Sunday 8 November 2015

Spectre: A spectacular demolition derby and the new totalitarianism

Not things I do
There are a number of things I will not attempt to do just because I will find myself utterly inadequate to acquit myself well. Dancing to Michael Jackson or Madonna because they have so out-danced us that one might well look like an embarrassing middle-aged dancer (EMAD) whatever you do to their music. Just imagine yourself trying to moonwalk or vogue – don’t try it.
The other is trying to review a James Bond movie, I just can’t whether by plot, by thrill or by feel, and there is just too much going on and as the thrill puts you at the edge of your seat, the overwhelming willing suspension of disbelief.
I was out of town earlier in the weekend, but I had decided to see the latest in this over five decades old movie franchise on an IMAX screen which takes you sound and vision from just watching the movie into becoming a part of the movie itself.
Thrills and destruction
I got my ticket to watch Spectre in a premium seat with somewhat tasteless sweet popcorn and a Pepsi Cola.
It took a while for the plot to develop, from the scene in Mexico of the Day of the Dead festival that started off with James Bond up to spying antics of listening in, shooting down and eventually creating a greater incident of bringing the building down. At which point I was already gripping my seat and kicking about in syncopated excitement, I did not realise I was kicking the lady sat beside me.
One could be forgiven for thinking Spectre was a Demolition Derby, albeit of buildings, and there were three such massive destructions of buildings, interspersed with three thrilling helicopter episodes with all the conflagration that might ensue, there wasn’t much to the torture scene or the gadgetry whilst the violence was moderate to extreme.
The script itself tried to tie together the historical James Bond adventures and I could not help but notice that Daniel Craig was credited as one of the co-producers.
Without giving too much away, the ending tended towards the romantic and James Bond resisting his killing machine instincts.
We have much to fear
In the subplot where politicians and apparatchiks felt that human assets in intelligence work were now outmoded and to be replaced with information surveillance linking the intelligence gathering networks of nine countries and play on The Five Eyes Intelligence Sharing Network and expanded to Nine Eyes.
With the introduction by the UK Home Secretary of the Draft Communications Data Bill more commonly known as the Snooper’s Charter, I will not be surprised if Spectre does not contain a subliminal message to all of us.
The egregiousness of the political elite to invade every recess of our lives on the premise of we being better protected if they can invade our privacy untrammelled with the view to contriving situations that suggest we are in such grave danger that can only be avoided by our ceding more of our liberties to unlimited surveillance.
Quite a lot to fear indeed
More so, the greater danger here is the extent to which politicians will go to obtain the right to trawl through our lives and with that information being stored somewhere, there are powerful and nefarious agencies or organisations will also do anything to gain a front seat and full access to whatever the government has about us.
This Big Brother situation is one we must never allow to become the law of the land, the inch we have already given the government has grown into lightyears of unfettered access, we are tending to totalitarianism in everything but name in a democracy.
This seam has been exploited in our name and in secret, but for the providence of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden that has forced a modicum of accountability into the discourse as to what we can allow democracies to do, yet the government is hardly giving up anything, rather they want to codify their excesses into law and legitimise this abuse of process.
I liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed the film and waited through the credits before leaving because we must after the entertainment spend a few minutes acknowledge the teams that worked together to create such movies and not wait until the Oscars to discover beyond the actors who did what so well that they have been acknowledged by their peers.
I might watch Spectre again, in the company of friends.

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