Spectre: James Bond Trailer Analysis

Daniel Craig is back at James Bond 007 in Spectre. And the new trailer gives some clues as to what to expect. Here's our detailed look...

It’s hard to beat a good James Bond trailer these days. Mirroring the memorable marketing campaign for Skyfall, the new trailer for Sam Mendes’ second Bond movie gives us far more to chew on than March’s teaser.

It also gives us an idea of how the film will go back to the basics of the series while simultaneously tying up loose ends from the previous three films starring Daniel Craig, by bringing back the titular criminal organization from the original run. If you haven’t watched the trailer yet, take a look at the embedded video below and then read on for some potentially spoiler-y analysis of what’s going on…

Looks good, right? Planes, trains, automobiles and Bond on skis for the first time since 1999’s The World Is Not Enough. Let’s take it apart and see what we can figure out.

Day Of The Dead

This trailer opens with our first glimpse of what must be the pre-titles cold open to the film, which was reportedly called ‘the biggest ever’ when it was filmed in Mexico City earlier this year. Opening at a Dia de los Muertos celebration, we find a disguised Bond moving through the crowd with Estrella (Stephanie Sigman), intercut with his subsequent dressing-down by Ralph Fiennes’ M.

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We see more of this sequence later in the trailer, including an exploding hotel room, a foot chase through a crowded plaza and a mid-air helicopter roll that faintly reminded of us of the famous corkscrew stunt from The Man With The Golden Gun. The film wrapped this month so they’re understandably making the most of the chance to show us more in the new trailer.

Although we reckon that the carnage we do see would be within the constraints of a standard risk assessment for Bond leaving the country by now, M seems pissed off with 007, asking him what his apparently unofficial mission entailed. There’s a time-honoured history of Bond going off on personal missions rather than acting solely in Her Majesty’s secret service and it looks like M is in the dark here.

Aston Martin DB10

Even if Bond is going off the reservation in this one, we also get our first proper glimpse of Q Branch in the rebooted series. Ben Whishaw made his debut as the MI6 quartermaster in Skyfall, but the gadget exchange in that film took place at London’s National Gallery. Now Q is up and running with his own lab and that means Bond gets a new set of wheels.

The Aston Martin DB10 was a big part of December’s press conference to unveil the cast and title of this film and it gets a large share of the screentime this time around. It could almost be an ad for the car itself, with Q’s assurance that it can go from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds, backed up by its usefulness in car chases throughout most of the rest of the two-and-a-half minute preview. It’s fair to assume that the rear flamethrower is an optional extra.

Oh, and did anyone else outright shudder when Bond asked Q to make him disappear in that scene? We know it’s a callback to the breadcrumb trail from the end of the previous film, but in such close proximity to the car, it made us think more of John Cleese and the invisible car from Die Another Day. Give us the flamethrower any day.

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Madeleine Swann

USA Today revealed Lea Seydoux’s character in some new official images earlier this week, describing her as the doctor daughter of an assassin, who crosses Bond’s path on his latest mission. She didn’t appear in the previous trailer, but we learn a little more about her here.

Speculating from the way she’s shown here, we suspect that she’s connected to Jesper Christensen’s Mr White. Bond surmises that White is protecting someone when he goes to interrogate him and the next scene we see is Madeleine’s first appearance in the trailer. Perhaps he’s the assassin father?

In any case, she would appear to be the top-billed of the female characters here, based on her screen-time compared to the other ladies in Bond’s life this time around. She also interrogates his career choices in a scene on a train, in which we’re also delighted to see a throwback to the ivory dinner jackets that Sean Connery and Roger Moore wore best.

Anyway, back to Madeleine, who spends a great portion of the trailer in the back of a car driven by imposing henchman Mr. Hinx, played by one Dave Bautista…

Bautista Bomb

Guardians Of The Galaxy gave proof to the outlandish notion of Chris Pratt as an action hero, but the altogether more unlikely breakout performance in that film was Dave Bautista’s turn as Drax the Destroyer. Alongside his sheer physical heft, his performance was funny and touching and he deserves every bit of success that his co-star has enjoyed too.

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Hopefully, Spectre will mark the start of that as he resurrects the type of character that we haven’t really seen since before Casino Royale. In terms of henchmen, we’ve had to make do with plonkers like Elvis from Quantum Of Solace, whose sole iconic moment involved his bowl-cut wig falling off after Gemma Arterton pushed him down the stairs. Bautista’s Mr. Hinx ought to change that.

Hinx is already snapping necks in the trailer alone, which is probably what got the preview a 12A rating from the BBFC. Even in these short glimpses, he comes across as a real physical threat for a change, recalling henchmen like Oddjob and Jaws rather than recent embarrassments. Sorry, we’re still not over how shit Elvis was.

The Art of Death

Bond is used to a morbid brand of pillow talk by now and Monica Bellucci’s mafia widow Lucia rises to expectations in the trailer, promising him of SPECTRE, “if you go there, you are crossing over to a place where there is no mercy.” Nevertheless, we get the very Moore-era shot of her exposed back as Bond undoes her zip.

From there on, the trailer is in line with her prediction, as Madeleine tells Bond and Q (who appears to be working in the field for the first time since 1989’s Licence To Kill) about SPECTRE and they realize that the link between all that’s going on is 007 himself. As if to underline the point, Bond happens across an MI6 memorial wall, to which his own name has been added by some wag with a can of spray paint.

This shot also gives us our first Easter egg of the movie. Googling the less familiar names of those who died in service reveals that they belong to various members of the art department, which is either a nice touch or a cry for help that’s going to be misinterpreted as ‘a nice touch’…

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At long last Waltz

We’re still pinching ourselves – Christoph Waltz really is going to be a Bond villain. We’re all still speculating about whether or not his Oberhauser will turn out to be a “John Harrison” and although we see more of him this time around, there’s still nothing conclusive either way.

Now that we’ve seen his face in the light, we know that he’s not going to have any obvious facial disfigurement like Blofeld. However, for fashion geeks, the shot of Waltz in a Nehru collared shirt is cause for a bit of a squee, following the likes of The Spy Who Loved Me‘s Karl Stromberg, Octopussy‘s Kamal Khan and Dr. bloody No in his wardrobe choices.

Oberhauser (if that is his real name) certainly has a fine line in gloating in his parts of the trailer, first telling Bond that he has come close to seeing him and joining the dots numerous times before, and then openly claiming to be ‘the author of all your pain’. Even if he is a new character, we’re looking at a Big Bad for all of the Craig era so far and it’s hard to imagine better casting.

Do pay attention, 007

There’s one more character we see for the first time here. We get the briefest glimpse of Andrew Scott as MI6 operative C, resplendent with the “Miss me?” grimace of his Jim Moriarty from Sherlock towards the end of the trailer. It’s immediately preceded by a more spoiler-y frame that we haven’t included here, but needless to say, the nature of Scott’s character is still one of the more mysterious aspects of the film.

What have we learned?

As with Skyfall, the second trailer lets us in on a lot more of what we can expect from Spectre. The teaser was a little more enigmatic, but if we assemble the pieces from both trailers, all the signs point to a continuation of the themes that have persisted throughout the Daniel Craig era, including the reprise for Quantum.

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From the title down, it’s also more in touch with the series’ past tropes and iconography than anything we’ve seen since the reboot. We could even relate this run back to the first four Bond films, which took a break from the burgeoning Spectre story arc in the third instalment, Goldfinger, before bringing the baddies back in Thunderball. But despite an apparent throwback to the Day of the Dead chase sequence from that film, we’re definitely not in for another Thunderball – it really does feel safe to say “never again” there.

Instead, this looks to be addressing the wear and tear that comes with having deconstructed our hero so many times in recent outing. James Bond will return when Spectre arrives in UK cinemas and IMAX screens on Monday 26th October (the same day as the World Premiere takes place in London) and though some may say he’s finished, we’re with Moneypenny- it looks like he’s just getting started.