Published on October 26th, 2015 | by Emmanuel Stratford0
MOVIE REVIEW: Spectre
A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE. Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre of National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6 led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks.
After the massive success of ‘Skyfall’, things were always going to be tricky for the follow up. Bond producers tried to get Sam Mendes back quickly but he wanted time away, so would they press on with someone else at the helm or hang on. Thankfully they hung on and Mendes returned after directing some West End plays. But that wasn’t the last road block that would beset this film, as they struggled to get a good story for the plot, and then deep in pre-production certain detailed plot points and an old version of the script got leaked, followed by Craig injuring his knee during filming where he had to get an operation. All of this helped balloon the already expensive film to over €300 million and with fan interest at fever pitch can it even stand a chance under such scrutiny.
Unfortunately it doesn’t stand a chance, with the film makers not only trying to make a stand alone film, they also try to tie other plot points from all of Craig’s previous Bond outings up in a neat little bow. In doing this they hamper what is a great stab at introducing the evil Spectre organisation and its evil head of operations, played by Christoph Waltz and his henchman, Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista). For the first two thirds of the film it is great, Bond is on the trail and getting himself into all kinds of fights and chases but that soon unravels once he meets Waltz’s character Franz Oberhauser. This moment should propel the movie to even faster pacing and action, like it did when Bond met Silva in ‘Skyfall’, but instead the movie slows down to a snail’s pace and never recovers.
That’s not to say the movie is a dud because it has a lot going for it, Craig is given his best go at the fun and witty Bond we haven’t seen since Pierce Brosnan, the action is top notch also with the opening Mexico City set piece and a train fight being the highlights. But there are some issues, one of which is how interesting the henchman is and how bland the main villain is which is especially annoying as he’s played by the amazing Waltz. I’m not sure whether the Sony leak of the script is a major reason why the last 30 minutes go where it goes but it certainly doesn’t have the pay off this movie deserves.
The cast are on good form for the most part, like I said before Craig is the bondiest he’s ever been and he looks like he’s having fun, while Léa Seydoux is a stunning Bond girl who holds her own and is the best female lead since Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd in ‘Casino Royale’. Monica Bellucci too is great but with very limited screen time, Andrew Scott, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris get some meaty scenes while Ben Whishaw gets a few sparring scenes with Bond and is involved in one of the action scenes.
So is it worth going to the cinema to watch, of course it is, the spectacle and fun you want from a Bond movie is all up there on the screen it’s just sad that the story doesn’t hit the same highs. Where the franchise goes from here is unclear, with Craig signed for one more film I am still interested in seeing where it goes after Spectre, watch this space.
‘Spectre’ is out in cinemas now.
Summary: Daniel Craig is back with a huge bang in his fourth entry has James Bond, it's a good film but doesn't hold a candle to Skyfall