Spectre: Brand Bond back with a bang!
After months of waiting the new Bond film is finally out. Last night I went to a special opening night show of Spectre at my favourite cinema, The Olympic Studios in Barnes. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, which is another chapter in the rejuvenation of the Bond brand. There is no better example in my book of how you remember and refresh what made you famous.
Spoiler alert: I do reveal below some of the twists in the movie!
For the 24th time the Bond movie has the same basic proposition we know and love: "Bond beats the baddie to save the world (and get the girl)". And then there is the myriad of brand properties which feature, from the theme music to the catch phrases ("Bond. James Bond") to exotic locations and the key characters (M, Q, Miss Moneypenny).
These key properties have been refreshed to keep them exciting and relevant for today. For example, we have an Aston Martin, but not any Aston Martin. The DB10 was specially created for Spectre and is truly stunning.
Older viewers or Bond fans will also appreciate the re-appearance of arch villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld (shown below in Goldfinger), complete with his fluffy white cat, played by double Oscar Winner, Christoph Waltz.
2. Upgrade the core
The Bond producers have managed to keep up with the competition in terms of action scenes, upgrading the core product with a truly spectacular opening sequence. This takes place in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead festival and it is an explosion of noise and colour, topped off with a helicopter stunt! The scene felt real to me, and it turns out that this is because it was shot with real actors not CGI. A staggering 1,500 extras were involved, with the costumes and preparation taking six months.
Spectre has helped the Bond brand stay relevant for today. The plot is about the rise of digital technology to carry out surveillance and make human beings obsolescent, a highly topical theme. And the producers picked one of the world's most popular pop stars, Sam Smith, to sing the theme tune. I must say I wasn't a big fan of the song, "The Writing's on the Wall", but it is growing on me. And the song works well with the opening credits. One weakness versus Skyfall is having a song name which is different from the movie title; apparently it proved impossible to make "spectre" rhyme with anything!
In conclusion, Spectre is another chapter in the constant renovation of brand Bond, doing a great job of remembering and refreshing what made the franchise famous. We'll have to see if it manages to break the billion dollar box office record of Skyfall. My guess is that it will.