Spectre - Review
Casino Royale breathed life back into the Bond franchise. Quantum of Solace richened his story, and Skyfall turned Bond into a character we had never seen, defeated. Spectre attempts to tie up all loose ends from the past three films, but does it succeed?
Spectre unfortunately positions plot over character, causing much of the story to be muddled by bad characters and a terrible villain. The film serves to tie together all of Daniel Craig's James Bond villains, and does so fairly well, however I would recommend a re-watching of both Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, as many direct events from those films are cited in Spectre. This is why Spectre's story isn't so great. A movie should be able to stand on its own, even in a series with now 24 films. Spectre spends too much of its 2 and a half hours explaining why Bond has had to hunt down his various foes, culminating in the reveal of the supposed architect of all Bond's troubles, Oberhauser (played by Christoph Waltz). The few encounters Bond has with Oberhauser are dull at best, and while the final battle is entertaining, the aftermath feels like a very lazy way to explain away all of Bond's troubles and enemies.
Daniel Craig is as smooth as ever in Spectre, but appears to be lacking the genuine wit of the character he captured so well in Skyfall. Many of his lines feel unnecessary, killing the mood quite a few times. Craig is certainly showing his age as Bond, not looking nearly as young and agile as he did in Casino Royale, or even Skyfall for that matter. Craig isn't the only one with a lack of humor, but Ralph Fiennes character, M, is a bland replacement for Judi Denche's standout performance as Bond's trusted ally. This is a huge disappointment, especially since Ralph Fiennes starred in last years hit comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel. He brings no life to the role, and similarly to Craig, tends to over state things that have already been conveyed.
As usual, this latest Bond flick is worth seeing just for the amazing opening song and title sequence. It sets us up for a sense of massive scale and triumph, accompanied by the powerful vocals of Sam Smith. The opening scene is also amazing, staring off with a bang in the middle of Mexico City during the Day of the Dead, with Craig sporting a spooky skull mask. This is definitely one of the coolest openers in Bond history, perhaps only second to Skyfall, but don't expect to ever see the Day of the Dead theme or costumes ever mentioned or used again, as it is used only on the opening scene.
Spectre isn't the best Bond flick, and hopefully not the last we see of Daniel Craig as 007, but if it is the end of an era, Bond will have gone out on a relative high.
Pros- Stunts, fight scenes, old characters brought back
Cons- too long, muddled plot, poor writing