[3.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

James Bond movies are (at least for now) must-see-in-theatre movies for us. We boogied on down to the Regal Fox Run Stadium 15 in Newington for this outing. We even splurged on the RPX auditorium, which has a (literal) seat-shaking sound system. Consumer note: this is a stupid gimmick.

I was prepared to be wowed, instead I came away slightly disappointed.

As the movie begins, Bond is in Mexico, on the trail of a baddie. We don't know why, and — as it turns out — his ostensible boss, M, doesn't know why either. But the resulting devastation (can't he just shoot someone?) causes an international incident. Bond's agency, MI6, finds itself under criticism, and the double-0 program might be phased out in favor of panopticon-style surveillance and drones.

We eventually find out Bond's reason for going to Mexico, and the continuation of this project leads him to various scenic locations, always in mortal danger. But his current enemy, the head of SPECTRE, seems to know his every move, and seems to enjoy playing with him like a cat with a mouse.

Therein my disappointment: SPECTRE has all the cards, and the only way Bond survives is because they are setting him up for the finish. It seems that Bond isn't any danger to their nefarious scheme (until the very end, that is): he's an important part of their nefarious scheme.

Which made me think of the Austin Powers quote:

Dr. Evil: Scott, I want you to meet daddy's nemesis, Austin Powers

Scott Evil: What? Are you feeding him? Why don't you just kill him?

Dr. Evil: I have an even better idea. I'm going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death.

That's probably not what the filmmakers wanted me to think.