Richard has some theories on how to make 007’s next outing the definitive one for Daniel Craig.
Though I did like 007’s most recent appearance, Skyfall, I think it had one or two elements which kept it from being a truly great James Bond film, so here are a few ideas I’ve been mulling over about how Spectre can improve upon some of the previous adventure’s failings:
Give Daniel Craig more interesting things to do.
There is no doubt in my mind that Craig is one of the best actors to ever put on the tuxedo and drive the Aston Martin. Yet I felt he wasn’t really given much interesting to do in Skyfall; he went through a clear-cut character arc in Casino Royale and displayed a variety of sides to 007 that we had rarely seen before. I want the story in Spectre to be more personal to Bond, and to really put the character through his paces, and I know Craig has the acting chops to pull it off.
Make the Bond Girls more fascinating.
I honestly don’t remember a single thing about Eve from Skyfall or Camille from Quantum of Solace. I know the Bond Girls™ were mostly eye candy during the franchise’s heyday, i.e. the Sean Connery and Roger Moore eras. But ever since GoldenEye, the Bond women have been playing more of an important role in the film’s story, and now they feel like complete characters instead of just somebody for Bond to stick his crown jewels in. Natalya from GoldenEye and Vesper from Casino Royale are my preferred type of Bond Girl because they actually help 007 to achieve his objective and feel important to the plot. This would, at best, be a minor adjustment and would show that the female protagonists can be just as strong if not stronger than Bond himself, as they have been in the past.
Make the villain more connected to Bond.
I get what Skyfall was trying to do by making Silva an enemy from M’s past, turning him into a legitimate threat as he knew the inner-workings of MI6 and could strike right at the heart of the British government, but I just didn’t find Silva or his motives that interesting. I think it was Roger Ebert who said, “A hero is only as good as his villain,” and my favourite baddie is Alec from GoldenEye because he had a connection to Bond. He was 007’s friend and betratyed him, thus giving Bond motivation to kill Alec. It’s simple but effective, and though the filmmakers tried to get me invested in M’s story and her past with Silva, I just wasn’t that compelled. I do like M as a character, though, but it was difficult for me to buy into the plot of Skyfall.
I have heard that Ernst Stavros Blofeld is going to be the villain in Spectre, which means the character is making his return to the Bond franchise after a thirty-four year abscence, and is most likely going to be played by Christoph Waltz. Now if the story is done right and the character is handled properly, then this should be a vast improvement over the weak villains from Quantum and Skyfall. Blofeld is the polar-opposite to Bond, and when he was featured in the older movies, it was always a treat to see. Except for Diamonds Are Forever… but that film sucked anyway.
I won’t argue that Skyfall is a an extremely well-made film with the entire production firing on all cylinders, but I felt as though the story dragged in a few places, making it hard for me to keep my attention up. The film started with an epic action scene which ended with Bond getting shot and almost dying (no, really, that actually did happen). But then it kind of slowed right down and spent a long time building up the plot and keeping Silva a mystery for the majority of it. I think Casino Royale and GoldenEye are perfect examples of Bond movies which have interesting plots but keep the story going at an even pace, keeping you enthralled. Skyfall occasionally felt to me like it was a bit slow for the sake of being slow. Now I can like deliberately-paced movies, but Skyfall seemed to forget at times that it was a James Bond film. And one reason why people go to see a Bond movie is because of the action scenes. The last attempt seemed like it was a lot of build-up with little pay-off. If the filmmakers fix this problem and take their cues from the aforementioned Martin Campbell films, then Spectre should be a massive improvement.
What would YOU do to make the ultimate Bond flick?