thanks to information provided by his late enemy, Bond travels to the private medical clinic in the Alps where Madeleine Swann works. As in the movie, she doesn't want to hear anything and asks Bond to leave when Mr. Hinx arrives. Rather than trying to abduct her, Hinx plans to kill her as well as everyone in the clinic in order to pass off this targeted assassination as a terrorist attack. Bond flees with Swann, prompting a snowmobile chase. Swann finally agrees to help Bond.


    ACT II

    In anticipation of Sciarra's funeral, Bond and Swann arrive in Rome. As they spend the evening together she explains that, years ago, Quantum was disbanded before a ghost organization known as SPECTRE arises from its ashes, aspiring to reconsolidate its power and get rid of the men responsible for its past failures. As far as she knows, SPECTRE seeks to establish itself as a counterintelligence and extortion service, able to supplant state intelligence and be as powerful as governments. When passing the information on to M, Bond learns that, following the attack on the clinic, Denbigh is figuring what was going on. M gives him his blessing but tells him to be careful.

    Bond and Swann attend the funeral and meet Sciarra's widow. Bond follows Lucia to her palazzo at nightfall and offers to protect her. They spend the night together and Bond, who discovers her deformity of being singled breasted on the left side, learns about a meeting between members of the organization during a gala. They are interrupted by Hinx who kills Lucia. Injured and feeling guilty, Bond manages to escape, but ultimately goes with Swann to the gala. Thanks to the octopus ring, they are granted the access to the meeting where they are spotted by an MI6 agent. As the meeting begins, the leader of the organization is revealed to be Denbigh. At the end of the meeting, the MI6 agent, who turns out to be Denbigh’s bodyguard, brings Bond and Swann to his employer. Denbigh explains that, as the head of the Joint Intelligence Service, he managed to make the Secret Service a branch of his organization, something his associates accomplished in their own countries. Ultimately, these privatizations will fully allow SPECTRE to secure a monopoly on intelligence services around the world. As they prepare to be executed, Bond and Swann once again manage to escape, leading to a car chase.

    Before destroying all his means of communication, knowing that MI6 agents will be sent after him, Bond learned from M that Denbigh will attend a summit in Morocco between representatives of NATO and other Mediterranean countries. Thanks to her father's old friends, Swann manages to travel with Bond to Tangiers where she takes him to L’Américain. They discover White's evidences directing them to the SPECTRE base at a crater in the Sahara. In the train, they are attacked by Hinx who directly takes them to the base. There they are greeted not by Denbigh as they expect but by Lucia, revealed as the true mastermind behind SPECTRE.


    ACT III

    After inviting her hosts to dinner, Lucia tortures Bond as she discusses what will follow: her organization will attack the summit, kill several international representatives with the aim of destabilizing their governments, creating a need to strengthen the already controlled agencies. All powerful, the agents of SPECTRE will be able to privatize the services, thus achieving the monopoly desired. As in the movie, Bond and Swann set off the explosive wristwatch and, after a last showdown with Hinx, escape to Tangier to prevent the attack.

    In Tangier, they are immediately arrested by MI6 agents. However, due to an unexpected absence from Denbigh, they are brought to M who also attends the summit. All international representatives are then made aware of the imminent attack and the SPECTRE commando is stopped. Attempting to flee, Denbigh and his bodyguard are killed by Bond.

    Upon his return to London, Bond collects the repaired DB5 from Q. He learns from M that Lucia is still on the run, but nonetheless drives away with Swann.
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 8,105
    In short, ditch the connection between Bond and Blofeld , have the main climax at the SPECTRE lair and in the tradition of Klebb and Tee Hee, as Bond and Swann are settling in for some post adventure romance, the thought to be dead Hinx reappears for an epic fight to the death with Bond.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited May 2021 Posts: 15,586
    That's a great effort, I enjoyed that. I feel like it slightly removes Madeline's importance though, strangely: in the film we have Bond needs her to lead him to Oberhauser and they end up needing each other with the plot proceeding in a linear fashion: in this one we have Bond getting two leads at once from the beginning (Swann/Sciara funeral) which means parts of the plot have to be put on the back burner and Madeline becomes a passenger without much purpose.
    And honestly I quite like the stuff with Bond following Dench M's instructions: I think it adds a nice bit of tension.

    What is much improved here is that the Denbeigh actually crosses over with Bond's plot- in the film they meet once at the beginning and never again which makes the whole thing feel a bit disconnected.
  • mtm wrote: »
    What is much improved here is that the Denbeigh actually crosses over with Bond's plot- in the film they meet once at the beginning and never again which makes the whole thing feel a bit disconnected.
    Glad you found this change to be an improvement! To be honest, I always found that Denbigh, as he appeared in the actual movie, seemed to be an element belonging to older drafts of the script that gradually lost its purpose over the rewrites. In itself, a character with such a goal could even have been the real mastermind of the plot.
  • edited May 2021 Posts: 4,602
    Its funny how new things pop up on a re-watch. Re the PTS makes very little or no effort (unlike SF for example) of putting the PTS into context and explaining to the audience what the stakes are and Bond's motivation. (Imagine Hunt hanging onto the side of an Atlas and the audience does not know why) This is a weird choice IMHO. We have no idea who he is trying to kill and why and then the focus on the ring. Yes, we find out later but it's too late to effect the context of the PTS. Something my son spotted: in the PTS, why does Bond attack the chopper pilot? He risks crashing into a huge crowd for what reason? The pilot presents no threat at that time.

    PS some great ideas in this thread, the vast majority are big improvements on the film. Perhaps they need a "fan panal" to consult before giving the green light? How did they not see these issues?
  • QBranchQBranch Always have an escape plan. Mine is watching James Bond films.
    Posts: 14,263
    The PTS is not among my favourites. Bond spends pretty much the entire time walking. Big whoop. I like the character of Marco Sciarra though, his conversation, and the laser in the cigarette smoke.
  • Posts: 4,602
    Yes, the fact we see him early in the PTS not only walking but nonchalantly sets a tone for the audience of not really caring. This is a contrast to many great PTS who put the audience right in the centre of a set piece - often where we have to imagine what has just happened and we can see "the poo has hit the fan" around 10-15 mins before we join the movie. That's the PTS that I prefer.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,701
    It's not unusual to lack context for anything Bond is doing in the PTS. See GF, OHMSS, TSWLM, MR, OP, AVTAK, GE....
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 13,354
    patb wrote: »
    Yes, the fact we see him early in the PTS not only walking but nonchalantly sets a tone for the audience of not really caring.
    The SP opening had the opposite effect on me. I was intrigued and engaged from the start. And it had a grand payoff.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,136
    I actually really enjoy the way Bond moves in the PTS. The slow stroll across the rooftops with the Bond theme flaring in the background illustrated a confidence and swagger that gave me the initial impression I was going to be in for a very cool two and a half hours at the cinema.

    Instead we got the rest of the film, which didn't live up to that promise at all.
  • Posts: 1,909
    patb wrote: »
    Yes, the fact we see him early in the PTS not only walking but nonchalantly sets a tone for the audience of not really caring. This is a contrast to many great PTS who put the audience right in the centre of a set piece - often where we have to imagine what has just happened and we can see "the poo has hit the fan" around 10-15 mins before we join the movie. That's the PTS that I prefer.
    Well, perhaps it's more about you and QBranch's expectations. It's not just about Bond walking but the constant tracking shot, the atmosphere of the Day of the Dead festivities and the buildup to what Bond is up to. Then the requisite high-energy action sequence.

    If people just want constant action they can watch the QoS car chase.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,586
    I like the walk too, and I also think the drop onto the sofa is a really underrated gag :) That really tickled me in the cinema.
  • Agent_Zero_OneAgent_Zero_One Ireland
    Posts: 554
    Seeing as this thread has been inactive since prior to it's release, I thought I'd ask how would people change Spectre having seen NTTD?
  • Posts: 3,367
    Seeing as this thread has been inactive since prior to it's release, I thought I'd ask how would people change Spectre having seen NTTD?

    One thing I rather liked about NTTD was how they reintroduced SPECTRE during the Cuba sequence. Instead of a stuffy boardroom meeting with the usual 'Blofeld kills one of his colleagues' moment that we've seen before, we got a weirdly camp 'Bunga Bunga' party with colourful costumes/set design etc. One of my complaints about SP was the fact that it brought back Blofeld and SPECTRE without doing anything new with them. I kinda wish we'd have had something like that Cuba scene when Bond infiltrates their meeting in Rome - something more outlandish/fantastical. I'd say that same sense could have been applied to the film overall. NTTD, despite its flaws, felt more fantastical overall and, to me, more Bondian in a sense.

    Apart from that, my suggestions have always been the same. Recast Waltz as Blofeld, get rid of the foster brother subplot, rethink the film's cyberterrorism plot (very dull and devoid of stakes). Perhaps another 'what if' that occurred to me after NTTD was the idea of Rami Malek playing Blofeld. Not the way he played Safin, just as a younger version of the character.
  • Posts: 1,707
    Casting Waltz as Blofeld was one of those choices that was enough to make you wonder if anyone associated with the film had ever seen a Bond villain before. My hope was they'd recast the role if he was to reappear in NTTD or do away with him completely. To bring him back and then cast Malek as an equally boring villain was such a let down. I've seen NTTD two and a third times--I simply couldn't stay with it a third time after the enjoyable Paloma scene--and I can't recall anything Safin said. There was no, "No Mr. Bond, I expect you die." Nothing memorable, nothing witty, nothing particularly interesting. Malek would have been better off playing Safin as Freddie Mercury. If the idea was to remind us of Dr. No, Safin didn't. Not even close. I've liked Craig as Bond, but his films never got better than CR thanks to Vesper and LeChiffre. Just reboot the series with all new everyone and think about what made those first films so entertaining.

    And forget the Bond code name nonsense. It's silly. If every 007 is named James Bond, he might as well wear a neon sign on his chest announcing himself as an MI6 agent.

    Bond: "The name is Bond. James Bond."
    Enemy agent: "In other words, you're 007, a British spy."
    Bond: "How did you know?"
    Enemy agent: "Because all you guys are called James Bond. We've been on to you guys for over sixty years."

  • DeathToSpies84DeathToSpies84 Newton-le-Willows, England
    Posts: 257
    Simple - Craig would have a better tenure without Spectre and NTTD, so scrap them and have him sign off in 2015 so we don’t have to suffer the indignity of his version of Bond being killed off!
  • SIS_HQSIS_HQ At the Vauxhall Headquarters
    edited June 2022 Posts: 3,451
    Simple - Craig would have a better tenure without Spectre and NTTD, so scrap them and have him sign off in 2015 so we don’t have to suffer the indignity of his version of Bond being killed off!

    And we don't also need to suffer some family connections, the step brother angle, All is connected, Madeleine Swann and their relationship, daddy bond and of course, him dying.

    None asked them to do those things, and I don't know why they've done that.

    Or another option would be for Craig to have his last film in 2015, but an entirely different movie where he had some basic mission, just like the classic Bond. Him being James Bond that we know and love, no family connections, no forced touchy feely moments, just have him save the world and have a break with his girl and he can bow out.

    To be honest, I'd prefer if the Craig era was the explanation of how Bond became the Bond we all know, like a prequel to those classic films.
    How M became the fatherly and stoic M that we all know, it's not hard for me to imagine that Ralph Fiennes' M was actually the young Miles Messervy (Bernard Lee), how both Moneypenny and Q are introduced.
    And why Bond was acting like that, he's a womanizer, loner and sophisticated.
    That's why I think the Casino Royale to Skyfall could be a prequel to the classic films.
    Typical like the Star Wars Prequels with Anakin Skywalker.
    It had the opportunity to tied it up to the classic films.
    But they've ruined a such a great opportunity with SPECTRE and NTTD.
  • DeathToSpies84DeathToSpies84 Newton-le-Willows, England
    Posts: 257
    MI6HQ wrote: »
    Simple - Craig would have a better tenure without Spectre and NTTD, so scrap them and have him sign off in 2015 so we don’t have to suffer the indignity of his version of Bond being killed off!

    And we don't also need to suffer some family connections, the step brother angle, All is connected, Madeleine Swann and their relationship, daddy bond and of course, him dying.

    None asked them to do those things, and I don't know why they've done that.

    Or another option would be for Craig to have his last film in 2015, but an entirely different movie where he had some basic mission, just like the classic Bond. Him being James Bond that we know and love, no family connections, no forced touchy feely moments, just have him save the world and have a break with his girl and he can bow out.

    To be honest, I'd prefer if the Craig era was the explanation of how Bond became the Bond we all know, like a prequel to those classic films.
    How M became the fatherly and stoic M that we all know, it's not hard for me to imagine that Ralph Fiennes' M was actually the young Miles Messervy (Bernard Lee), how both Moneypenny and Q are introduced.
    And why Bond was acting like that, he's a womanizer, loner and sophisticated.
    That's why I think the Casino Royale to Skyfall could be a prequel to the classic films.
    Typical like the Star Wars Prequels with Anakin Skywalker.
    It had the opportunity to tied it up to the classic films.
    But they've ruined a such a great opportunity with SPECTRE and NTTD.

    A stand-alone Bond movie for Craig where he saves the world and passes the torch to someone fresh after 2015 would have been better.
Sign In or Register to comment.