A guide to (better) enjoy SPECTRE . . . and any other 007 movie

An editorial by Paulo Jorge Lopes

Imagine you are trying to explain SPECTRE (the 24th James Bond movie) to someone who has never seen a Bond film. That’s what Paulo does in this new editorial. Take it away ….

SPECTRE Teaser PosterFirst, it would be a lot better if you watched the previous 3 movies (the Reboot era: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall), but not necessary. James Bond films are typically NOT movies to make you find “the meaning of life” … they’re just for entertainment…

A bad guy wants world domination (through money, media, terrorist, secret services…), and the good guy saves the world… It’s been like this since 1962, until the “Reboot”. However, for someone who never watched a 007 movie, SPECTRE is a pretty good choice to start off.

James Bond is a spy for the British Secret Service: specifically, MI6.

James Bond lost his parents as a kid, he’s “rough,” but educated. He goes rouge every once in a while but always focused on his mission. “00” status means he has a License to Kill.

“SPECTRE” stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion.

It was the criminal organization behind everything and every villain in the 007 movies in the 60’s and early 70’s. Their leader was BLOFELD, a bald man with a big scar on his face and eye, and had a white furry cat (keep this in your mind).

In most of the movies, you don’t see his face (just the hands and the cat), but he first appears in 1967 You Only Live Twice.

The SPECTRE logo is an octopus, and each tentacle represents a different “business area” (terrorism, extortion, and so on…). When they announced that the next movie was called “SPECTRE”, trust me, it was an “OMG OMG OMG” moment to every fan … it had been 40 years since SPECTRE last appeared in the movies.

The Reboot Era of James Bond Movies

Casino Royale is the first 007 adventure, where he gets his “00” status. He’s young and reckless, stone cold killer… He’s not ok about killing people, but it’s the life he chose, and ultimately, he’s saving the world somehow, so he learns how to deal with it.

Quantum of Solace just gives closure to Casino Royale.

Skyfall shows 007 as a more mature agent … more charming and sensitive … but also broken and somehow “played out.” But you can finally see that James Bond has feelings for some people. He bleeds and gets hurt (physically and emotionally). He’s human after all.

Classic James Bond Characters

In SPECTRE, you’ll get a lot of references to previous movies, as well as some classical elements the fans were missing … “M” is the boss in the “00” division, “Q” is the quartermaster (aka, the gadget man), “C” (new character) is the Central Intelligence chief, and of course Miss Moneypenny …

Bond and Moneypenny have this funny relationship. They care about each other and flirt all the time (in the old movies), but it’s all in a very platonic way.

You’ll see pictures of all the villains from Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.

You’ll also see photos of two women. The young beautiful one is Vesper: Bond’s 1st love who was killed in Casino Royale. The older lady is the previous “M, killed in Skyfall.

This is a minor spoiler, but you’ll see that each one of these characters is somehow connected to a SPECTRE “tentacle”.

LeChiffre, Mr. White, Dominic Green, Silva - James Bond Villains
Previous villains: (the 2nd, “Mr. White”, reappears in SPECTRE; all the others were killed)


Cars, Action, and Feelings

The Aston Martin DB5 is the classic Bond car, from the 60’s. It has been seen in seven Bond movies in total. While it was destroyed in Skyfall, Bond got a new one at the end of SPECTRE. (Something to keep in mind – Bond is famous for destroying every vehicle he drives)

This Reboot era brought many different things to 007 movies… Skyfall and Spectre are actually not just action movies, because they definitely added some intellectual and emotional elements to the stories.

The 007 Gunbarrel Sequence

Another minor spoiler, but not important to the story… The Gunbarrel intro. This was a must in every Bond movie, until the reboot.

Traditionally, it was the first thing you see in the movie… The James Bond theme, the moving circle on James Bond, and Bond shoots right into it.

There was no gunbarrel intro at the beginning of the reboot movies, but SPECTRE brought it back. So when the gunbarrel appeared at the beginning, it was another “OMG OMG OMG” moment

Why would someone be a 007 fan?

He’s a spy, which means he’s not exactly a good guy, since secret services are all about lying, deceiving, playing both sides, kill loved ones, if necessary…”.

The answer is: it’s about saving the world, and finding goodness among all the crap… And, of course, the gadgets, the cars, the suits, the glamour, the women… Everything is very glamorous, so I guess that’s why.

About the Author: Paulo Jorge Lopes

I’m a 43 y.o. Bond fan, who simply loves music and movies. I work at a Media Agency in Portugal, as a Researcher. Music and Movies are a must in my life; I try to watch/ listen/ read about several artists, even if I’m not a fan.

I try to “stay tuned” and keep up with the movie industry news, but I usually don’t go after “spoilers”, or try to know the plots in advance, since I like the trill of being surprised by a movie or a song. However, I watch movies, with “Google” or “IMDB” open, since I’m constantly searching about the actors, directors, songs, and so on.

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