Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bond, Politics, Critics: the Spectre of Surveillance

It is no secret that Spectre has fared much less well with critics than its predecessor Skyfall. As a practical matter, the film's detractors have had plenty of arguments to support their less complimentary stance. However, one may wonder if the stronger political element in this film has not also been a factor in the severity toward the movie. Over at Informed Comment scholar Juan Cole remarked that the
latest entry in the Daniel Craig reboot of the James Bond film franchise, Spectre, turns Bond into more muscular version of Edward Snowden, as he takes down a vast 9-nation attempt at electronic surveillance and information-sharing that would also benefit a criminal cartel.
He also observed that reviews seemed to be ignoring the political theme to a "remarkable" degree, and even noted a parallel between Spectre and Quantum of Solace, which "turned Bond into a defender of the left-leaning, pro-peasant government of Evo Morales in Bolivia." While Cole does not make the observation in his piece, it has previously struck me that Quantum of Solace may have taken the beating with critics that it did in part because of the movie's political tilt--and that this might also be the case with Spectre.

Bond and America and Spectre
My Posts on Spectre
Just Out. . . (James Bond's Evolution)
Just Out . . . (The Forgotten James Bond)
Has Quantum of Solace Been Overcriticized?

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