Spectre: Film Review

bond4

Spectre always had a struggle on its hands trying to top Skyfall, which was the franchise’s most successful film yet. The hype around Spectre was insane and it failed to deliver on the high level of expectation. That doesn’t mean Spectre is a bad movie, it was simply disappointing because I had hopes for so much more.

The action begins in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead festival and Bond (Daniel Craig) is on a mission to kill a man following the events of Skyfall. He discovers a ring with an octopus insignia which leads him on a trail through Rome, Austria and Morocco to discover more about the mysterious organisation SPECTRE, and to stop its leader Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz) in his plot for world domination. Back at MI6, with Bond doing his own missions without permission from M (Ralph Fiennes), a new shifty suit called Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott) is trying to shut the 00 program down as he considers it less effective than his mass surveillance scheme.

bond1

What Skyfall did so well was to delve into Bond’s past and make us connect with his backstory more than ever before. There was a serious and emotional depth to the movie which I liked, but Spectre has tried to revert back to the ways of old Bond with light, nudge-nudge wink-wink humour and traditional tropes like the evil liar and the ejector seat car. It was nice to see them warmly embracing the old school elements they had previously shied away from but it ended up somewhere in between old-style silliness and Skyfall seriousness.  And the mix does not quite work.

The script and characters felt underdeveloped, especially the Bond girls, which I had assumed would have evolved. Sure, Lea Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann handles a gun well and is super smart, but she ends up in very similar territory later on. Monica Bellucci was barely in it considering all the press she is doing, and her love scene with Craig felt contrived, awkward and unnecessary. Swann’s relationship with Bond made little sense and was very cheesy and sentimental, especially right at the end.

bond5

The most obvious weakness with the script and its lack of drama/intensity was the villain. Waltz has played a bad guy so well many times that I expected more, and I actually found him less scary or menacing than Javier Bardem. His true identity is designed to be the biggest shock of the movie but it is no great surprise. His motivations for world domination were never really explained and his beef with James didn’t feel that convincing.

This all makes it sound like I hated it. But you have to understand that I hold Skyfall in such a high regard that I needed this to be better than it was. But it is actually still exciting and a lot of fun and Craig is immensely watchable. He tries to inject more humour this time around and the whole outing is funnier, especially with witty one-liners from M and Q (Ben Whishaw), who is my favourite character and finally gets to work in the field!

bond3

The action set pieces are flawless as always – the pre-credits sequence in Mexico is breath-taking and the death-defying helicopter stunt is insane. There are some seriously awesome action moments including a high-speed chase in Rome and a fistfight on a train against henchman Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista). So it ticks all the necessary boxes – exotic locations, gorgeous women, flashy cars and lots of action – and brings back more beloved Bond tropes so it will please die-hard fans, but for someone who preferred the meatier, more emotional Skyfall, this lacks depth and interesting character development in the latter half.

In cinemas Monday 26th October 

Comments

  1. Good to have the heads-up! Loved the first contemporary Bond, Casino Royale, but after that everything starts to feel back-to-formula.

Trackbacks

  1. […] is released today and you can see my review here. To understand how manic it was, check out all my pics below (the most I’ve ever produced […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: