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by Heinrich Domingo

James Bond films formed a false notion of perfection. The franchise has created a name and through the years garnered a solid mass of audience. This exceeding level of confidence brings the best and worst to Spectre. It does not need to reinvent itself for it can surely hit the box office with any offering. And because it is not reinventing, James Bond movies became repetitive, boring, and unappealing.

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This year, Agent 007 finds himself in a mission to beat down a global criminal organization named Spectre. In the story, he is joined by familiar characters who have been in prequel films such as Q, M, and Eve Penny. All returning figures tie back Mr. Bond to previous storylines. With complex references in past stories and barrage of multiple antagonistic characters, the recent addition to James Bond films seemed to just have confused the viewers while concealing its formulaic and predictable nature.

Although this film has plot flaws, its production is decent. It was able to play its purpose of flaunting the lavish lifestyle of the elites and making the audience wish to have the same. Spectre, like its predecessors, has created an unrealistic environment consequently breeding awe, jealousy, and then discontentment. It offers a taste of a life that majority of the public will never have.

There is no question that James Bond has largely contributed to the genre of spy films. Secret agents, advance technology, and beautiful leading ladies were elements popularized by this movie franchise. Yet, in the recent years, what these films do is nothing but bank on the effectiveness of the earlier versions. Movie makers would merely tweak some elements, update Bond’s gadgets and voila! – another blockbuster movie is made. In the initial years, viewers’ love for pattern can still make James Bond films going. The familiar image of action scenes involving a spy on a suit can still stir interest. Yet, with sequels like Spectre, the point of reaching exhaustion is nearing.

Spectre’s grand opening scene on the Day of the Dead Festival exudes beauty and intricacy. The life and merrymaking of Mexicans were celebrated along with the international movie crowd. This act could have created more impact if it was not the first time. Either in a running train or in a beautiful snowy landscape, James bond films have developed a formula of presenting sequence of events. For several versions, Bond films are known to supplement the following: begin with grand entrance, develop a romantic relationship, and end with a victory. These are what turn James Bond movies into bland cinema pieces. Since, every element is expected, there can be no surprise and excitement. In the constant fight of media innovation, Bond films are losing.

While Spectre may think that adapting old notions and principles of its prequels is the way to go, there are multitude of elements that must be eliminated.

It is true that James Bond cannot simply turn its back against what it is and forget how it became to be great. But, its makers need to realize that movies are creative art first before being an enterprise. Reinvention is needed to continue being relevant.

 

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