Spectre (Spoiler Free Review)
The latest Bond adventure merges old with new. Craig is still the cold-blooded killer who does not trust a soul, yet Spectre also backtracks to old formulas such as cool spy gadgets and vodka martini’s that are shaken not stirred.
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christoph Waltz, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci.
Run Time: 143 min.
US Release: 06 November 2015
UK Release: 26 October 2015 German Release: 05 November 2015
Welcome back to the last entry of my James Bond series. With Spectre officially released internationally, it’s time to post my review. Sam Mendes’ newest movie of the famous SIS spy is both, a throwback to the classic Bond while retaining vital elements of the rebooted series that started with Casino Royale.
While not a perfect James Bond film, Spectre is a very fun film to watch and I enjoyed every minute of it. A direct sequel to Casino Royale and Skyfall, this action-adventure ties all previous events together and tries to bring back other classic characters to this new era.
When James (Craig) obtains a cryptic message from his past, he sets off on an unauthorised mission across the globe, following leads that finally steer him to infiltrate a secret meeting of a terrorist organisation known as SPECTRE. Back in London, M (Fiennes) stressed due to the merger between MI6 and MI5 under the new head of the Centre of National Security (Andrew Scott) is forced to ground Bond.
Bond secures the help of Moneypenny (Harris) and Q (Whishaw), who are supposed to dig deep for information on a person that might link SPECTRE to his own past, while he goes on the search for Dr. Madeleine Swann. Young Dr. Swann might hold the keys to unlock the secrets of the covert organisation and finally put an end to the man behind it.
I’ll get the main issue I had with Spectre out of the way first; I thought that the story was missing a soul! It tries to delve as deep as Skyfall or Casino Royale, but sadly it only scrapes on the surface of its characters and the potential depth this story has. Other than that it is a very entertaining film, which at times is stretched out a little bit too long.
On the positive side, the dialogues written for this spy flick are fantastic, smart and funny. The banter between Q and Bond is as good as ever and Wishaw managed to steal most scenes he was in. I also loved how they paid homage to a lot of previous Bond’s by setting up similar scenes; the incident in Mexico during the Day of the Dead reminds me of Live and Let Die, the medical clinic in the Austrian Alps has a touch of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and the train ride feels a lot like watching a scene of From Russia with Love.
Talking about acknowledgement, the character of Mr. Hinx played by no other than Dave Bautista, did have me worried because I did not believe that the actor would suit the standards for a Bond movie. He did however surprise me positively, as he managed to blend the two iconic villains Oddjob from Goldfinger and Jaws from The Spy who Loved Me into one person.
Last but not least, this is a film with jaw dropping actions scenes. Although some are very over the top, they do feel like a natural act happening as the story progresses, reflecting the unstoppable force that Bond is.
There isn’t very much I need to say about Daniel Craig’s performance as Bond. He is still great as agent 007; a broken man who still doesn’t trust anyone surrounding him. Craig plays a believable and grounded man, with an amazing chemistry with Lea Seydoux’s character, Madeleine Swann. Sadly the movie does not build-up the romance between the two characters as good as in Casino Royale. Seydoux herself was fantastic and gave Swann an attractive femininity with an unbreakable moral strength.
Christoph Waltz plays Franz Oberhauser, the head of the organisation SPECTRE and a ghost from Bond’s past. He is amazing in every scene he is in; sadly his scenes only make out about 30% of the movie that in turn wasted him as a character and actor.
Like Skyfall, the cinematography in Spectre is immaculate! Director of Cinematography Hoyte Van Hoytema uses beautiful panoramic shots of each city they filmed at and the introduction of Oberhauser, the way that scene plays with light and shadow, was incredibly suspenseful.
The action scenes are amazing, not only due to the incredible choreography, but due to the cinematography. Every fight looked intense and dangerous and every chase scene had me on the edge of my seat. Don’t even get me started on the fabulous camera work from the opening scene, following James on a continuous trail.
I am not very keen of this Bond’s theme song, written and sung by Sam Smith and I also found the opening credits for Spectre to be a little over exaggerated, but the melodies in the movie are spectacular. Thomas Newman composed a beautiful and classic Bond score.
Verdict: This new Bond flick might not be as good as Casino Royale and Skyfall, but it is nowhere as bad as some of the reviews I have read online, and I do recommend you go watch it in theatres. I had a really enjoyable time at the cinema and will give Spectre an 8 out of 10.
So, did you go and watch Spectre yet or are you going this weekend? If you saw it already, leave a comment below with your opinion. Thank you for reading and If you enjoyed my review please share it with friends.