Spectre – ★ ★ ★ DVD Review

Spectre3.0 Stars

Bond, James Bond.  Is Spectre the end of the Daniel Craig-Bond era?  If so, was it the right film to go out on?  I really don’t know.  A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE…  Trotting the globe, from Mexico to Austria to Morocco to London, fighting the silent Mr. Hinx (Dave Bautista), tracking down Blowfeld (Christoph Waltz), eluding C (Andrew Scott) and kind of confusing the audience by ignoring a lot of what happened in the previous Craig films…  In Skyfall we learned about Bond’s childhood in Scotland, now it appears he grew up in the Bavarian Alps with another family and had a surrogate brother who grows up to become a super villain, heading an evil organization that is even bigger than the Quantum organization that we thought was responsible for killing Vesper Lynd and antagonizing Bond for the first few films… 

A little confusing, and a little recycled, I suppose those were my two main feelings coming out of Spectre.  A lot of the things that happened in Spectre seemed like they were repeated from earlier Bond films.  The train fight with Hinx was (to me) very reminiscent of the train fight with Jaws (Richard Kiel in The Spy Who Loved Me) or the fight with Grant (Robert Shaw in From Russia With Love).  There were chases down snowy mountains which we’ve seen in Bond before as well.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the action scenes and they were very well done, and very exciting….when we finally got to them.  I didn’t find the pacing of the film to be very good.  First it ticks me off that Bond gets to drive a better car than I do, and it felt like the filmmakers were rubbing salt in that wound when Bond could pull right up to his every destination and get a better parking spot than I ever can too.  But to have to take thirty seconds and show us Bond driving up the driveway in his fancy car to get his great parking spot to go do whatever spy task he had in mind that night really slowed the picture down for me, when I really wanted an all out spy action thriller.  This movie did not have to be 2½ hours long!

The performances were fairly good, and I enjoyed Ralph Fiennes as M and Ben Whishaw as Q and Rory Kinnear as Tanner.  It may eventually be revealed that Christoph Waltz is actually a real life super villain, because he can play one so well.  He may play one too well also, or at least play the super villain a little too often.  This time however he wasn’t really given a lot to work with plot-wise.  I fear that Spectre may have made itself a victim of typecasting, and not just because of Waltz.  The moment I saw Andrew Scott on screen, I knew he was going to be a bad guy.  There was no suspense, and that kind of ruined things for me a bit.  Now, I only know Scott from his role as Moriarty in the BBC’s Sherlock, which may have given me a bias, but I think he’s fairly well known for that, and if you want to create suspense in your spy thriller don’t cast someone who plays an iconic villain character as your “secret” villain.

Daniel Craig said he would rather “slash his wrists” than do another Bond film, but made it seem like that was because of the exhausting shooting schedules and because he’d already done four films as the world’s top spy.  You wonder though when he made other comments about doing it again only for the money or the hope that the next team “makes it better” if he was really happy with his turn or not.  It seems to have been glossed over, but he could also have been shining a light on some real problems over at MI6…

Bottom Line: a moderately entertaining entry into the James Bond franchise, but I think it got confused trying to be a “classic” Bond film and a “modern” Bond film at the same time, which ultimately created a letdown of a story.  I don’t expect Oscars from my Bond films, but I do expect “Bond” from my Bond films…


Posted on 16-06-30, in 3 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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