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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Bond 24

Spectre (2015) on IMDb

Plot Overview

This 24th James Bond movie—the 4th installment starring Daniel Craig—opens, with its signature musical buildup, on the annual Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico City. British super agent 007/James Bond (Daniel Craig) acting on a tip from a fallen comrade in arms (“The dead are alive”) is dressed up in a skeleton mask stalking through the throng, a Mexican beauty on his arm. They get an upstairs room, but Bond can't stay (“I won't be long.”) He skirts along the roof­tops assembling as he goes the skeleton of a rifle cum laser listener that he then directs at the window of a room in a building across the street. The man he's been watching arrives (“Welcome, Señor Sciarra”), is assured an explosive device is in place (“Yes, it's over there”), is toasted (“À la morte”), and is set to go (“Time's up.”) An exchange of gun­fire sets off an explosion leveling half a block and prompting a hairy chase scene and the eventual demise of criminal Marco Sciarra (Alessandro Cremona) but not before Bond retrieves his emblematic ring.

To the music of Sam Smith's “Writing's on the Wall” (a historical reference to the book of Daniel's warning of the Babylonians about to be taken over by the Medes & Persians), Bond is castigated in London by the new M (Ralph Fiennes) for his unauthorized inter­vention that provoked an inter­national incident (“Outrage in Mexico”), never mind that he saved a stadium full of people. There's to be a “Merger with MI–5”, the ‘00’ Section is being disbanded—in favor of drones and computers—, and Bond him­self is grounded.

Bond is palsy-walsy with Miss Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) who doesn't buy his acquiescence (“I think you're just getting started.”) He recruits Q (Ben Whishaw)—or shall we say he appropriates his toys—and favors from Money­penny (“You want me to be your mole.”) He then under­takes a cat and mouse game with the shadowy head of SPECTRE leading to the break­down of a wall between former life and present and the unmasking of villainous elements in the Secret Service, letting the cat out of the bag at the last moment (“Tempus fugit.”)


The secret agent genre follows an intrinsic morality—e.g., license to kill—that doesn't directly transfer to our moral universe though the agent be one of the "good guys." There­fore when comparing the storyline to scripture, I find it help­ful to use the Apocrypha whose wisdom books serve for edification but not for canonical authority. “Spectre” has good corres­pon­dence to “the Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach,” also known as Ecclesiasticus.

(Sirach 2:4-5) “Whatsoever is brought upon thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate. For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity.” James Bond accepted with grace his demotion to inactive status.

(Sirach 3:17-18) “My son, go on with thy business in meekness; so shalt thou be beloved of him that is approved. The greater thou art, the more humble thyself, and thou shalt find favour before the Lord.” No huffing and puffing, just doing his job.

(Sirach 4:10) “Be as a father unto the fatherless, and instead of an husband unto their mother: so shalt thou be as the son of the most High, and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth.” When defector White's daughter, Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), is orphaned, Bond takes up the role of her protector, and perhaps a “husband” function if he lives up to his rep.

(Sirach 4:27-28) “Make not thyself an underling to a foolish man; neither accept the person of the mighty. Strive for the truth unto death, and the Lord shall fight for thee.” “Spectre” has a storyline very similar to that of “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” (2015), which also dealt with the "new" taking over the "old" and the good spies having to go rogue.

(Sirach 5:10) “Be stedfast in thy under­standing; and let thy word be the same.” In exchange for information, Bond had to give his word to former Quantum member Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) that he would protect his daughter.

(Sirach 6:13-17) “Separate thyself from thine enemies, and take heed of thy friends. A faithful friend is a strong defence: and he that hath found such an one hath found a treasure. Nothing doth counter­vail a faithful friend, and his excellency is invaluable. A faithful friend is the medicine of life; and they that fear the Lord shall find him. Whoso feareth the Lord shall direct his friend­ship aright: for as he is, so shall his neighbour be also.” Bond had to distance him­self from unreliable or questionable members of his service and get chummy with the ones he felt he could trust.

(Ecclesiasticus 8:16) “Strive not with an angry man, and go not with him into a solitary place: for blood is as nothing in his sight; and where there is no help, he will over­throw thee.” Bond had to take care not to get caught in the open by Bunyan­esque bad guy Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista.)

(Sir. 9:13) “Keep thee far from the man that hath power to kill; so shalt thou not doubt the fear of death: and if thou come unto him, make no fault, lest he take away thy life presently: remember that thou goest in the midst of snares, and that thou walkest upon the battlements of the city.” Bond was treading “in the midst of snares, … walk[ing] upon the battlements of the city” when he tracked and dispatched Sciarra who was well guarded and deserved no quarter.

(Sirach 16:6-9) “In the congregation of the ungodly shall a fire be kindled; and in a rebellious nation wrath is set on fire. He was not pacified toward the old giants, who fell away in the strength of their foolishness. Neither spared he the place where Lot sojourned, but abhorred them for their pride. He pitied not the people of perdition, who were taken away in their sins:” SPECTRE is doomed along with their giant hench­man, just like Sodom and Gomorrah, “the place where Lot sojourned.”

(Sirach 19:1) “A labouring man that is given to drunkenness shall not be rich: and he that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little.” Bond's question­naire when he tries to infiltrate the clinic in Austria reveals that he drinks too much and is not careful to exercise regularly. As author Russel McLean has written, “I stuck with Coke, preferring to keep my head clear on a case. ¶“The hard-drinking, hard-boiled detective only gets away with that shite in movies and between the pages of pulp paper­backs” (171).

(Sirach 19:7-10) “Rehearse not unto another that which is told unto thee, and thou shalt fare never the worse. Whether it be to friend or foe, talk not of other men's lives; and if thou canst with­out offence, reveal them not. For he heard and observed thee, and when time cometh he will hate thee. If thou hast heard a word, let it die with thee; and be bold, it will not burst thee.” In the new world of universal surveillance, it pays to hold one's cards close to his chest. As McLean puts it, “Let some­one talk long enough, they'll tell you things they never intended” (172). Money­penny tells Bond: “You've got a secret. Some­thing you can't tell any­one, because you don't trust anyone.

(Sirach 20:4) “As is the lust of an eunuch to deflower a virgin; so is he that executeth judgment with violence.” Organization assassin Mr. Hinx had a very pointed way of asserting his qualifications.

(Sir. 26:13) “The grace of a wife delighteth her husband, and her discretion will fatten his bones.” I get the impression James Bond is rather taken with Madeleine Swann whose altruistic work with Médecins Sans Frontières is a refreshing contrast to Bond's employment as a paid assassin. She's a keeper.

(Sirach 40:1-7) “Great travail is created for every man, and an heavy yoke is upon the sons of Adam, from the day that they go out of their mother's womb, till the day that they return to the mother of all things. Their imagination of things to come, and the day of death, [trouble] their thoughts, and [cause] fear of heart; From him that sitteth on a throne of glory, unto him that is humbled in earth and ashes; From him that weareth purple and a crown, unto him that is clothed with a linen frock. Wrath, and envy, trouble, and unquietness, fear of death, and anger, and strife, and in the time of rest upon his bed his night sleep, do change his knowledge. A little or nothing is his rest, and afterward he is in his sleep, as in a day of keeping watch, troubled in the vision of his heart, as if he were escaped out of a battle. When all is safe, he awaketh, and marvelleth that the fear was nothing.”
All the trouble the secret agents go through to keep the world safe, and the world is oblivious, to say nothing of our ingratitude.

Production Values

This Bond flick, “” (2015), was directed by Sam Mendes who also directed the previous one, “Skyfall” (2013). “Spectre” was written by John Logan, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and Jez Butter­wort, using characters developed by spy­master writer Ian Fleming. It stars Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, and Léa Seydoux, with costars Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Dave Bautista (as the hench­man Hinx), Andrew Scott and Monica Bellucci. Also starring Stephanie Sigman as Estrella and Alessandro Bressanello as Priest. Craig stays cool and determined. Seydoux fits the mold as the Bond girl with guts. Talented Bellucci (old for a Bond woman) gets only minutes exposure. Waltz plays the nasty villain everyone expected from the title. The solid supporting cast of Scott (as British government official Max Denbigh), Harris (Money­penny), Whishaw (Q), and Fiennes (as M) are well selected.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language. We get compelling music from both Sam Smith's opening song and the throbbing sound­track of Thomas Newman. Regret­tably, Adele was not brought back after her out­standing “Skyfall” song. Sam Smith withers by comparison. Thomas Newman does better than with his tepid score to “Skyfall,” delivering atmospheric and exciting music. The story flows well and is easy to follow. The exotic locations look great. The action and chase scenes are high-octane and exciting. The beauti­fully executed action set pieces include a gripping car chase between an Aston Martin DB10 and a Jaguar C–X75, a nail biter rescue attempt involving a twin-propeller plane along the snowy slopes of Austria, a tense hand to hand fight between Bond and rival assassin Hinx aboard a moving train, and a desperate race to save a damsel from a ticking bomb. An entertaining spy adventure this one. Hoyte van Hoytema's superb cinema­tog­raphy captures not just the look but the feel of the hand­somely staged action in all its fraught detail. The CG virtually disappears for the practical effects and authentic destruction.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This is Ur-Bond in top form. The credits at the end declare: “James Bond will return.” Give us more.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall product rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Apocryphal scripture taken from The Septuagint with Apoc­rypha: Greek and English. U.S.A.: Hendrick­son Pub. Originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons, Ltd., London, 1851. Print, WEB.

McLean, Russel D. The Good Son. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2011. Print.