Apparently the script for the new James Bond, Spectre, has been leaked and I can now reveal what happens…more or less. Contains spoilers (of a kind).
James Bond has gone to Mexico to take a much deserved break from heartlessly killing people. He gets a bit bored though so does stop to heartlessly kill a few people. Meanwhile, back at M16 HQ things aren’t looking good – not only did the office recently undergo some disastrous refurbishing but the new boss, M2 (the new M that is, rather than the motorway – played by Voldemort), is assassinated (the all-too familiar scene in which M2 remonstrates with Bond is actually a dream, it’s a comic, post-modern nod to the fact that this scene happens so much in Bond it’s become a cliché, but not this time).
Uh-oh. With James Bond away and Q tangled up in his latest cardigan there’s only one man who can step up to the challenge of sorting things out, one woman actually, Eve Moneypenny. She gave up her licence to kill after the dictates of plot forced her to be a terrible field agent but she’s still got an intellect to die for. She might have broken heels but, boy, can she do it better than the rest of ’em.
Bond’s holiday continues apace and he stops by a funeral in some generically beautiful city to hit on a widow (Monica Belluci). Comic capers ensue as he tries to reinvigorate his licence to thrill. Belluci is unimpressed and opts to be shot by a firing squad rather than persist living in a grimly misogynistic and violent world. Whilst looking into the death of M2 Moneypenny is threatened by Max Denbigh, a member of the British government. “Ugh,” she thinks, “Another thinly characterised posh white guy telling me what to do – gotta love the patriarchy.” She’s then told to shut up and get back to her desk.
Bond drops by an old friend, Mr White (named to help distinguish him from the other white, male characters in the film), who gave up his job as arch-criminal to become a poet. His latest ones include “Kites In A Hurricane” and “The Many Faces of Death”, Bond thinks they’re quite beautiful but then again his favourite poem is Humpty Dumpty. Mr White has also turned to God. “Tell me where he is?” asks Bond. “He’s everywhere,” shouts Mr White in a fit of ardent faith. Mr W then accidentally drops a photo of his family and Bond notes that his daughter is pretty hot. Using M16 satellite technology he tracks down the daughter, blows up her suitors and asks her out on a date. She’s not that impressed but is more of a trope than a character so says yes. They go on a high speed train date (as part of a new ITV2 extreme dating series) to get to know each other but the deal breaker for her is discovering that Bond’s into fox-hunting.
Moneypenny discovers links between Denbigh and SPECTRE, a top-secret organisation that is involved in the financing of crime all over the world (also known as the City of London). She calls up Bond, who wants to have sex with her in the bath (she politely but firmly declines, again), and asks him to infiltrate SPECTRE’s top-secret London HQ – she’d do it herself because she’s a mistress of disguise but realises she’d need some serious prosthetics to get into the all white boys club. She wonders if David Cameron is a member, she googles it and discovers that he is. Turns out the British government is involved in global criminal activity, “No surprise there then” she says wittily, offering a quick wink to the camera.
Bond does his infiltration thing but gets spotted at once (“Dammit James,” curses Moneypenny from afar) and the big boss, Blofeld Rip-Off, introduces himself. Like Mr White he’s also a writer, having recently written the hit thriller “All Your Pain” (the new Jo Nesbo apparently). Turns out he was mates with Bond as a kid and both of their dads were key members of the club. Even more surprisingly is that Bond’s family fortune has been bankrolling SPECTRE for yonks. So, in a shock twist, it turns out that the Bonds have been instrumental in funding the very criminality that M16 have been paying James to stop. Turns out everyone already knew this, even M16, and found Bond’s ignorance comically ironic. “We’ve got to pay you to do something,” explains Denbigh to Bond, who is also a member (a gold member actually which gives him access to the underground swimming pool).
The film ends, thankfully. Bond decides to tackle his midlife crisis a little differently than usual and opts not to kill lots of people. Instead he drops by Q, complements him on his new knitwear, and asks him to make him disappear. Exit stage right Bond. Q then reveals he’s married to a man (actually no he doesn’t because vaguely homosexual characters in Bond can only be psychopathic villains). Moneypenny takes over at M16 and ushers in a new era of transparency and zero-tolerance on corruption. She has to fire quite a lot of people and is gobsmacked at the sheer volume of corruption the British government has been involved in and covered up over the years (Operation Ajax being one such example). “Oh patriarchy and Empire,” she sighs as she settles into M2’s old desk chair and pours herself a big drink.