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YMMV / Spectre

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  • Accidental Innuendo: "Touch it. You can touch it if you want to." This is Oberhauser to Bond and Madeleine, referring to the meteorite, but it produced some sniggering in theaters.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The Arc Welding creates a great deal of this for past films, Skyfall especially. While it's pretty simple to see the villains of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace working for SPECTRE, it's questionable not only how closely Silva was connected to SPECTRE, but how much control even they'd be able to exert over a completely suicidal madman with nothing left to lose, so one has to assume SPECTRE just gave him his resources, and he went completely bonkers from there. Or that in the years between his captivity and striking against M he worked as a contractor of sorts for SPECTRE (since Skyfall suggested he's a terrorist/hacker for hire). Then again, it's not like SPECTRE did not benefit immensely from the actions of Silva in that movie (blowing up MI6 and killing its head made it possible for C to maneuver himself to take over, after all) so arguably it actually makes sense that he worked for them and the fact that he already had a murderous grudge against M was just a lucky coincidence on both of their parts. For the record, the movie explicitly calls him a member of SPECTRE.
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    • Additionally, how much involvement did Blofeld have in the villains' plots in previous movies? Perhaps he was involved in the conception and planning but not the actual execution of the plots of those movies, which would still make him responsible for what happened; The fact that Bond was involved in these events could just be a happy accident due to his need for revenge.
    • Indeed, is Franz Oberhauser a Diabolical Mastermind Manipulative Bastard or a Smug Snake who took over the world's most powerful criminal organization and turned it from a group which altered the fate of nations into just another sex-trafficking ring? Are any of his claims of revenge against James Bond true or is he just screwing with our hero? Also, could Blofeld simply be a narcissist who gleefully brags about all of the horrible crimes he has committed? In his backstory, he mentions that he murdered his father because he was jealous of the attention that Bond received after they had taken him in as a foster child. Narcissists generally feel a strong need for attention, and the fact that Blofeld explicitly states that his father's lack of attention was what motivated him to kill him could just be his warped and twisted justification for committing murder. Blofeld also gladly takes credit for all of the pain SPECTRE has caused Bond over the years, which could just be him exaggerating his actual involvement in those plots. While he may be a criminal mastermind, he couldn't possibly have foreseen everything that happened in the previous movies.
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  • Americans Hate Tingle: British critics were generally quite positive about the film, if not to quite the same extent as they were with Skyfall. American critics on the other hand were far harsher, with more than a few even going so far as to call it the worst Bond film since Craig took the mantle, and at least one declaring it the worst since A View to a Kill, 30 years prior.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Due to his Non-Action Big Bad status, Blofeld goes down very easily when Bond shoots down his chopper with a few shots from his Walther PPK. Bond also spares Blofeld and leaves him to be arrested by M.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Oberhauser gives detailed descriptions of what his needle torture will do to Bond. Neither of them actually work, and while it could be chalked down to Oberhauser wanting to troll Bond, the film makes no attempt to explain it.
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    • For some, the reveal that Oberhauser is Blofeld and that he was behind everything in the three previous movies counts as this. It actually hangs together rather well (partly because the first two movies established that there was indeed a bigger organization at work, if not the one we were expecting, while the third isn't too hard to make sense of), but it is very hard to believe that they intended this from the beginning and the execution is considered rather poor.
  • Broken Base:
    • Fans and critics are split over whether giving Blofeld a personal connection to Bond was a good idea or not. One side argues that it adds more depth to his character and sets him apart from being another generic Bond villain. The other side argues that it actually makes him shallower, portraying him as ultimately a spoiled brat with no clear motives other than to spite Bond and losing all the mystique and charm of the original Blofeld.
    • The theme song, "Writing's on the Wall" by Sam Smith, has split opinions ''very widely''. Even it winning the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Original Song (like its predecessor) hasn't done much to sway the opinions of those who dislike it. The fact that he beat out Lady Gaga's "Till it Happens to You" from The Hunting Ground, a song about standing in solidarity with rape victims, didn't help.
      • The news that Radiohead had also written a rejected theme song has further split opinions between those who prefer the Radiohead song, those who prefer the Sam Smith one and those who think neither were fitting for a Bond movie.
      • The fact that "Writing's on the Wall" is one of the very few Bond themes to feature auto-tuning, especially fairly obvious auto-tuning, probably didn't help matters either.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • So... there's a newly introduced MI6 agent who's hellbent on shutting down the 00 program, and also plans to set up a worldwide surveillance network that would make it possible to spy on the entire world as once. And said agent also happens to be played by the actor best known for playing Moriarty on Sherlock. And we're outright told that the villain organization, SPECTRE, has agents planted everywhere. Yeah... the plot twist that C is in cahoots with Blofeld and SPECTRE is so obvious that it couldn't possibly be an actual twist. But, alas, it is.
    • Oberhauser finally turning out to be Blofeld, and the film playing it as a twist, was predictably met with a great deal of eye-rolling from even positive reviews, with many critics comparing it to Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan and Marion Cotillard as Talia al Ghul. Of course, the twist of Blofeld being a character of the movie is spoiled by the mere title.
  • Complete Monster: Franz Oberhauser, real name Ernst Stavro Blofeld, was once a sociopathic boy who murdered his own father for loving a young, orphaned James Bond the Oberhauser family took in. Faking his own death and adopting his new name, Oberhauser built up the criminal organization SPECTRE, which finances and facilitates terrorism around the globe, allies with interested parties to topple governments, prolong civil wars, horde natural resources, and eventually involves itself in the sex trade where hundreds of thousands of women and children are trafficked to feed SPECTRE's accounts. Oberhauser gleefully reveals himself as the architect of James's pain, having arranged various events to result in the deaths of Bond's friends, and loved ones. He was also the one behind Raoul Silva, having wanted M herself to die to hurt Bond. With Bond himself, Oberhauser has small needles drilled into his head to torture him and even threatens to steal his ability to recognize faces by drilling in the right place. When this fails, Oberhauser holds Bond's Love Interest in a rigged chamber—also forcing her to watch the footage of her father committing suicide—so Bond must either try to save her and die in an explosion, or abandon her to save himself and live with the shame of it. Obsessed with destroying his stepbrother and devoted only to his own massive megalomania and eagerness to condemn the world to chaos or tyranny if it suits his purposes, Oberhauser is the ultimate villain of the rebooted chronology to date.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • Some fans state Spectre dilutes the impact of the previous entries, especially Casino Royale (Vesper Lynd has lost most of her significance—see Strangled by the Red String) and Skyfall (Raoul Silva's villainy is reduced because he turned out to be a lackey of SPECTRE, and it cheapens M's death as Blofeld had arranged it just to torment Bond). Others like this movie's old-school approach because it's the first entry in the Craig era that feels like a "traditional" James Bond film (at least the one ticking the highest number of gimmicky boxes that have become associated with the notion).
    • Adding some fuel is that this was the first of Craig's Bond films that his predecessor Pierce Brosnan didn't unequivocally love, saying it dragged on too long and the story was "kind of weak", and "neither fish nor fowl". However in the same interview he also praised Craig's performance, and commended him for fully making the role his own.
  • Ending Fatigue: Nope, Morocco's not the end of the film. We've still got a return to London ahead of us.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Has developed a small inter-series one with fans who prefer Quantum of Solace over it. The two films are both victims of Tough Act to Follow, but also have very different approaches tying into the Broken Base they both fuel in the Bond franchise.
  • Foe Yay: Boy, Oberhauser's/Blofeld's vendetta is terribly personal. Blofeld and James were adopted brothers, but Blofeld's jealousy of Bond supposedly stealing his father from him led to his spending years ruining the agent's life from behind the scenes.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Bond stopping the plan to explode a stadium in Mexico City has kinda become this after the terrorist attacks in France on 13 November 2015, two days after the film's French release. Considering terrorist attacks that happened a couple of days earlier in Beirut, Lebanon, and the fact that, in the movie, the titular organization orchestrates a series of global terrorist attacks in order to "persuade" the world's intelligence agencies to unite under a single banner, makes it ripe for conspiracy theories.
    • The fact that some reinforced surveillance laws in the wake of the January attacks were voted on the very day of the November attacks didn't help and had a particularly eerie resonance, considering the "Nine Eyes" global surveillance merging program in the film.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Many people have assumed this about Hinx, due to his previous resilience that showed him capable of surviving what would be otherwise fatal incidents before, as well as the fact that he was never actually shown crashing to his death after Bond knocked him out of the train.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • At one point in Sherlock, Moriarty says "It's not the fall that kills you. Never the fall. It's the landing!" Considering Max Denbigh's demise...
    • Just a few months later, Shere Khan would be sporting a scarred face with a milky-white eye, and revealing a disorder for Disproportionate Retribution, and tells someone about the nature of the cuckoo bird.
  • It Was His Sled: Despite the actor's initial claims otherwise, Franz Oberhauser is Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Bond naturally thinks that he has successfully killed Blofeld in the base explosion. Anyone who has seen the films in the series from the late 60s knows how unlikely it is that the man would die at all, let alone with that much running time left in the film. Even the film gets in on that action: As Bond flies away in one direction away from the burning base, the camera clearly shows a motorcade leaving the base in the background; Bond just wasn't looking in the right direction.
  • Memetic Mutation: Oberhauser's iconic "author of all your pain" quote, which gained popularity after it appeared in the trailer. Fans have often gleefully taken the line out of context to have it refer a bestselling book, 'All Your Pain', with Oberhauser as the author.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Driven by Envy, Oberhauser/Blofeld crossed it 20 years ago when he committed patricide out of the jealousy and resentment he harbored against an orphaned Bond received after Franz's father took him in. He only got worse from there by staging all the tragedies Bond faced since Casino Royale, even to the point of rubbing 007's failures in his face and trying to kidnap Madeleine Swann as part of his plan to psychologically weaken Bond's morale.
    • Averted at the end of the Final Battle by Bond, where Blofeld is severely injured following his helicopter crashing onto the Westminster Bridge after it's shot down. As 007 approaches Blofeld crawling away from the wreckage, he tries to goad James into killing him. But after some initial hesitation, James simply tosses his Walther PPK away and states he's "out of bullets", and leaves him to be arrested by M. This also leaves Blofeld a bit perplexed as to why 007 chose to spare him. And it also symbolically shows that despite being a Professional Killer, there are certain moral boundaries even Bond would not want to cross, and crossing the He Who Fights Monsters line to become just as monstrous and evil as Blofeld won't solve his problems.
    • If betraying the British government and joining SPECTRE wasn't enough, then C staging false flag terrorist attacks at countries who won't join the "Nine Eyes" intelligence program on behalf of Blofeld, who is bankrolling the project so it'll enable SPECTRE to permanently stay ahead of their enemies, certainly counts.
  • Narm:
    • "You are a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond." As hard as it tries, Spectre really doesn't have quite the impact to back that line up. So it becomes this, especially since it gets repeated later in the film.
    • The opening credits sequence: Craig's films' credits had been more sober and less blatantly fanservicey with more references and foreshadowing to the plot itself. The ones for Spectre harken back to the oversexed credits of the Brosnan era, with very few moments that don't consist of naked girls or naked Bond or tentacles, sometimes all together with a love song. As pointed out by at least one reviewer, they do make one think of tentacle porn.
    • Madeleine telling Bond that he's "a good man" is utterly laughable—Craig's Bond films have made a point to underscore the fact that 007 kills people in cold-blood for a living. He does it all for the greater good, but he's definitely not an angel. She even repeatedly calls him that earlier in the film.
    • Daniel Craig's inexplicable bellowed delivery of the line "Of course, Mr. White!" You half expect him to turn to the camera and say "Everybody got that?"
    • Bond breaks the champagne flutes when it is clear Sciarra has no interest in just talking to him. The scene serves no purpose whatsoever.
    • The film pouring all the drama it can into Oberhauser revealing his name is now Blofeld. Just like the reveal of the villain's identity in Star Trek Into Darkness, the theatrics are entirely for the benefit of the out-of-universe audience, as the name has never been mentioned before in this specific iteration and means absolutely nothing to the in-universe characters.note  And that's before you get into the fact that we are expected to believe that Oberhauser went from the son of a mountain climber to the founder and head of the world's most powerful terrorist/criminal empire with zero explanation of how he achieved this.
    • Oberhauser's character, period. From Christoph Waltz's over-the-top performance, to the bizarre amounts of Foe Yay that culmimates in Oberhauser drawing a heart in his breath on a glass window while Bond looks on, the result is less "scary evil mastermind" than it is a pathetic manchild with way too much time on his hands. In particular, there was a general sense that the film was insinuating that Blofeld set up the most powerful terrorist organization in the world for the sole purpose of screwing with his little brother. - this was not, in fact, the narrative's intent, but it was an impression a lot of people got and mocked. And his expression as he watches the MI6 building collapse. It's... odd.
    • Tanner checks C's pulse after he's fallen multiple stories and is obviously dead. This is made all the better by the fact that he actually says "He's dead".
    • As pointed out by CinemaSins, what is with all the lamps in Lucia Sciarra's house? Does she have some kind of fetish?
  • Nightmare Fuel: Bond enters the condemned MI6 building in pursuit of Blofeld. On his way to meet the villain, he passes through the shooting range, now covered in rust and water rot, and finds that Blofeld has replaced all the targets with photographs of Bond's deceased friends and foes - with the former M being last in line. The whole sequence looks like something out of Silent Hill. There's also Blofeld's attempt to kill Bond and Madeline by bringing the building down on them, which is way too familiar for anyone who's ever watched a news report about similar events.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • She may only have five minutes of screen time, but Monica Bellucci makes the most out of them. Grief, resignation, anger, passion, all played to perfection.
    • Jesper Christensen as Mr. White. In just a couple minutes, the film transforms him from the smug Quantum leader he was in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace to a broken father desperate to save his daughter.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • The third trailer has a freaking helicopter do several barrel rolls over the skies of Mexico City. What's more, the stunt was pulled off by Chuck Aaron, one of the only helicopter pilots on the face of the planet trained to pull off such a feat safely.
    • To a lesser degree, The Reveal that the Aston Martin DB10 is also a Weaponized Car equipped with a rear mounted flamethrower.
  • So Okay, It's Average: One of the two "okay" Daniel Craig Bond adventures, the other being Quantum of Solace. It's not one of the worst films in the franchise as it does have strong points, but it also has a slightly lower Rotten Tomatoes score than Quantum and is a major step down from Skyfall due to the film's Troubled Production.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Compared to Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, Bond's relationship with Dr. Swann is underdeveloped, so their romance (which is supposedly a meaningful one) feels forced and contrived. It also doesn't help that a lot of critics and fans don't see much chemistry between Craig and Seydoux. Bond apparently being in love with Madeleine diminishes Vesper's importance in retrospect because Vesper was presented as the love of his life, a woman he was so enamoured with that he was willing to abandon his career for her. The audience was led to believe that Vesper's betrayal and death broke Bond's heart permanently, but those wounds now appear to be suddenly healed because he once again leaves MI6 to start a new life with Dr. Swann.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: A lot of people have accused the plot, from the hero's struggling to find his relevance in the modern era to the bad guy's use of mass surveillance to Take Over the World, of being ripped off from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As Honest Trailers puts it:
    Narrator: If you only see one movie this year about a hero who belongs in a different era, battling a sleeper cell inside his own organization, with their own tentacle logo, against a former friend that was presumed dead in the snow... you should probably just rewatch The Winter Soldier. It's way better anyway.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Lucia Sciarra is the widow of a SPECTRE member who's now a target of the organization, who Bond bears some responsibility for thanks to being the one who killed her husband. She only has a few minutes of screentime and is then never mentioned again. It's especially annoying given the big deal the producers made about casting the 50-year-old (at the time of filming) Monica Bellucci rather than the usual young Bond girls, the latter being exactly who replaces her in her role in the plot from then on.
    • Bond sends her off to Felix Leiter, setting up a potential sub-plot involving the Craig era's version of Leiter who played a significant role in both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. However, neither character is ever seen again.
    • While many viewers enjoyed Dave Bautista's turn as the villainous Mr. Hinx, many others felt he was poorly utilized and more could have been done with him. He had zero lines, a single kill (the only time his presumed "signature" technique- eye-gouging metal thumb spikes- is used is in his debut and a brief moment during the train fight), and dies at the end of the 2nd act. While fans compare him favourably to the likes of Jaws or Oddjob, very few argue that he was on their level, and were he not played by a famous wrestler the character may have been entirely generic.
    • In a narratively posthumous example, the film neglects to ever mention or show Rene Mathis who was one of Bond's closest allies in the first two films and died during Quantum of Solace.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Considering this film sees the return of SPECTRE after decades away from the franchise, alongside references to their Suspiciously Similar Substitute Quantum, and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, some people find the main story incredibly lacking. This ties into the trope above, alongside a feeling that everything is so Strictly Formula that it stinks. Specifically, the third act and the revelations about the villain's link to Bond, alongside the Token Romance, make the film seem predictably banal to critics.
    • While the film stresses out the Oberhauser was behind the events of Casino Royale and Skyfall, it never explains what Oberhauser bothered to accomplish through pushing Bond into the plot of Quantum of Solace. A viewer could infer on their own what that film's villain Dominic Greene's real objective was, and that it seemed different from what his organization wanted, but the film never even implies what the objective was and in fact, the events of Quantum of Solace are barely even mentioned and end up being a strange anomaly in Oberhauser's mission.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Like Quantum of Solace followed Casino Royale, this movie followed Skyfall, which made it tough to top it, something that couldn't be done with this movie's production. The fact that this film's concept had already been adapted twice by Disney/Marvel and then Paramount with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation only months prior made it even tougher.
    • Even extends to the movie's theme song, Sam Smith's "Writings on the Wall", especially with its predecessor having gained massive critical acclaim upon its release, AND notwithstanding the said song also winning an Oscar (See Broken Base entry above).
  • What an Idiot!:
    • In the film's climax, Madeleine parts ways with Bond, telling him that they cannot be together as long as Bond is still living the dangerous secret agent life, and Bond just let her go on her way despite just telling her earlier to remain at the safe house for her own safety until they finished the job. This leads to her capture by Blofeld, who straps her to a bomb inside the Vauxhall Cross building to taunt Bond and distract him long enough to make his escape. Yes, Bond has a good reason to believe that Blofeld has perished in his Morocco Base, but that doesn't mean SPECTRE is finished, and even if their leader had died, there are still hundreds of loyal agents at large who are ready to strike from anywhere and anytime, so Bond should at least be more concerned about her safety, especially after witnessing firsthand what they are capable of (don't forget, they were responsible for the deaths of M in Skyfall and Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, the two most important women in his life). It's like her relevance to the plot stopped after the 2nd act ended and the writers just hastily find a way to keep her in the story until it ends.
    • Don't forget Madeleine's decision to leave. She grew up under SPECTRE'S shadow and has just escaped several attempts on her life... and she still decides to walk away on a dark street while they were out there. Granted, she thought she was able to care for herself but still...
    • When Bond is searching Mr. White's house, he sees a security camera, and he doesn't deactivate it or delete the file. That is a really stupid mistake for a supposedly great spy.
    • During the Austrian chase scene, Bond potentially could've killed Madeleine (we even see her terrified Reaction Shot) when he rams the front of his plane into the back of the SUV, which would completely negate his goal of rescuing her.
    • Speaking of Austria, although Bond obviously meant well in venturing there to protect Madeline, she is 100% right in pointing out that he led the bad guys to her in the first place. (Sure, Bond isn't aware that SPECTRE is tracking him through the "smart blood", but even so...)
    • After getting the information he needs from Lucia Sciarra (who he has saved from getting assassinated), Bond writes down Felix Leiter's number, tells her he'd keep her safe... and leaves without making sure she's safe from any other assassins from SPECTRE. To be fair, he was in a hurry to catch the meeting, but if Sciarra thinks that people were after her (and with good reason), wouldn't it help to make sure she's safe for the period of time it'll take Felix to get there?
    • Don't forget that after he saves her from the two assassins, she immediately tells him that a lot more would come after her in just a few minutes, and the first thing he does after getting the information is... making love with her?. We're talking about a woman whose husband had just died (granted, she didn't love him that much, but still) and knows full well that she's going to be killed next. Sexytimes is the last thing she needs during all of this, so the whole thing gives the vibes that Bond's just taking advantage of her. And after he finishes the deed, he just leaves her Felix's number then leaves her all alone in her undies. She even begs him to stay with her a little longer, but he leaves anyway. Real smooth, 007.
    • As mentioned on the main page, when Bond demonstrates to Madeleine how to use a gun, he points a loaded gun with his finger on the trigger at the wall of their train compartment. He could have shot and killed someone—the bullet could have ricocheted and killed either of them. Madeleine's expression as she unloads the gun and demonstrates that she already knows how to use one—as evidenced by the very fact that she makes absolutely certain that it's completely unloaded before even touching the trigger—indicates that she's wondering how he could do something so careless. Doubly frustrating that as a former Commander in the Royal Navy and one of MI6's top agents, Bond would know how to properly and safely handle a gun.
    • SPECTRE and Blofeld seems to have full knowledge of how the 00 program works, yet they fail to take Bond's watch when preparing him for his torture session.
    • Bond letting Blofeld live at the end. Okay, they do have a history together, there were several people present and it would've undermined M's message of "knowing when to take a life but when to spare one". The problem is, Blofeld has proven himself several times throughout the course of the Daniel Craig era to be not only a dangerous threat, but smart enough to figure out how to create chaos (IN FACT, he did manage to create an NSA-style network without any of the major powers of the world noticing). He's not somebody to be trifled with. And the menacing look he gives to Bond at the end shows that he will get his revenge.


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