Such a disappointment.
What Went Wrong
The entire film is pure formula. Intro is an action sequence where Bond kills someone. Following scene is him seducing an informant — who is never seen again — followed by Bond fighting with M over his rogue methods. This is followed by Bond seducing another woman, getting tortured by the villain and then shrugging it off, more fighting scenes, the woman’s in love with Bond, cue credits.
How completely boring.
How to Fix It
Instead of playing to formula, we’ll subvert it at every turn.
Take Dr Swann. As written and cast, she’s just another young Bond girl. So we’ll recast her, putting Amy Purdy — Paralympian snowboarder and double amputee — in the role.
We’ll introduce her much earlier, putting her on the ground in Mexico City, where she’s on the trail of the group that’s trying to kill her father.
Bond’s there, too, but they’re working at cross-purposes. His mission is surveillance, but hers is assassination. The chase across Mexico City is in part a race between the two of them, a race that Swann wins.
Bond spends the rest of the first half of the movie one step behind Swann. When they meet, it’s not like two potential lovers chatting over coffee, it’s two fierce competitors battling it out.
Our mid-point reveal is now multi-faceted. We reveal Swann’s prosthetic legs, and that getting them for her is the reason Mr White joined Spectre in the first place. She reveals her mission to Bond, who realizes his personal vendetta and hers are aligned. Reluctantly, they join forces to go after Blomfeld and take down Spectre.
Here we subvert another expectation: Blomfeld is actually the widow from the first half of the movie.
Bond still goes to the funeral, but the widow gently puts him off when he tries to seduce her. On his way out, Bond sees Swann, and goes chasing after her, and so forgets about the widow.
But in one of the final scenes — say when Bond and Swann crash a party held at a chalet high in the Alps that they hear Blomfeld will be at — he sees the widow again.
They flirt this time, playfully, with Bond clueless as to who she really is. That is, until someone else passing by greets her by name.
Bond naturally readies for a final showdown, but Blomfeld laughs at the idea. Why would she want to kill him? He’s been doing great work for her so far.
She proceeds to outline how well Bond has helped her: how his pursuit of low-level thugs has weeded out her weaker minions, leaving the organization stronger (Casino Royale). How he failed to prevent her gaining control of vast quantities of water rights in South America (Quantum of Solace). How he took down a thorn in her side who was trying to take over her computer systems (Skyfall).
She has no reason to kill him, since he’s been helping her all along. Even the MI5/MI6 merger has been good for her, since she only needs half as many moles as she used to.
She turns to leave, but runs right into Swann. Swann, of course, has every reason to want Blomfeld dead: for first ruining her father’s life, and then killing him.
A fight ensues, Blomfeld flees, Bond and Swann give chase. We get a great sequence of them skiiing and snowboarding down the slopes at night, Bond clumsy, Swann graceful and Blomfeld desperate. They finally corner Blomfeld against a cliff, where Swann, overcome with rage, pushes her off.
Both Bond and Swann sigh with relief, thinking its over, that they’ve put their ghosts to rest. But when Bond returns to London, Q tells him of a message he intercepted: of a meeting being called between Spectre’s remaining seven heads. They’ve injured the organization, but they’ve not taken it out.