Movie Review: Spectre (2015)


The 24th overall film of the James Bond franchise, Spectre is the fourth to feature Daniel Craig as the eponymous 00-Agent. The film is the second to be directed by Sam Mendes, after the previous entry, Skyfall, and was released in 2015. The film is a direct sequel to Skyfall, but also attempts to tie the events of all previous Craig-led films together, picking up immediately after the events of Skyfall. Along with Craig, Ralph Fiennes returns as M, as well as Ben Whishaw as Q and Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny. Joining the cast are Christoph Waltz as the mysterious Franz Oberhausen, Dave Bautista as villainous Mr Hinx and Andrew Scott as British Government member Max Denbigh.

+ Daniel Craig is James Bond, and once again is a sexist, arrogant ass – but that is why he works so well as the character. Craig portrays Bond’s newfound resolution on his job, following the events of Skyfall, earnestly, and it is difficult not to feel bad for all the hell he has to go through. Bond being older (Craig is 47, after all) works in his favour as the veteran, and it makes his views of the world more poignant
+ Dave Bautista (aka WWE’s Batista, Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy) is silent but deadly as assassin Mr Hinx. His various scenes with Bond, both in car chases and physical smackdowns are amongs the film’s highlights
+ Bond’s MI6 cohorts M (Ralph Fiennes), Q (Ben Whishaw) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) are all fantastic, if slightly underused. Q and M, in particular, are given some more time to shine, after their re-debuts or actor change, respectively, in the previous films
+ I really enjoyed the brief throwbacks to the previous films, such as pictures of former villains or a video from a former ally. Nice to remind us that this is a seasoned Bond
+ from the opening few minutes (in a brilliant, multi-minute single shot), the film’s action scenes are completely balls-to-the-wall, obviously following on from the closing scenes of Skyfall

– Christoph Waltz as Franz Oberhausen is the main antagonist, but he really doesn’t do much. A few fancy speeches, which fail to rival his monologues in either Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained are not enough to make him more than a cursory villain in a series known for it’s distinguished bad guys
– I found the plot, as simple as it seemingly was, very difficult to follow. Names of people or locations are using flippantly, and unless you have seen all previous Daniel Craig Bond films, there may be a few headscratchers
– a somewhat petty complaint, but the film’s signature song, “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith, is boring as hell. Absolutely nowhere near the previous film’s “Skyfall

> there were a lot of similarities in this film to Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, both in terms of plot and action sequences. Not a complaint or praise, just an interesting side note.
> Gosh I love the cars in these movies. So sad that the more often than not end up in pieces…

Should you see this film: Perhaps more enjoyable than Skyfall, if you can stand the length, the film fails to overthrow Casino Royale as my favourite of Craig’s foursome, but is still worth a watch, if just for the action scenes.

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