By: Steve Norton
The dead are alive.
Those ominous words are what first
greet you in Spectre, the latest entry
into the world of Bond, James Bond.
And they are definitely intentional.
Directed once again by Oscar winner
Sam Mendes, Spectre picks up the
action soon after the events of 2012’s
Bond (Daniel Craig), driven by a
mysterious message from his beloved
former boss (Judi Dench), sets out on
a mission he doesn’t fully understand.
But he soon learns of an evil criminal
organization called Spectre, led by the
villainous Fritz Oberhausen (Christoph
With revenge on his mind, Bond
works to unravel how far this crime
syndicate stretches. At the same time,
he must protect the beautiful Madeline
Swan (Lea Seydoux).
The two Mendes entries into the
Bond canon stand out for their focus
on seeing growth within 007. Whereas
Skyfall looks at the ravages of time on
our hero (and the franchise), Spectre
seems intent on delivering the opposite: where do we find new life?
Tin which Craig portrays Bond also
on a darker, more serious tone than
From the spectacular opening long
take, viewers see a Bond who has
fully immersed himself in the role of
an assassin. His heart hardened by
the losses he has suffered (M, Vesper
Lynd) and the villains he has left in his
wake (LeChiffre, Silva), Bond seems
to have accepted his role as a trained
killer (and, as Craig’s portrayal reminds
However, through his encounters
with Madeline Swan, Bond begins to
wonder if he’s missing something.
“What would you do if you weren’t
an assassin?” she pushes.
“I don’t know,” Bond replies.
Bond has become so immersed in
his brokenness that he can’t imagine
life without it. While he remains effective, he has lost his way, unwilling to let
go of the guilt and shame of his past,
relying on alcohol, sex and violence to
cope. Even Oberhausen mentions that
he has lost his soul.
Is it possible that 007 is having an
Scripture tells us
life we are not
as healthy as we
think we are
Whereas Bond may be suffering
from being shaken (not stirred) both
emotionally and spiritually, regrettably
Spectre isn’t quite sure what the solu-
tion is to his problem. By the end of
the film it appears Bond may just have
needed to lighten up or take a vaca-
tion. Somehow he regains a sense of
control over his life, which does bring
a sense of fun back to the character.
But is driving off into the sunset with
a beautiful woman enough to bring
the dead to life, to free Bond from the
deathly part of himself?
Bond’s struggles ring truer than the
solution. Though our world proclaims
that we can find life in what we do
and who we’re with, Scripture tells us
without God’s life we are not as healthy
as we think we are. As God says in
Revelation 3:3: “I know your deeds;
you have a reputation of being alive,
but you are dead.”
Yes, a kind of life can be found in
the arms of a woman or in taking a
vacation. But ultimately they don’t offer
the depth of healing we need. We need
something – no, Someone – more
The Apostle Paul speaks to this
when he says, “When you were dead
in your sins . . . God made you alive
with Christ. He forgave all our sins”
(Colossians 2: 13).
Because of Christ, we can actually
receive new life, forgiven of what we’ve
done. Because of Christ, we really can
be free of our past and begin again.
Because of Christ, the dead are
In Spectre, Bond may have accepted his role as a deathly assassin,
but Swan helps him recognize he’s
missing something. Ultimately though,
the solutions he tries can’t realistically
fill the void he – and we – so desperately seek to satisfy.
JAMES BOND 2015
THE DEAD ARE ALIVE